A question for ya all to ponder.
Is it okay if someone drives drunk? What if they don’t THINK they will kill anyone? Maybe have done it before safely a dozen times. Perhaps it’s really late in a small town; no one is out on the roads very late here. It’s definitely not their intent to hit anyone. Since it is not INTENDED, should it be excused?
And here we the story of our bar-hopping friend. He isn’t so worried about others. He just wants to have a good time! To live his life! After all, he isn’t telling others what to do! But here is where his right to be himself and live free might have infringed on someone else’s lives and their right to have a safe home for their family. Now that all changes. On this particular night, old Tim is out sleepwalking in his yard. It’s an unusual sight, to say the least! It isn’t every night that you see a man wandering about in the wee hours wearing nothing but boxers and a teeshirt!
Now our inebriated friend hits Tim with his car. He was distracted by trying to find a good song on his phone and looked up and saw Tim! The car just went crazy, and he lost control! Ol Tim doesn’t make it unscathed. Our drivers not paying attention and the car spinning out of control does even more damage to make matters worse. Tims’s wife had fallen asleep on the sofa holding their child. The vehicle slammed right into their home! It went through the wall and hit them both. They were just peacefully sleeping in their home, minding their own business. They both lived but just made it.
Who would think something so dangerous could happen to them in their home? Everyone was in shock! Tims’s wife is VERY cautious about safety and doesn’t risk anything with her child. She doesn’t drive herself, and she keeps the child well away from any moving cars. She knows that even a slight mistake on the part of a driver and she could lose her baby’s life. People say it’s an unreasonable fear, and she gets a lot of nasty comments via text and phone calls, but she won’t waiver on this. She feels strongly about it! Now she questions everything, “How could this kind of thing happen IN YOUR OWN HOME”? Who could imagine that someone could, even unintended, cause a big car to hit them while they were just living their life in their own home! Asleep no less!
People speculated, but it came down to our driver not caring. Had he cared, he would not have been out on that road after drinking at all. He would have called a cab and stayed clear of any actions that might hurt others or even himself. And if he did choose to drink to the point of self-damage…..well, at least he would not be risking anyone else lives. Accountability! But not our driver, our driver doesn’t worry about the “little things!” And it happened so fast, and it was going out of control before he knew what had happened. Even knowing he was drunk and that being so could kill someone, our driver still blames Tim. He knew Tim COULD be there walking in his sleep. He even knew about Tims’s family, how the child was sick a lot. And how Tims’s wife was Ill. And how she feared something just like getting hit by a car to happen! Our driver made a lot of jokes about Tim’s family in the past. They’re nothing but weirdos and shouldn’t expect people to change what they want to do, even at their home! How selfish of Tim and his wife!
Tims’s wife and child had no insurance, and the medical bills mounted. They are so high because of the extensive care needed to recover. They basically were ruined financially. They even had to drop key things most would take for granted. Things like car insurance. And basic groceries even. Tim is the sole provider for his wife and his kids. She can’t work much due to illness, and one of the small kids has health issues. Tim works hard and tries to keep them afloat. So far in life, they’ve made it okay. The bills are sometimes getting high, but no one goes hungry.
The other result of our drunken friends not worrying about others is Tim has now lost a considerable portion of his income. His family was injured, his home was destroyed, and his business suffered heavy damages. Tim isn’t sure how or even if he can recover from all this with a roof over his family’s head.
He has been so damaged himself that he misses a month of work! His company relies on Tims working 7 days a week. He does his best to work during that month, but it’s nearly impossible. Tim isn’t sleeping well these days. He has to sleep sitting upright in a recliner. He can’t keep food down, so he is dropping weight like crazy. Add to that the stress of being worried about his family, who is still away at the hospital, well you can see how Ol Tim would be a mess!
And before I forget to tell you all the details, it has to be mentioned that Tim was in such bad shape that first two weeks, all he could do was sleep. He didn’t eat, he had no one to watch over him, and there were days that he didn’t even have the strength to get a glass of water. He sleeps upright in his recliner…. in solitude, dehydrated and alone. Some of the damage has even caused permanent issues that will make it impossible for him to live his everyday day-to-day life.
He can no longer go up the stairs in his home without being in pain. He was reasonably spry before all this. He sprinted up and down those stairs probably 30x a day! Now he can’t stand for long without feeling winded.
To go upstairs, he often has to lay his head on a counter and wait until he can breathe again. At times he is so winded that he nearly passes out. There is no way to fix what has happened to Tim. It is permanent scarring. He can no longer do things he enjoys.
Tim usually cooks a lot. He loves seeing his family eat a healthy meal and trying new recipes! Now Tim cannot stand at the stove long. He also can’t stand for long periods doing the prep work to make his family meals. Besides, cooking means messes! The dishes and those counters to clean, and the floors to sweep and mop. Tim can’t stay standing long enough for all that anymore. He passes out now.
Tim also liked a tidy home, but now his home is becoming a disaster. He can’t keep up with the messes that come from daily life and having those kids of his. Tim also can’t afford to hire help. He was barely floating by as was! With a month off of work and many bills added to the mix, you can add finding anyone to assist him to his list of pipe dreams!
He and his wife had never even had their honeymoon! That was planned for their upcoming anniversary. Those added bills and the added health issues mean Tim will just have to accept that he and his blushing bride won’t be going anywhere this year. Or maybe the next year or perhaps even at all. They had planned to go to a place that wasn’t for everyone. This place is way off from the usual honeymoon destinations! A lot of beachcombing was their activity of choice to stay within their budget. This spot will be off-limits to someone who can’t do a little hiking and standing to get there. You need to think outside of the box to save for a honeymoon.
Tims humble but perfect for them honeymoon is gone, just like that. And he still doesn’t know how damaged his family could be after all this! More worry for poor Tim. He is so stressed and overwhelmed that he wants to just shut down. But that’s not an option for Tim. People count on him. He still has to figure out the bills and feed the other kids.
The thing is, everyone knew about Tims’s situation. It wasn’t a secret at all. People who knew Tim’s family had been reminding others and had warned people to be cautious. EVERYONE who lives in the area knew that it could be dangerous for Tim if they were not careful. Luckily, most people have reasonable moral grounds. They won’t do things that might risk others! Because of that, Tim lived safely in his home for some time!
But our spirited drunken friend has maybe never seen Tim out that late? …or in the street, perhaps? He had been warned that it had happened in the past, but he didn’t believe it at all! Maybe he figures he would never hit Tim, Or that this was Tims’s issue, not his! Besides, as he states numerous times over the year, “He is just living his own life! Tims’s problems aren’t his!”. He’s in a hurry and wants to get home! He wants to do what he wants; he isn’t worried about the warnings or Tim! He is just living his own life. He actually blames Tim for all of this! It’s Tims fault his car is wrecked, and it’s Tims fault people are questioning him! Damn that, Tim! Distracting a poor guy just doing his thing and trying to get home! What is he thinking being out in the middle of the night like that?
Question set #1:
Should the driver be charged with the injuries of Ol Tim? Would you say he was liable for damages and loss of Tims’s livelihood? What about the wife and child bills? Ongoing losses suffered to his company?
To what degree do you feel he should be held liable if responsible at all?
PART #2 Coming!
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