October 30, 2018 11:37am

ts 11 am on a Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio, I’m rushing from one job to the next, trying to figure out what drive-thru to get lunch from. I’m already late to my second job, and I can see a McDonald’s right passed the intersection I’m stopped at. I fiddle around for my credit card and out of the corner of my eye I see the light turn green. Immediately I step on the gas, and then all of a sudden… it happens.

My first ever car accident. I rear-ended the person in front of me. My first thought is what the HECK am I supposed to do now? I followed what the driver of the car in front of me did. Put on my hazards, get out and stand on the sidewalk. I’m only 21 years old, and this is the first accident I’ve ever been in, I am away from home, and I am by myself. Luckily, the other driver involved was extremely nice and helpful.

As soon as I got to the sidewalk, I called my dad – who was on vacation in Florida – so I’m guessing this is the last thing he wanted to deal with. Luckily, there was nobody with the driver in the car I hit, and he was not injured. He had very minor damages to his car. On the phone, my dad told me to first give the other driver my license and insurance card, and to get his information. While I was still on the phone, the claimant called the police. I hung up so I could be involved in the conversation with the police when they arrived. What happened next was not typically the order of events that is supposed to occur when you get in an accident.

There was no police report filed at the scene and I did not get ticketed. The claimant did not want me to get in trouble and he filed his own police report at the police station. First thing on Monday morning, I called my insurance company to explain what happened. When I spoke with the claim adjuster. She asked me a lot of questions about my car, about the claimant’s car, if there were any injuries, and his information so they could contact him. The claim adjuster told me they would send an appraiser out to assess the damages. Let’s just say it was NOT just a scratch or a dent... 

Since I had never been in an accident before, my dad did not want to file a claim. He paid for my car out of pocket, and my insurance company paid for the claimant’s car. This was my first experience with an insurance company, and they were very helpful. My dad made me make all the calls myself and learn how the process works. I’m grateful that everyone in this process was so understanding, because it made it easier on me to deal with the whole situation. I had to make sure I followed the proper procedures with the insurance company, and they helped me every step of the way, even though we did not file a claim for my car’s damage. I had my car back within a week. My main takeaway is that insurance companies aren’t ALL bad, and they just want what’s best for you; not just to get your money.

Contact your Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent at Richey-Barrett Insurance to discuss your automobile coverage.

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