by Viridiana M.
As I am typing up this post, I am on week 5 of my recovery from a broken foot. On March 3rd, I was in a car accident.. actually, let me rephrase that, I was hit by a white guy as I was on the middle turning lane on Six Forks Rd in Raleigh. I was going to make a left turn. I am making a point to highlight that the person who hit me was a white male because it played a pivotal role in how the Raleigh PD officer treated me and, consequently, every other party involved in the aftermath.
My insurance, Geico, has been completely useless in my case (the least they can do is proceed impartially and determine the white man who hit me responsible instead of partial responsibility based on the crash report).
Root cause of this continuing dilemma: the crash report.
The police officer responsible for writing up the crash report was biased, not to mention his behavior towards me at the site of the crash was rude and unprofessional. In the crash report, Officer D.A. Morgan states: “As a result of Vehicle 2 (me) improperly traveling in a turn lane prior to the intersection of Loft Lane, Vehicles 1 and 2 collided.” Never in this report does he even hint that the white guy who hit me was even partially at fault. When he gave me a citation for driving with a suspended license and told me I was responsible for the crash, I asked why. He responded that I should “choose my battles” because I wasn’t supposed to be driving with a suspended license in the first place. Pardon, officer? Oh wait, my name is Viridiana Martinez. Obviously hispanic. And Officer Morgan obviously felt he could get away with favoring the white guy who hit me. His lack of professionalism and tact call for some kind of punishment. But will he be punished or reprimanded in some way? When I complain against Officer Morgan, who will make sure he thinks twice before his vision becomes blurry and he favors another white man over a hispanic woman in another crash?
This experience is a reminder of the inequality, discrimination, racism, indifference, and hate we as illegals face. The truth is as an illegal immigrant woman, ALL ODDS are against me. And Officer Morgan is counting on that. He is counting on my silence. He is counting on me not knowing better! He is counting on my fear. And he is counting on the rest of the system and his colleagues treating me with that same indifference too.
Too bad for me, this car wreck happened at such an inopportune time. I was preparing to head to Texas to gather evidence for my claim to citizenship. That’s another cup of tea for another post. Soon.
In the meantime, I have 3 more weeks of recovery before I can walk again. Hopefully. But for the past month and for the remainder of my recovery, I cannot work. If you find it in your heart to make a donation to help me cover medical bills and other expenses, I will be forever grateful. Here is the link: http://www.gofundme.com/viridiana.
For next steps, I plan on filing a complaint against Geico with the NC Department of Insurance as well as filing a grievance against Officer Morgan. A change to the statement on the crash report holds the key to making things better for me. I’m not asking for Geico’s money or for the crash report to say what is not the truth. I ask for what is just. It is clear that when all is said and done, there are no protections for someone like me. There is no support whatsoever from the state. As their customer, Geico should have my back. And the fact that my driver’s license is suspended does not make me at fault for getting collided into. Also, had I the opportunity to renew my license when it expired in 2011, it would not be suspended. But due to my immigration status, I am unable to renew my driver license.