Letter to My Insurance Adjuster
I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block #3 of the accident reporting form, I put "poor planning" as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust the following will suffice.
I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I had completed my work, I discovered I had about 500 pounds of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which, fortunately, was attached to the building at roof level.
Securing the rope near the ground, I went up to the roof and loaded the bricks into the barrel. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of bricks. You will note in block #11 of the reporting form that I weigh 135 pounds.
Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collar bone.
Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold on in spite of the intense pain.
At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Without the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block #11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles and the loss of skin from the back side of my body.
The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks and, fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.
I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks in agony—unable to rise to my feet and watching that empty barrel six stories above me—I again lost my presence of mind.
And I let go of the rope!
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