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    It Turns Out You Can Be Too Safe

    | Eugene, OR, USA |

    Caller: *on the phone* “My father-in-law was hit by a car while riding his bike. I need to get some advice about what he should do.”

    Me: “Was he injured?”

    Caller: “Yeah. I mean, he’s conscious and stuff, but he’s bleeding and in pain.”

    Me: “When did this happen?”

    Caller: “About 5 minutes ago. Can we sue the guy?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, did you say this JUST happened? Have you called the police and ambulance?”

    Caller: “No, that’s why I called you. I need to know what to do.”

    Me: “Hang up and call 911!”

    Caller: “Really? So we should take him to the doctor even though he doesn’t have medical insurance? Who’s going to pay for it if he dies? I can’t be responsible for that!”

    (Sirens are heard in the background.)

    Caller: “Oh no, someone must have called, because a firetruck just pulled up…am I going to have to pay for this?”

    Me: “Sir, please deal with his injuries and make sure he’s taken to the hospital. You can call us back after he’s been treated if you need to and we’d be happy to explain how to get the bills paid – right now you need to worry about him.”

    Caller: “I ain’t doin’ anything ’til I know who’s gonna pay for this. I shouldn’t be stuck with this!”

    Me: “In all likelihood, the insurance company for the driver who hit him will pay his medical bills.”

    Caller: “I’m calling them then….” *aside in background* “Don’t go messing with him; I gotta find out who’s paying for this before you go taking him
    anywhere!” *hangs up*