Repairing Your Car and Yourself After an Accident
The decision to buy a car is a huge investment. Signing on the dotted line usually means we’re committing ourselves to paying several thousand dollars over the span of a few years. So it’s natural that, when we get in a car accident, one of our first concerns is whether or not or car is repairable. That’s especially true if we feel OK physically in the moment. Not all injuries are immediately apparent, though, and it’s common to wake up a day or two and really be feeling the impact from the moment when your airbag deployed. Don’t neglect yourself while you’re busy taking care of your car. Your car is important, but not as important as your quality of life.
Post-accident health issues
Recovering from an accident is always easier when you’re carrying both health insurance and automobile insurance. Residents of all 50 states are required to have health insurance of some kind, and 48 states make car insurance a requirement of driving. Virginia and New Hampshire are the lone holdouts on that front.
Once you’re in a car crash, you usually get a burst of adrenaline that dulls the worst of the pain. A lot of people decline ambulance transport to the hospital, either because they think they’re fine or they don’t want to pay for the cost of an ambulance ride. A few hours later, the reality of what happened sets in. Unless you were in a very minor fender bender, it’s a good idea to go get checked out. You may be inclined to visit your local doctor’s office instead of the emergency room, which is fine in most cases. But if you suffered a head injury, go straight to the hospital. Your brain is fragile, and it’s a very bad idea to try to tough out something like a concussion.
You may also require other forms of treatment. Your eyes are pretty important organs as well, and it’s not uncommon for your retinas to be scratched or damaged by debris from the accident. Make an appointment with an eye doctor to discuss the best way to treat whatever is ailing you. If you have lingering bone and muscle problems, a visit to a chiropractor trained in treating accident victims may help relieve your pain.
Fixing your vehicle
Call your car insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. If you feel a little more high-strung than usual while you’re on the phone, that’s to be expected. Claims agents are used to talking to people right after an accident, so they’ve seen and heard just about every reaction.
Your car will probably be towed away from the site and taken to a repair shop. If you would prefer your car go to a specific collision shop, then convey that request to the tow truck driver as soon as possible. The worst-case scenario is that your vehicle is declared a total loss. If it’s not, it will still probably need a lot of work. Do everything possible to ensure you’re working with a repair shop that communicates with you clearly from start to finish. If they can assist you with things like car rental reservations, that’s even better.