Not A Fan Of Courting Court

, , , | Legal | June 26, 2018

(One winter’s day, my mom is driving with my brothers and me, all under the age of ten, in the backseat. She’s in the right lane, and there is a large snowbank on the shoulder. The car next to her suddenly changes lanes without looking, pushing our car up onto the snowbank. Once the driver realizes what happened, he switches back to his lane, and our car slides back onto the road. No one is hurt, and the damage to both cars is minimal. The police give the other driver a ticket and send us on our way. My mom thinks that will be the end of it. She’s wrong. A few weeks later, she’s summoned to court. The other driver is fighting the ticket, as he’ll lose both his license and his job if he gets more points on his license. Not having a choice, my mom goes to court, where the ticket is upheld. The other driver keeps appealing it, though, forcing my mom to come to court again and again. As a working parent, she doesn’t have time for this. Finally, the court comes up with a deal that everyone can agree to: the driver will have to pay the ticket, but won’t get points on his license. As part of the deal, he also has to pay whatever expenses my mom has incurred because of this.)

Judge: “How much reimbursement are you requesting, [Mom]?”

Mom: “[Amount].”

(It’s a number in the hundreds, and is exact down to the penny.)

Judge: *surprised* “[Amount]?”

Mom: *nods* “[Amount].”

Judge: “May I ask how you calculated this?”

(My mom produces a handwritten bill for lost work, gas, babysitting, and pizza delivery on days that court went late.)

Judge: “No emotional distress? Weren’t there children in the car?”

Mom: “Yes, but they all thought it was the most exciting thing to happen that month. None of us were hurt.”

Judge: “All right, then. [Other Driver], you are to pay [amount].”

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In This Hotel, I Am The Law

, , , , | Legal | June 25, 2018

(I’ve worked in hotels for over two decades now and this is my favorite response to give out, to those guests who for whatever reason get to the point when they blurt out a line to the effect of:)

Irate Guest: “…this is unacceptable! I have a high-price lawyer, you know! And I will sue you, your boss, and your hotel!”

Me: *killing them with kindness* “Please do, sir! [Hotel Chain] has three entire floors of a high rise building in Washington, filled with lawyers who have very little to do but wait for a case to fall on their desk. I’m sure yours will start a real feeding frenzy amongst those piranhas!”

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The Legal System Is Pain And Suffering

, , , , | Legal | June 24, 2018

(I am hit by a car while jogging, and it is a hit-and-run. Thankfully I am not badly hurt and I am able to get enough information on the car to track down the driver the same day. Once I know who it is and am able to visit the ER on their insurance’s dime, I go and get fully checked out. It is confirmed that my injuries are minor. About a week later I’m in the break-room at work and a couple of middle-managers are in there at the same time. The accident comes up.)

Manager #1: “Oh, yeah, hit-and-run, right? Didn’t they catch the guy?”

Me: “Yes, they did.”

Manager #1: “That’s lucky. You’re going to be all right, I bet.”

Me: “Well, I went to the ER that same day and had x-rays and stuff, just to confirm I’m fine. I am.”

Manager #1: *looking a tad worried* “You are going to sue, right?”

Me: “No… I don’t expect that I will. I’m fine.”

Manager #1: “What if there are complications?”

Me: “Then I get a doctor to indicate that it’s a result of the accident, and I handle that with their insurance. Hopefully, if that happened, it would then just be handled, but I guess if they fought it I’d have to sue. But I’m not going to just sue for the heck of it. I’m fine.”

Manager #1: *condescendingly* “Well, what about pain and suffering?”

Me: *smarta** tone right back at her* “And how much does that go for these days?”

Manager #2: *seriously and dryly* “Easily $60,000.”

Manager #1: “Don’t be stupid and pass up your golden ticket.”

(No, I didn’t sue.)

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