Friday, 22 May 2009

In Which there is Nearly a Very Nasty Accident

I was feeling very happy and cheery as I drove home from work yesterday. It had been a pretty good day - I’d got a decent amount of work done, had some satisfied clients, and it was a lovely sunny day, making the drive home through the Somerset countryside a pleasant one.

Until, that is, I stopped at a junction and the car behind me drove into the back of my car.

That’s not my idea of a fun end to the day.

On the plus side – they did not shunt me hard enough to push me into the oncoming traffic, and they were very pleasant people – you couldn’t wish to be run into by a nicer couple, even if they were driving a BMW!

Also on the plus side, neither my little Smart nor I was seriously damaged. I have whiplash, so my neck, back, shoulder, arm and wrist (and my knee, so some reason) are very uncomfortable, but I’m reasonably confident that it is “just” basic whiplash – the hospital seemed fairly confident that I hadn’t broken anything essential.

As often happens with this kind of thing, I mostly held it together until I got back home, at which point I burst into tears all over my house-mate, (who administered tea, sympathy, food and chocolate as required for the rest of the evening)

Then had a fun trip to the local hospital. I was fairly sure that there wasn’t anything major wrong with me, and that they wouldn’t do anything for me except advise me to take anti-inflammatories, and try to keep mobile, but it doesn’t seem wise to make assumptions, particularly with a neck/back injury.

I have to admit that I am curious about how the local hospital’s ‘minor injuries unit’ copes when it is busy. I arrived there at about 6 p.m., at which time there were two other people in the waiting room. No-one else arrived after me, and I was finally seen just before 8. And then they told me to take anti-inflammatory painkillers, and to try to keep mobile and that I didn’t seem to have any bony injuries. It’s as well I had taken a book with me. After the first hour, reading 2 year old copies of motoring magazines and ‘Hello’ would start to pall.

As always with these things, it actually hurts more today than it did yesterday, plus of course there is the tiredness that comes from stress followed by sleeping badly.

But as a friend said elsewhere “very sorry to hear that, but happy that you are typing and not say, in a coma.” I’m feeling very grateful that it wasn’t a lot worse.
The kindness and sympathy of friends, and a few strangers too, was also a real silver lining.

The car looks OK – several lights lit up on the dashboard when I got in to drive back but having spoken to the garage which looks after him, they have think that probably it has damaged the crash bar (which seems logical) and the sensors – I am taking it in for them to look at on Tuesday but they’ve said if that is what is wrong it’s a fairly easy fix, and that they have the parts in stock so will be able to do it then and there.

Of course, I had the conversation with the insurance company who wanted me to take it to their ‘preferred repairer’ instead, but agreed in the end that I don’t have to. (Past experience tells me that non-smart garages tend to get confused by Smart cars, they never have the parts in stock so they take a long time) Happily they agreed that I could get it done by my garage, but warned me that if their engineer subsequently decided that they had overcharged or that the damage wasn’t accident-related they might not authorise payment. I’m pretty confident neither of those things will happen, and as the repairs are likely to be £150-£200 and I have a £100 excess, worst case scenario would be that I’d be out of pocket by £100. Not what you want, but for me, the peace of mind of knowing my car is going to be dealt with by people who actually know what they are doing is more important!

Stayed home from work today – partly because I didn’t want to try driving the car until I’d checked with the garage, and partly because I didn’t really feel up to it physically, but I’ve been able to get some work, via the wonders of the interwebs, so it isn’t a dead loss!.


Chellie said...

Do you think you bumped your knee against the dashboard? I did that in a completely different accident. It took a few days for my knee to start acting up, but it has twinges of pain ever since (12 years later...)

Feel better :)


Marjorie said...

Chellie, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

You're probably right - either that, or jarred it from having my foot on the floor.

I have a premanant prob. with my shoulder/neck as a result of a road accident in 1998 when I ended up with some nerve damage, but I'm hoping that this is much more minor.

Phiala said...

There are better ways to get out of work for a day, you know!

Just kidding - car accidents just plain suck. Nick has back and neck problems still from a 2002 accident. Yours, happily, sounds much more minor. I'm glad you and the car escaped with only minor bumps and bruises. (*mental image: poor little Smart car all black and blue!*)

Siri said...

I like that you have to take your car to a smart garage. I know so many of the other kind....

Glad your sense of humor didn't get dinged, too.


Dragonsally said...

I'm glad you didn't go to work today - your poor body must still be rebelling from the assault. When I was last rear ended (its only happened twice) I was conveniently on the way to the chiropractor. I was still in agony for days though and the car ended up being a write off. I'd been hit hard enough that y very solid late 70's car had its chassis twisted!

Hope you can enjoy a nice warm weekend.