My Dear Community,
I need your help! Last year April 24th, shortly before 11pm, waiting for a young woman to enter her apartment safely, after dropping her off , (my wife and i took her and 2 other young people on an outing), I was sideswiped by a drunk driver while sitting double parked in my car. The white female driver sped away from the scene during my attempt to exchange insurance and contact information with her. My wife (we were in separate cars), who witnessed the hit and run followed the drunk driver through four townships while dialing 911 to report the driver's path which was crucial to the police catching the driver, where she tested twice the legal alcohol limit.
After waking the next day as well as the day after that, with headaches and nausea, I sought medical treatment and was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, a concussion, in addition to general bruising and pain down my left side. My treatment includes pt, ot, speech and vision therapies under the care of my coordinating physician, neuro optometrist and neuro psychologist. I am no longer employed for the first time in 13 years, as I have exhausted my available time for leave. With my benefits ending this month, I'll need COBRA to continue with treatment which includes a program to get me back to work and driving again.
I should be focused solely on healing and getting back to my life but due to a false statement (not mine) to the insurance company, I was charged with fraud.
Since then, I have fought through the legal system for justice- to prove my innocence while receiving zero financial support from neither my or the drunk driver's auto insurance for my medical treatment. As a result, I have exhausted my available 401(K), savings, and my wife has been working any and all shifts.
I was shocked to learn that despite evidence and testimony that supports my claim, I was convicted of a felony for insurance fraud. UPDATED TO ADD: June 23rd was the sentencing. I was sentenced to 2 years probation with time served.
As a Buddhist, I live my life extremely aware of cause and effect and as a Black woman, I am extremely aware of my place in this world.
I can not give up and will appeal this judgement to clear my name. It is ridiculously discouraging that as a victim of a crime I'm the one prosecuted.
This is a clear case of injustice. I did what you're supposed to do after an accident: call police, report to insurance, seek medically necessary assistance. We, as a country are seeing this happening all around us where some people are out and out doing wrong and not being held accountable for their actions, whereas I having consistently been a positive socially responsible, law abiding member of many communities, am being told with this verdict: "I don't matter ". The insurance companies are saying I couldn't possibly be telling the truth because it doesn't fit their idea of how concussions are obtained even though not one of them are medical experts. It's also about how dare I tell the police and big insurance- "they've made a mistake".
All donations will be used for basic living expenses including cobra to continue treatment for the prescribed time and attorneys’ fees and court costs. I am in the process of securing payment arrangements for the medical bills from therapy. I will donate any excess after paying the above, to an organization that helps others that have also been falsely accused as I know unfortunately, I’m not the only one.
One thing is for sure, I am filled with gratitude of just being here- of being ALIVE! It could have easily been a different ending. I am getting better everyday. Over the year, I've grappled with depressive feelings of not yet being whole cognitively and physically, however at the same time, I am filled with a renewed sense of joy and purpose in my new journey.
Thank you for your kindness, patience, good vibes, energy and prayers.
From my heart to yours, thank you! I am grateful for all of you and your support.