So You've Totally Wrecked Your Very First Car, Now What?
Getting your first car is an exciting right of passage, but if you happen to have the unfortunate experience of wrecking it, you have much to do to rectify the situation and as quickly as possible. Take a few deep breaths to clear your mind, then get right to the business of trying to put your life behind the wheel back together. The following information will help you to accomplish this goal.
1. Fight For Your Rights If You Weren't At Fault
Just because you don't have a lot of driving experience under your belt, doesn't mean you're automatically at fault for a wreck. An accident can really complicate life in your immediate future, such as raising your insurance rates or even having your license restricted. If there were any extenuating circumstances that implicate the other driver, road conditions or faulty equipment, document these facts clearly and try to prove your innocence. A corroborating police report of the incident would surely help your case, so try to get one if it's going to demonstrate the blame lies with someone or something other than you.
2. Establish A Way Back To Work Right Away
If you have a job to get to, make sure you cover that aspect of not having your own vehicle right away. You still have bills to pay and, very likely, a car to replace, along with all the additional costs that come with having an accident. Also, you don't want the lack of having a car to be an excuse for losing your job or getting behind on your bills. If your main driving destination is school, make arrangements to get back and forth from there, too.
3. Determine If Your Vehicle Can Be Salvaged
Even if your car can't be driven, you may be able to salvage it for parts. Depending on the popularity of the make and model, consider selling it to a business that could find a use for it or sell it in pieces online. Your insurance agent should be able to tell you if the vehicle is a total loss for you, but you're going to have to find out if you can make any salvage money from what's left of it.
4. Meet Face-To-Face With Your Insurance Agent
It's important that you inform your insurance agent of the accident in person so you can discuss what options are available to you now. Explain what happened and be prepared with that police report of the event, if you truly were not at fault. If there is an accident forgiveness clause in your insurance, talk about how that will help you now with the agent. Also, discuss the possibility of paying a higher deductible if that would make the new or adjusted policy easier for you to manage.
5. Try And Get Yourself Into Another Car
It's important to bounce back quickly after a car accident for a number of reasons. First, you want to make sure you don't develop any fright of driving, especially if the accident you were involved in was severe or caused harm. Additionally, you want to be in the position to put your life back in order and return to normal, be that getting to work/school or simply enjoying the independence having a vehicle of your own provides.
6. Consider Being Put On Another Person's Insurance If Necessary
If, after the accident, your insurance policy becomes hard to manage financially, consider asking someone close to you to add you to their insurance policy. Their policy might actually allow you to prove yourself again by accumulating no-claim bonus points. Although their insurance is going to go up with you on it, that may be a less staggering figure for you to handle at this time and once you've established yourself as a safe driver again, you could return to your insurance agent to talk about getting your own policy back in place.
7. Take A Course To Sharpen Your Driving Skills
Ask your insurance agent if taking a driving course could improve any auto insurance policy they're going to offer you. Even seasoned drivers can benefit from instructions, particularly when it comes to defensive driving. It's certainly not going to do you any harm to sharpen your skills, no matter how recently you passed your drivers-ed class. Not only could you catch a break on your insurance, but extra driving instruction can give you a lot more confidence, too.
Accidents can happen to anyone, but it takes a lot of courage and persistence to regroup, get yourself back on the road and fully recover financially, sometimes even emotionally. Just keep yourself focused on your goals and keep your eyes on the road; with a little help from friends, family, and likely your insurance adjuster, you'll be back behind the wheel in no time at all.