Sunday, February 11, 2018

On Getting Hit by a SUV while Crossing the Street

We have been hitting it hard at work. I have two buyouts closing any day now--one of which is a three step transaction, which means that it involves three closings. As of today, my billable hour pace is at 2,350/year.

(This is pretty unusual--over the last 7 years I've learned to expect January to be a very slow month.)

This is all to say that I've been staying at the office late to meet deal deadlines. Because our firm is cheap, we don't have Seamless and reimbursement for overtime meals is discouraged. This is how I found myself walking across the street to grab dinner on Wednesday night.

After eating, I walked back to the office. I was walking in the crosswalk under a signal telling pedestrians to walk. An SUV travelling down the same street turned left, struck me from behind, knocked me off my feet (clear out of my shoes) and up into the air and continued down the street without stopping. There were more than ten other cars at the intersection. No one stopped to provide witness information. No one stopped to check if I was okay.

I landed on back and hit my head. I had a concussion and am generally bruised and sore. The items that were in my purse at the time of the accident were busted to smithereens. Fortunately, I have no broken bones.

I filed a police report. The police are looking at surveillance camera footage to see if they can capture the license plate number of the driver that hit me. If they can, the driver will be ticketed for the collision and for leaving the scene of the accident without stopping. I'd also like to ask the driver's insurance company to reimburse my medical expenses.

I emailed the partner that I'm working with immediately to tell him about the accident and that my delivery of work product he was expecting that evening would be delayed. (Frankly, I also thought he might want to review any work I turned in in the immediate aftermath more closely since I had had a concussion.)

Those of you who work or have worked in a law firm environment will probably not be surprised to hear that folks seemed generally annoyed by the delay in the work and that no partner from my group stopped by my office the following day to see if I was doing okay.

The sheer lack of humanity is what bothers me most about this:

  • The lack of humanity of the driver. Accidents happen, but to make a conscious decision to run instead of stop after you have hit a pedestrian with your SUV is unforgivable.
  • The lack of humanity of the drivers of the ten or more other cars at the intersection. I know that everyone has their nose in their phones these days, but I am hard pressed to believe that not one of these drivers witnessed the incident.


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I hope you are feeling better. Everything about your evening and the aftermath sounds so horrible and non-supportive! You are not incorrect to expect them to have at least checked on you and then, even if only for the sake of the clients, reallocated your immediate work. Hang in there!

Kate said...

I'm dissapointed but not surprised. Are you okay? I would love to just give you a hug.

Lucy said...

Holy cow!! Cannot imagine why your boss wouldn't stop by, ask how were you feeling and gave you the day off. I am sure getting run over by an SUV is a good enough reason, for pete's sake!

Anonymous said...

wow--I hope you are ok! If it's at all possible to cut back on screens and work (even if it involves short-term disability) it might be a good idea--concussions are sneaky and the aftereffects can be slow to appear and slow to go away. hope you have an easy recovery and the person who hit you gets caught.

LL said...

Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry to hear this! How scary. I hope that you are okay. The lack of response reminds me of my hit-and-run car accident a few years ago when my car was spun out across two lanes and I was pretty out of it in shock and cars just zoomed around me and a few even honked at me! When I was finally able to call 911 MANY minutes later the responder said I was the first call. I've now made an extra effort to always be sure I call when I see something and I would have stopped if I'd seen you struck in the street! I really hope the person who hits you gets caught.

Re: the firm's response I have to say, I actually AM surprised to hear that the general response was annoyance and a lack of care following your accident. At the end of the day a firm is just a group of people practicing together... I never felt like the ones I worked with had left their humanity behind. That makes me very sad- you needed compassion, check-ins, and at least one cookie delivery. I hope you were able to get that outside of your work!

Paragon2Pieces said...

Thanks all! I am definitely feeling sorry for myself after two big health scares in the space of four months (both, unfortunately, occurring away from home and away from my support system while travelling). All will be well. I plan on taking at least a couple days off after these deals close.

Anonymous said...

As someone who works in construction (where health and safety is job #1) and deals with claims all the time regarding worker injuries, I am always baffled by the general inhumane culture of law firms. Lawyers generally seem to accept it, which leads me to ask - what is the long-term psychological cost of working at a place/profession with people who aren't the least bit concerned about one another?

Paragon2Pieces said...

With respect to the law firm, I think folks are under a lot of pressure to meet deadlines and there isn't excess capacity. Without the ability to shift the work around in the short term (even for just a few hours), folks get very concerned about the client reaction and that is first and foremost on their minds. Today, some folks have expressed concern.

Anonymous said...

I am not shocked (though, am certainly saddened) by #1 and #2-- there are bad apples out there (someone who would hit and run!!) and the average bystander can internally defend inaction by telling themselves that certainly one of the other 10 people will stop to help.

That said-- I am truly shocked that no one you worked with showed empathy or willingness to help with the workload. I am not a lawyer, but am also in professional services (one of the big 3 management consulting firms). We work crazy hours and I do lots of M&A work so am familiar with the crush of deal deadlines, but am confident no one at the firm could get away with treating a colleague like this. This type of behavior runs counter to our firm's values, and the partner would get raked over the coals review season. It would affect his/her reputation, compensation, and upward trajectory. Stating the obvious but humanity is among colleagues is pretty critical to effective teamwork- would you consider leaving?

May said...

I am so sorry that happened! So not to defend Big Law too much, but most firms would have reacted with much more compassion and flexibility. This is not normal and pretty bad. Take care.