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Monday 15 Jul 2024

Car Accident Part 1
Matt Seinberg

I was going to work on 28 February 2016, fully expecting it to be a normal day. There was no traffic. It wasn't raining or snowing. The sun was shining brightly. Little did I know what was in store?

► took a well-known short cut.

There is a traffic light in front of the shopping centre where I work. There’s a shortcut into shopping centre just before the traffic light, which I take over eighty percent of the time because the light is usually red. It's a well-known shortcut; everyone uses it.

After making that initial right into the shortcut, a quick left that brings you in between two buildings. The parking lots are on the right side. Then there is a stop line, and another left to get to the back of the parking lot where I usually park.

Keep in mind that the area in between the buildings isn't long, maybe nine hundred feet; you can’t drive very fast. This day, I was going three or four mph and braking just before the stop line. The next thing I know, I feel a smash on my right side and there's this GMC Denali attached to my car.

When I was hit, I felt like a rag doll thrown around the inside of my car. My knees hit the bottom of the dashboard, hard. My left shoulder hit the window and my neck flipped right to left.

After getting over the initial shock and making sure I could still move, I exited the car to see what happened. The other driver started yelling at me that I hit him. Sure, it’s not as if my car can drive perpendicular, on command. I yelled back that he was a moron and I was calling the police.

I took some pictures, called the police and called my insurance company, providing as much information as I could, at that time. I said I would call back when I had the police report and the other driver's information. I hung up.

The police showed up and made a diagram of what happened. One officer told me it was clear what happened; the other driver was 100% at fault. He gave me a copy of the report and I called back my insurance company.

The accident was the first and only time I ever saw that driver in the parking lot. Now, I'm always on the lookout for his truck. I hope to leave a note on his windshield indicating he was a big loser and liar.

► I should have gone to an ER, not to work.

I had called my manager right after the accident happened. I said I was going to be late and would explain when I saw him. That was my first mistake. I shouldn't have gone to work, but to the emergency room to. No Fault insurance would have covered it.

Instead, I went to work, but left early. I felt myself becoming numb and cold. These were after effects of being in a car accident.

The next day I had my regular chiropractor appointment. I told my chiropractor what happened. He told me to get MRIs as soon as possible for my knees, back and neck. I was complaining of shooting pains down both legs. Before the accident, I only had slight sciatica down my left leg; after the accident, it was very severe down the left and painful on the right.

I went MRIs the next day. The following week we went over the results. He compared them to previous MRIs on my back. There was definitely more damage from this accident. I ended up seeing his partner, who is a physical medicine doctor; he gave me a prescription for physical therapy (PT).

While PT was helping, that was only the first step to a very long road of recovery. After about a month of PT and twice-weekly visits to the chiropractor, I asked Dr. Steve if he knew a good lawyer for this kind of case. He referred me to a layer in Garden City, where all the good lawyers are located, since it's so close to the courts.

I met lawyer Stephen the following week and signed a retainer. I liked him right away; he was upfront and realistic. He said it would be a long road ahead, anywhere from two to three years before we would get any kind of settlement. He wasn't kidding.

I got a referral from a friend of mine for a surgeon in West Islip that is affiliated with Good Samaritan Hospital, part of the Catholic Health System. I called to make an appointment and told I would get a call back to schedule one.

A week later, they did call back I brought my MRI with me. The surgeon ordered another MRI of another area. After that happened, he suggested more PT.

► Spinal surgery recommended.

After another round of PT that wasn't helping all that much, we decided it was time for surgery. I was going to have a laminectomy and micro-discectomy. One involves cutting through spine; the other moves nerves that are being compressed by the discs.

Click here to read part two of this story.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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