So the overly eager optimist wants to talk car crashes? How is she going to make this one a positive?
Well friends by helping you to learn from my mistakes. So here goes.
- Something I use at work all the time, find or be an advocate. It is much easier in these situations to fight for someone else than it is yourself. When we advocate for ourselves many times we just don’t fight as hard as we do when it is someone else. Not wanting to let someone else down tends to be a great motivator.
- Do not answer your phone! I know sounds insane, but at the end of the day the insurance companies will wait for you. Inform them of the loss and do anything urgent, such as get a rental car or seek medical advice. Then don’t answer the phone. They are going to try and get everything wrapped up before you are even out of bed. Injured people who just went through something traumatic generally don’t have a lot of fight in them.
- Hire a lawyer. Especially and most importantly if you are not at fault.It will make you feel a million times better to have them deal with the insurance company, handle the paperwork and they will know whats fair. I told my lawyer I am not looking for anything big here I just want to walk away from this exactly as I was before this happened. (i.e. with a car, without medical bills and with my health)
- Take pictures at the scene, get everyone’s information, get pictures at the tow yard. The police were on the scene of my accident and I was with EMS, I assumed the police would get everyone’s information and write a report. They wrote down the wrong information for everyone involved and two weeks later still won’t give me the police report. Also if anyone stops to help get their name and number, they could be a witness.
- Go to the hospital or go to your doctors ASAP. I walked away from my car crash. I felt very very lucky. What I didn’t realize was how incredibly hurt you can be while ‘walking away’ from a car crash. My car is very very safe. The driver did a great job. That being said I was still hit at 40 MPH, and then hit twice more. Despite a few bruises I look great. But every muscle in my body hurt. I couldn’t hold up my head, I couldn’t sit, stand or lie down for three days. I missed 5 days or work for what in car accident world is ‘minor injuries’. I really had no idea.
At the end of the day you shouldn’t be left without a vehicle, without being compensated for the toll this can take on your life and possibly left in debt. Car crashes are scary scary things and I hope you never have to be in one like this, but if you are get help from a professional asap. I have seen the difference in both auto and homeowners claims between me (someone who literally solves problems for a living) and someone who deals with insurance companies all the time and the difference is ten fold. (i.e. Having to pay 4,000 in addition to the 7,000 my insurance paid vs. paying zero dollars for 30,000 in damage)
Now I’ll leave you with pictures of my car post crash and the answer the number one question people ask me about the accident.
What is it like when the airbags go off?
The answer is if you are hit as hard and fast as I was is feels like nothing at all. The driver said, Watch out! And before he even finished the word ‘watch’ I’d already hit the airbags, had my glasses shattered and was looking around trying to figure out what happened. To put it into perspective of how fast it happened. Two hours later I realized I didn’t know where my glasses were and then remember I had been wearing them. I found pieces of them literally all over the car, front seat, back seat, trunk etc.