Let’s say you’re driving in New York City, and another car hits you. The other driver gets out and starts weaving around. They’re unsteady on their feet, and you smell alcohol very strongly.
When the police get there, they give this individual a breathalyzer. They’re over the legal limit.
This seems like an open-and-shut case. This person should never have gotten behind the wheel, and you’re due financial compensation for their reckless behavior.
However, it may not be quite that easy collecting your money, repairing your car, and resuming your life. You’ll have to deal with more than a few hassles along the way.
Here are five ways your life can change after an incident like this.
You Might Have to Bring a Civil Suit Against the Other Driver
If the other driver drank before they drove, that means:
- According to the law, what happened was almost always their fault
- They’ll have to pay fines
- They might face jail time
If you drove the car they hit, you can get money from their insurance company. The problem is, some New York City drivers carry the minimum possible insurance amount. Some pay out as little as $25,000 per injured party.
That might not be enough to cover things like your medical bills, rent, and utility bills if you have to miss work while you recover. If that’s true, you’ll have little choice but to hire a lawyer and use a civil lawsuit to go after that driver.
It’s Probably Going to Eat Up a Lot of Your Time
Cancel all your appointments for the next few weeks, because if you decide a civil lawsuit is the right way to go, it’s going to monopolize your time. That’s because:
- You’ll have to spend time with your lawyer on strategy sessions
- You’ll have to appear in court, perhaps multiple times
It’s probably going to exhaust you. You may have to rely on your spouse or partner to watch the kids more than usual, or you might have to get a babysitter. Sometimes, if what happened is not completely clear, these trials can drag on much longer than you’d anticipate.
Pause Your Career
If you’re dealing with a civil lawsuit, you might have to miss some work. Hopefully, your boss will understand that you need to handle this, and they’ll give you some leeway because of it.
You may also have to spend time at home recuperating if the car accident injured you. Maybe you’re dealing with something like bruises or soft-tissue injuries. It could even be something more severe, like a concussion or broken bone.
Depending on what you do for a living, maybe you can work from home. More individuals are doing that these days, so perhaps there’s a way to make it happen.
You may have to go through some rigorous physical therapy before you can get back on your feet.
Hopefully, you will recover fully from your injuries in time, but sometimes, you’ll have to deal with car accident trauma for the rest of your life.
You Might Need Therapy
Speaking of trauma, you might have to seek therapy in some car accident cases. Perhaps the other vehicle came out of nowhere and slammed into you very hard. It’s not so easy to hop back behind the wheel and resume driving.
You might even have to deal with PTSD. It’s not just for combat veterans: lots of car accident survivors have it. Talking about what happened and gradually resuming your old driving habits can get you back to where you were, but it’s not an instantaneous process.
You Might Decide You Don’t Want to Drive Anymore
In some extreme cases, perhaps you’ll decide that city driving is not for you. If you live in New York or another major metropolis, maybe you can get by just using public transportation.
There are definitely compelling reasons to at least consider that. You don’t have to pay for gas, car maintenance, and insurance. You don’t have to locate street parking if you don’t have a garage.
On the other hand, owning a vehicle is convenient because you don’t have to be train or bus-reliant. You’ll have to weigh the cons and pros before making your final decision.
There’s no denying the life changes that a car collision brings. Some people get over it sooner, while others struggle more. It’s all about the accident severity and how determined you are to get past it.