The last 2 days have been an education for me in how to deal with a car accident! Certainly, this is something I hope none of you ever have to deal with, but I thought I’d share the knowledge I’ve gained from this situation just in case you ever find yourself in the same spot!
- Call 911–even though enough other people saw the accident that someone had already called, making contact myself gave me peace of mind that the police were coming. Plus, the 911 operator kept me on the phone to keep me calm until the police arrived.
- Get the information of the other driver and any witnesses. Two people saw the accident and gave me their names and numbers, which the insurance company later asked me for when I submitted my claim.
- Talk to your insurance company right away. I called my insurance company right after the accident happened. Even though it wasn’t my fault and the other driver’s insurance is responsible for covering all the damages, my insurance company was able to walk me through all of the steps I needed to take. That’s what they’re there for! Use them as a resource.
- Call someone who will show up–even if it’s not until later! I know most of you wouldn’t be in a situation where you wouldn’t have anyone to call like I was. I called Danielle, but she couldn’t come right away. I was so shaky and freaked out that I just didn’t want to be alone, so I called someone who wasn’t going to show up. Not only was he not going to show up, he didn’t even care enough to ask if I was ok. That made the situation even worse. Next time, I will only call someone that I know will be there for me.
- If no one can come to get you, let the police drive you home. I am a pretty independent person–at times, to a fault. I was only about a mile from home, so I just opted to walk home rather than waiting for the police to finish up and drive me back. It made me feel even more alone. Not good.
- Get the insurance people on the phone. When I first called my insurance company back later that morning, I had to leave a message for my adjuster. He didn’t call me back within the hour, so I called back just to talk to someone. The adjuster that I was able to talk to walked me through everything I needed to do, took my statement, and got the claim rolling. He also gave me his direct contact information so that I could follow up with him if I had any questions later (I did). I’m so glad I called back because the adjuster assigned to my claim didn’t get back to me until almost 5 PM that day–way too long to wait!
- Rent a car. I called Enterprise and they were able to get a car for me right away. I had to initially provide my credit card for a deposit, but as soon as the claim was filed with the other driver’s insurance company, they took over that cost. I talked to my insurance company and they said that I was already covered under my own policy to drive that car, and therefore didn’t need to purchase additional insurance from the rental company. This was really good to know because I would have been responsible for that cost–it saved me almost $20/day!
- If it’s the other driver’s fault, talk to their insurance company. My insurance adjuster got in touch with the other insurance company initially, so I didn’t have to repeat everything to them. They had to take a statement from me, but the whole process was much easier since my guy had already talked to them. I learned that I needed to get my car moved from the towing company’s lot to the body shop or I might be charged by the towing company for keeping my car there. My insurance company was able to recommend a body shop, and all I had to do was call and ask them to pick it up.
- Go to a chiropractor! The initial shock of the accident made me think I was A-OK, but a few hours later, my neck and back were really sore. Having a back injury can throw off the rest of your health in big ways since everything in your body is connected through your spinal column. I got into the chiropractor right away and hopefully they can get me back into alignment as quickly as possible so I don’t miss a beat! Check with the insurance company covering the claim to see if you can be reimbursed for any of your treatment costs.
- Do something nice for yourself! When something bad like this happens, you have to treat yourself a little bit. I did this by having a glass of wine and some blondies, and then getting myself some new running clothes. It doesn’t fix everything, but it sure does help to have a little treat!
- If you can avoid it, don’t be alone! After being in an accident and spending all day on the phone with the insurance people, it was kinda tough to spend the evening alone. Find a friend who can offer you moral support, even if it’s just to meet up for coffee, so you don’t have to be by yourself. It’s ok to ask for help!
I’m sure I’ll figure out a few more things along the way, but I just wanted to pass along my major takeaways from the last 2 days! Hopefully now I’ll be able to settle back into a routine and the aftermath of this accident business will sort itself out quickly.
All in all, the number one thing I learned from all of this is that I am capable. I can take care of things all by myself. Even if it’s not fun to do it all alone, it’s nice to know that I can! :)
Have you ever surprised yourself in your ability to handle a difficult situation?