This is my personal experience on Why Insurance Is Important to Me after being hit by a drunk driver and the impact it had on me and my family. What could have turned out to be a lengthy legal battle resulted in an experience ending well because of our insurance. One extremely cold February day when I was 9 years old is a day I will never forget. I was anxiously waiting to attend my end of the season team basketball party at the YMCA. My mother was responsible for picking up the cake for the team that day and as she left headed to the bakery; I jumped in the truck with her at the last minute so I could get a sneak peek of the cake. Mom purchased the cake and we headed back home to pick up my Dad and brother before proceeding to the party. I was so excited about receiving my basketball award and eating the cake that I could hardly wait. But we didn’t made it home or to the party. And I never got to eat the cake. Less than 100 yards from our house we were hit by a drunk driver. He slammed into the front of our truck. Moments before the accident, I saw the truck coming our way. I said “Mama Watch Out!” My mother was paying attention but kids often played close to or in the street so she was scanning the area making sure the kids outside playing wouldn’t bolt in front of us into the street. By the time I yelled out to mom, the truck was headed into our path and I braced for impact. I remember the loud noise the crash made and my mom shouting as she had no time to react or nowhere to swerve to avoid the collision. The driver of the other vehicle had just run a stop sign as he was turning onto our street and slammed into the driver’s side of our car. It almost seemed as if it happened in slow motion at the moment of impact. Our truck seemed to slowly roll down the street a few feet until we came to a stop. It was quiet for what seemed to be forever. Then my mother looked over at me and asked me was I alright. I wasn’t sure what had just happened at that moment but I knew my neck hurt really badly. I cried out to my mother that my neck hurt and she told me to be still and not move. A bystander approached my side of the truck and tried to open my door to get me out. My mother aggressively told her to not touch me and to call 911. I was so scared. Thankfully bystanders were outside of their homes and witnessed the accident. My mom also called 911 while trying to keep me calm. In disbelief, the driver of the other vehicle had left the scene. His truck had rolled about 100 feet past our truck and was totaled. He and two passengers in the truck fled the scene. My mom was so upset that this person would have no compassion for hitting someone and not even stay on the scene to check and make sure there were no injuries. I could now hear the sirens getting closer. My mom had also called my Dad who frantically searched for us but could not find where we were located. He could hear the sirens in our neighborhood but was panicking because he could not find us. Finally, he was able to locate us. My mom’s best friend also happened to live in the neighborhood only 5 houses down from ours and she heard the accident. She came running down the street when she realized it was our truck that had been hit. It seemed the entire neighborhood came to our rescue. The firefighters arrived and approached my side of the truck and immediately put a neck brace on me and began to gently try to remove me from the vehicle. One of the firemen looked in the back seat and saw the large cake that had slammed into the back of my mom’s seat smashing it badly. The fireman said “Looks like you guys won’t be eating this cake” and he placed his heavy fireman’s hat on top of the cake, which smashed it even more. The police arrived on the scene and started asking questions about the accident. One of the witnesses told the officer that he had in fact been chasing the driver of the other vehicle because moments before our crash, the drunk driver hit his car and had kept driving. The witness explained to the officer that he began chasing the driver to try and get him to stop. This is why he crashed into our vehicle because he was running away from a minor hit and run he had just caused moments earlier. A short time later, another officer had arrived and said they had found the driver who hit us. He was walking along the street looking suspicious to the police officer because it was such an extremely cold day that no one would be walking in that kind of weather. They also found one of the passengers hiding at a nearby Laundromat. He confessed to the officer he was a passenger in the vehicle and provided the officer full contact information of the driver. Turns out, the driver and his passengers were all drunk! Not only were my mom and I hit by a drunk driver but it was a hit and run! The driver had no car insurance and it was later determined that he was an illegal immigrant with no driver’s license. He was arrested and charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. He was ultimately deported back to Mexico. In the end, I was taken by ambulance to the hospital with no serious injuries and was released hours later with a neck brace. My parent’s insurance company paid for my medical expenses as well as provided a check to my parents for the value of our truck as it was totaled. My parents bought a new car but the shocking outcome of this was our car insurance company cancelled my parents insurance! The accident was in no way the fault of my mom, yet the insurance company mailed a check and informed my parents their insurance had been cancelled without any explanation. In the end, everything worked out. We got a rental car from our insurance company with no hassle, we purchased a new car and most importantly, I had no serious injuries. It took me a while to ride in the front seat of a car with my mom. I would ride in the back seat because I was afraid that every time I rode in the car with her I would be in an accident again. It took time but I eventually got over it. Now that I am a driver myself, I understand the importance of paying attention to the road not only for myself but for other drivers. An accident can happen in an instant. Thankfully my parents had full coverage insurance and did not have the burden of worrying about how to replace our car or pay for my medical expense. This made me realize at a very early age why insurance is so important.
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