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Preparing for the Worst

Kevin Herald BlogFirst I must warn all of you on the somberness of this post. So, be prepared for less pluckiness and a little more seriousness this time around. That being said, onward to the meat and potatoes of this post.

Last week, my sister got into a rather terrible car accident. She was driving home from college--on her birthday no less--when she encountered Florida's notoriously torrential rainstorms. Although she drove at a slow speed, she hit a length of water and started hydroplaning. Normally, she knows what to do in this situation, however, as she put it, in the freight of the situation she did exactly what you are NOT supposed to do: she hit the brakes. This caused her to lose control of the car, spin out across the highway and slam into the guard rail. Thankfully, she walked away alright. She currently experiences back and neck pains and she hit her head pretty hard on the window, but she suffered no broken bones nor any serious lacerations.

Of course the first thing on both my and my parents' minds was the well being of my sister, but afterward we began to access the financial damage. First, the car was totaled. Although that saved us money in regards to fixing the car up, it ends up causing more financial damage as my sister now needs a new car. Since she goes to college at UF and my family lives in Pembroke Pines, she needs one when traveling home on vacation and for driving around Gainesville in general for grocery shopping and such things. A reliable car can run anywhere from $10,000 to $26,000 depending on what you're getting. And with the current economic crisis, my parents don't exactly have money to spare. Second comes medical fees. My sister doesn't have health insurance herself, but she does fall under my parents' coverage. If that was me, however, we'd be in trouble as I have no health insurance. Just getting a doctor to check you out, especially after an accident, can run you a fortune. There's the actual cost of the visit, which can hit around $100. Then there's the test they run, which can range from X-Rays to MRI to CT scan. Those sometimes hit the $1000 area. And finally, some doctor charge their own fee for reading the results of the aforementioned tests. Beyond the financial damage, there is of course the emotional damage. My sister is still very shaken by the whole thing and will probably have serious trouble driving in the rain after a near death experience. Despite all this, my family all feels the same way. We'll gladly pay whatever money we have to because we're just happy she's alive.

Part of the point of this blog is to give readers advice and tips to help save them money. But the one thing you can never prepare for is the unpredictability of life. These things do happen and they can run you a fortune. But as I said early, better to pay for a financial loss than experience a devastating emotional one.

Posted by Kevin Mahadeo at 11:56 PM on September 17, 2009 | Permalink | Facebook | Digg | del.icio.us | AIM

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