We have a conference coming up with Mark Nigon, his lawyers, my lawyers, myself, my wife and the insurance adjusters for Nigon’s insurance company. We will be sitting there face to face with the guy that put me in the hospital for a month and in a wheel chair for close to three months. I feel a little edgy and concerned for my safety so I asked my lawyer to file a motion to have Mark Nigon in handcuffs at the meeting so that there was no possibility that he could attack me or come at me. My lawyer acted in disgust (and probably rightly so) over my request, saying that I was attempting to dehumanize this man that simply made a mistake. In my mind, although I understand it was a mistake, the outcome was the same as if it were on purpose. Mark Nigon is a convicted felon and a dangerous criminal who is still serving time for his actions. They are going to sit this man in a room, unrestrained, with the guy he nearly killed and who is now suing him for nearly everything he owns. It is hard for me to understand why people are acting so upset that I made this request. This man almost ended my life, whether through intent or stupidity, he is still dangerous.
My wife told me I was being silly. My mom told me that I was over-reacting, and everyone’s rebuttal has plenty of validity. Yet this man has taken away so much from me through his ignorance. It is only reasonable for me to believe that if he acted intentionally the damage could be so much worse. Let’s not overlook the obvious. $250,000 in medical bills do not lie. His lawyers say that the bills are over-inflated. Even if that was true, it clearly has nothing to do with me. The bills are for emergency medical care, and they want their money. I have lost my ability to play sports, enjoy outdoor adventures and most importantly to me, snowboard. Even more distressing I constantly feel vulnerable in public. If I were in a burning building (which I have been in before), I could not run away. If I or my wife were attacked I do not have the ability to defend. I am weak and I am constantly in pain. Now if you met me in public, you would not ever know that I feel this way, but I do, and it is not my choice.
The fact of the matter is that the list of things that I have lost goes on and on and on. It seems that people don’t think that it is that big a deal though. To them Mark Nigon is just a simple man that made a mistake. I am simply collateral damage. The leniency of drunk driving laws in this country makes me sick. Had Mark Nigon killed me instead of just seriously injuring me he would have likely only received 2-3 years in jail and that is if he got a judge that was especially hard on drunks. If we are not tough on drunks then they will continue to scoff at the laws against drunk driving and we will all continue to be in nightly danger of idiots like Mark Nigon.
Further complication arises by the fact that I am just trying to end this case. I am trying to take his situation into consideration and have made an offer for an out of court settlement that will be a win win for everyone. By him accepting my offer, I will have enough money to rebuild and he will have enough left over to start fresh. If he even so much as attempts to argue at our meeting I am going to go ahead and just take the case to court were I will more than likely get a verdict in excess of one $1,000,000. Of course Mark Nigon's lawyers are hoping for this. Since the insurance company is footing the bill for his defense his lawyers want to log as much time as possible. Even though there is no possibility of them winning this case they are more than happy to make money off of my misery. The thing is I will get at least the $250,000 anyways, those are my medical bills and he has it. So….. I will get it. I am just trying to end this thing. My accepting such a small amount was only to try to end this and get him out of my life without a headache. This is turning into a major headache though. I am the victim here flat out. There is tons of evidence to support what he did, a guilty plea, and two cops as witnesses to the accidents. The medical bills are well documented the loss of wages and the loss of my house will be well documented, and lets not forget pain and suffering (which I have a lifetime of) and punitive damages! What is this guy thinking?
I have come to the realization that what Mark Nigon did was an accident. He did not mean to do it. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you shouldn’t drive drunk, that it is against the law, and that bad things could happen. Mark Nigon made a choice to take a chance on hurting someone. That someone happened to be me. While he didn’t mean to hurt me, he did hurt me. Maybe no one can really understand what I went through, maybe I will have to face this whole situation by myself and on my own accord. Maybe my devotion to putting all of my energy into ending this horrifying situation will tear apart my friendships, and relationships with family, friends and loved ones. Maybe, just maybe one person will look at the horrible things that I have gone through and that Nigon is still forcing me to go through and think twice before they get in their car and drive drunk. Maybe, just maybe, my obsession with my destroyed life will keep someone else’s life from being destroyed. The sad thing is that we will never know.