The last couple of weeks in our household have been a bit of a blur. Partly through life just being very busy but also due to a car accident or two in the family!
Let me talk about the big one.
My son had been away in Wales for the weekend and on his return drive home, was rear ended by another driver. He was in a slow lane of traffic on the motorway and the car behind him, drove straight into the back of him. It seemed the driver wasn’t watching where he was going!
There was a moment just before impact that my son, on looking in his rear view mirror, saw the car coming. It was inevitable that he was going to be hit.
From that point on life has become less than straight forward.
The accident happened on the sunday and my son began to deal with the claim on the monday. After trying to contact the insurance company just after the crash to find out what he should do.
- Check to find out if there is an out of hours telephone number for your insurer in an emergency. Put it in your phone or in the glove box of your car. So it is to hand.
- Speak to your insurer and ask what you should do if you have an accident. You may never have one. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared or understand the process to follow if you do have one. Ask each time you renew, in case there have been changes.
- Understand shock – as most car accidents happen unexpectedly it is normal to expect to experience shock for a few days, or even longer depending on the severity of your accident. Shock is different for everyone, so look out for the signs and listen to someone trusted when they tell you, you’re a little off your game. Self care is important here. Take notice if it goes on for a long time. As a Counsellor I’ve met Clients who haven’t wanted to drive after a car accident, so if you need professional help – get it. There’s no shame if something affects you psychologically. You just need a little help adjusting to what has happened and how it has changed you, so you can adapt, learn or grow.
Common symptoms include:
- Inability to relax or sleep well
- A change in your concentration
- Not wanting to be sociable or spend time talking to others
- Feeling out of control, vulnerable, helpless
- Feeling moody or grumpy
- No or little energy
- Keeping busy to avoid thinking
- Thinking unwanted thoughts
With all or some of this going on, you need to give yourself space and time whilst you go through the process. Even if you are busy with work or your life.
The big tip that I can give from this experience, is check out when you’re hunting for car insurance, the process of what happens when you make a claim. My son has had a variety of different companies phone up – who have been involved with his car insurer, as well as the car insurers of the guy who hit him. Each time there is a different person, from a different element of the car insurance industry. ( Different repair firms to law companies will be in contact, depending on what you have agreed to, or paid for on your policy.) This has been one of the most confusing and difficult things. As each business has told my son, he should be going with them and not the other company.
Both my husband and I are seasoned veterans in the realm of car insurance but this has shown us what a mish mash it can be.
- So that’s why its not all about the cost. As well as thinking about your pocket, think about the process you’ll go through when making a claim. This is one of those occasions where you don’t really need to be dealing with more than one company and if you can find an insurer who deals with everything from their end. That my friend is well worth paying a little bit extra for.