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Car Accident Query

Mai-KeroMai-Kero Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I was just in my first car accident. I was driving home along the interstate when I skidded out (the road was wet) towards the right hand guard-rail. I was in the right lane, and even though I remember thinking at the time do not turn away from the skid that is the worst plan I think I swerved left anyway. I ended up smacking into the left guard-rail, going across two or three lanes in the process. Some people ran over and helped me out, apparently they had skidded out just a bit earlier. As it turns out, I am mostly okay. I smacked my head into the steering wheel, but not hard enough to really hurt a lot or anything. I do have a tiny scratch above my eye, which stings a bit and is really puffing up nicely, and two other bumps on my forehead. My head isn't aching at all right now, and I'm not dizzy or disoriented, although I'm still really nervous and jumpy. My biggest problem with the crash was that my glasses flew off. One of the dudes that ran over to help me out found them, unharmed, under the passenger seat. After I could see again, I backed out with their supervision to make sure I had space, and parked just off the right lane of the interstate. They stayed around a bit to make sure I was okay, and then I drove home, which took about 15-20 minutes. It wasn't terribly bad, but I did forget to turn the emergency lights off, which had either been automatically triggered or I had hit inadvertently in the crash. In any event, there were some scraping noises, but I made it home without crashing or skidding again.

Once I got the chance to inspect it further, it looks really bad, but I'm not sure how bad it actually is. The left side is hurt pretty bad, but from about halfway to the right side, it's untouched. The left front fender is dipped low, the front grille is half messed up, and there's a dent right in front of the door. I couldn't get the hood open, but I was told by a family member that it didn't look like the engine was effected at all.

I'm wondering about three things:

1) If it's purely cosmetic damage, all I need to do is fix the light that is missing to be driving legally, right?

2) Why didn't my air-bag deploy? Even if I had slowed down a bit when I skidded, I must have still hit the guard-rail at 40 or so. Can I be copensated for that?

3) I don't have any head-pain, memory loss, or dizziness. Just some swelling around my eye and forehead. Should I be worried enough to go to the hospital/a doctor? I don't think I was unconscious at any point, and I feel completely fine aside from some stinging in the scratch area near my eyebrow and a generally my car is hurt bad sadness.

Mai-Kero on

Posts

  • KazhiimKazhiim __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    What model/year is your car?

    Kazhiim on
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  • Mai-KeroMai-Kero Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    2001 Impala.

    Mai-Kero on
  • CrayonCrayon Sleeps in the wrong bed. TejasRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    It is always possible that your frame was bent, and that pretty much totals out a car. I'd have it looked over by a body shop. Better yet, if you have a friend who knows a bit just get him to look at it to see if there is any real damage underneath. A bent frame will cause far too many problems.

    Crayon on
  • KazhiimKazhiim __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    You'll definitely want to look into the airbag situation. The way I see it, one of two things happened:

    1). The crash didn't register for the airbag, which is a pretty shitty situation to be in.

    2). The airbag did register, but is just malfunctioning. Which is just as shitty. If your emergency-lights turned on automatically, this is probably the case.

    Kazhiim on
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  • Mai-KeroMai-Kero Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    So the steering wheel, when I'm going straight, is slightly to the left now, does that mean it's completely fucked up?

    I don't know what I'm going to do. The car was paid for by a relative, with a really low interest rate for the first year and a half but going up to a regular credit rate after that. I'm in my first year of college, and work at Target as much as I can, but I wasn't even ready to start making payments yet. I don't know how I'll deal with this. I won't be able to get to class or work.

    Mai-Kero on
  • CrayonCrayon Sleeps in the wrong bed. TejasRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Mai-Kero wrote: »
    So the steering wheel, when I'm going straight, is slightly to the left now, does that mean it's completely fucked up?

    I don't know what I'm going to do. The car was paid for by a relative, with a really low interest rate for the first year and a half but going up to a regular credit rate after that. I'm in my first year of college, and work at Target as much as I can, but I wasn't even ready to start making payments yet. I don't know how I'll deal with this. I won't be able to get to class or work.

    Well, the first thing I would stop doing is driving it. Do you have any other form of transportation available at all? You really need to get it looked at by someone who actually knows.

    Crayon on
  • Mai-KeroMai-Kero Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Crayon wrote: »
    Mai-Kero wrote: »
    So the steering wheel, when I'm going straight, is slightly to the left now, does that mean it's completely fucked up?

    I don't know what I'm going to do. The car was paid for by a relative, with a really low interest rate for the first year and a half but going up to a regular credit rate after that. I'm in my first year of college, and work at Target as much as I can, but I wasn't even ready to start making payments yet. I don't know how I'll deal with this. I won't be able to get to class or work.

    Well, the first thing I would stop doing is driving it. Do you have any other form of transportation available at all? You really need to get it looked at by someone who actually knows.

    Yeah, I wasn't planning on driving it at all again until I know what's up. I can get it looked at by an expert, hopefully over the weekend, but I'm not sure what's going to happen. I don't have any other form of transportation at all.

    Mai-Kero on
  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    1.)If you're a college student, you may have insurance or be covered by your parents insurance, so I'd go to a doctor for a brief exam.

    2.)The Airbag: did you hit the left guardrail head on or at an angle? Airbags are designed to go off during a collision at the front of the car. If you did hit the rail head-on or nearly head-on, and you airbags did not deploy, DO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR , as the airbag system by be damaged and thus could randomly deploy at any time. I recommend having your car towed (preferably by flatbed) to a service center and warn the towtruck operator and service technicians that the airbags did not deploy. They will safely de-energize the system and figure out why.

    3. Any collision of the manner you have described has at least knocked the wheel alignment off, which may require parts of the suspension to be replaced.

    Ruckus on
  • Mai-KeroMai-Kero Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Ruckus wrote: »
    1.)If you're a college student, you may have insurance or be covered by your parents insurance, so I'd go to a doctor for a brief exam.

    2.)The Airbag: did you hit the left guardrail head on or at an angle? Airbags are designed to go off during a collision at the front of the car. If you did hit the rail head-on or nearly head-on, and you airbags did not deploy, DO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR , as the airbag system by be damaged and thus could randomly deploy at any time. I recommend having your car towed (preferably by flatbed) to a service center and warn the towtruck operator and service technicians that the airbags did not deploy. They will safely de-energize the system and figure out why.

    3. Any collision of the manner you have described has at least knocked the wheel alignment off, which may require parts of the suspension to be replaced.

    It was at an extreme angle. I just thought they were supposed to go off no matter what if you were going fast enough.

    Mai-Kero on
  • Nitsuj82Nitsuj82 Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Mai-Kero wrote: »

    I'm wondering about three things:

    1) If it's purely cosmetic damage, all I need to do is fix the light that is missing to be driving legally, right?

    2) Why didn't my air-bag deploy? Even if I had slowed down a bit when I skidded, I must have still hit the guard-rail at 40 or so. Can I be copensated for that?

    3) I don't have any head-pain, memory loss, or dizziness. Just some swelling around my eye and forehead. Should I be worried enough to go to the hospital/a doctor? I don't think I was unconscious at any point, and I feel completely fine aside from some stinging in the scratch area near my eyebrow and a generally my car is hurt bad sadness.


    As a former claims rep, here are my answers. Take them as you will.

    1) Yes and no. You can drive with a repaired light, but if you have insurance, they will repair the whole thing, less your deductible. That's what it's there for. If you choose not to repair it, things will get REALLY tricky if you get into another accident and inflict damage upon existing damage.

    2) Probably not, and I can tell you from experience that dealing with trying to get money out of a manufacturer is next to impossible. Chances are, you didn't jostle the sensor enough to deploy them. Also, do you have side or curtain airbags or just the one in the steering wheel?

    3) Your claims rep and everyone else will tell you that if you feel that you have to go to a hospital, DO IT.

    Nitsuj82 on
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  • CycophantCycophant Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Mai-Kero wrote: »
    It was at an extreme angle. I just thought they were supposed to go off no matter what if you were going fast enough.

    I'm by no means an expert, but I was under the impression that modern airbag sensors were designed to only deploy the airbags in incidents where they would be assuredly useful. Basically the old days of airbags going off every time the car receives a jostle are long gone, and the car uses all sorts of accelerometers/etc. to judge whether or not it's worth deploying the airbags, or whether they'd just be a nuisance or actually cause greater risk.

    Since you hit at a very extreme angle, I'm going to assume this is probably what happened. Nonetheless, with getting your car inspected after an accident like this, I'm sure they'll take a healthy look at the system anyway.

    Cycophant on
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  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Cycophant wrote: »
    Mai-Kero wrote: »
    It was at an extreme angle. I just thought they were supposed to go off no matter what if you were going fast enough.

    I'm by no means an expect, but I was under the impression that modern airbag sensors were designed to only deploy the airbags in incidents where they would be assuredly useful. Basically the old days of airbags going off every time the car receives a jostle are long gone, and the car uses all sorts of accelerometers/etc. to judge whether or not it's worth deploying the airbags, or whether they'd just be a nuisance or actually cause greater risk.

    Since you hit at a very extreme angle, I'm going to assume this is probably what happened. Nonetheless, with getting your car inspected after an accident like this, I'm sure they'll take a healthy look at the system anyway.

    This is true. Some modern Airbag systems even have multi-stage bags, discharging one or both propellant charges depending on the speed of the impact is above or below a certain threshold.

    Ruckus on
  • Shark_MegaByteShark_MegaByte Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    3) Get yourself checked out just to be safe. It's not a good idea to take chances with head injuries. A friend of mine was in an accident, his forehead got slammed into the airbag really hard. He didn't feel too bad until a few days later when he started to feel fuzzy. He had some internal bleeding and now is stuck with some very minor but permanent brain damage because he waited to go to the doctor.

    Shark_MegaByte on
  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    3) Get yourself checked out just to be safe. It's not a good idea to take chances with head injuries. A friend of mine was in an accident, his forehead got slammed into the airbag really hard. He didn't feel too bad until a few days later when he started to feel fuzzy. He had some internal bleeding and now is stuck with some very minor but permanent brain damage because he waited to go to the doctor.

    YES. The day after my accident I was also fine... two days later my whole body hurt. The body tenses up like you wouldn't believe when you have a crash, and you pay the price later for it. Whiplash and other neck injuries can take several days to start showing obvious symptoms (ie. the pain).

    Falx on
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