This is not for real, right? UPDATE

I hope I'm sharing this right...it's my first time trying to reshare an update.

So, SehjMan was able to take care of this yesterday. As accordingto suggested, our first reaction (actually SehjMan's reaction, my only reaction was "I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS. I'M GOING TO SIMULTANEOUSLY GO HIDE IN BED AND ALSO PUNCH EVERYTHING") was that it might be a scam. However, when we went to the BCIWI official fire department page, the phone number on the website matched the one on the bill in the mail.

The ultimate outcome was that they have decided to waive the charge! After SehjMan explained everything to them, they needed the report number and verified with the police that I was the victim.

Although FYI, it is apparently perfectly legal to send a bill almost 2 years after an incident, and also legal to bill the victim of a hit-and-run. According to some research SehjMan did, there are some lawsuits in some states based on these billing practices.

I hope they go after the other driver, but I'm not sure they can, since he was never ticketed or anything, even though they know who he is.

Thanks for all the support yesterday! It was great to hear I wasn't out of line in thinking their bill was totally inappropriate and being super frustrated by it.

This is not for real, right?

(TW: Hit and Run, Bureaucracy)

Recently, I received a bill in the mail from BCIWI (big city I work in) Fire Department. (I know I've posted on GT about where I live before, but putting it here just seems especially doxxing). I was very perplexed because I live in DORS (distant outer ring suburb). There is no way BCIWI fire department would have responded to anything at my house.

I noticed my name was spelled incorrectly (I have a really common first name and a unique spelling of a common last name). "Ah!" I thought, "They've got me mixed up with another Sehjma!" It's still odd that they would bill me at a DORS address, since there's no way they'd respond out here, but it should be easy to take care of.

Then I noticed the date of service...June 2013.

That was the day I was driving home from work at about 7pm. It was a Friday at the tail end of rush hour, so traffic on the highway was moving along pretty quickly, but it was very crowded.

You know those drivers you see swerving in and out of traffic just to make it one car length further ahead? You know how you always think "That person is going to cause an accident"? Well, one of those drivers clipped my rear bumper as he swerved around me. Then, as he pulled up next to me, he hit the side of my car (I know the most likely explanation is that he lost control, but I saw him as this happened, and I swear he was trying to intimidate me by swerving toward me and took it too far).

Advertisement

The end result was him turning my car sideways and pushing it down the highway. My car was totaled. I was uninjured, except for a bruised knee. He drove away. A witness later told me they were shocked his car was able to drive at all.

I didn't get the license number, but a witness did. The cops on the scene looked him up. Assuming the guy driving was the owner of the car, he had 3 warrants (for what, I have no idea). They were confident his insurance would pay.

Then my police report was in limbo for a month. The local precinct didn't have it. The hit and run department didn't have it. I called. SehjMan called. SehjMan went to the precinct and demanded answers.

Advertisement

A month later it showed up at the hit and run department. The Detective was skeptical of me because he was only getting the report a month later. The only thing he could do was send a letter to the guy.

I called weekly to get updates, hoping to keep him working on my case. He'd disappear for long periods of time (his voicemail instructed to not leave a message and just to call back later). I finally convinced him to let me look at a picture line up.

The woman showing it to me told me that even if I couldn't pick him out, it wouldn't impact the investigation. Since it had been months at this point, and I was looking at old DMV photos, I couldn't pick the guy out. When I called the detective the next week, he said they were dropping it since I couldn't ID the guy.

Advertisement

At this point, I don't even remember what happened with insurance, other than the fact his didn't pay at all and I was out my whole deductible ($1000!). I recall the Detective telling me he wasn't insured. Then, that he was, but the car wasn't.

Eventually, it got so exhausting, and I got so worked up about it everytime I thought about it, so I just dropped it after about 6 months.

Until this week, when BCIWI Fire Department sent me a bill for $300.

ETA: SehjMan is handling this. I'm not making any more phone calls about this.