You got that phone call you’d been dreading ever since your teen got their driver’s license and took their first solo trip. They were involved in a crash. It happens to about 20% of all drivers within their first year. Much to your surprise, it wasn’t even their fault.
Your teen is dealing with some physical injuries, but they’re also experiencing some emotional issues. They may be having nightmares, replaying the crash in their head and experiencing feelings of guilt. Even though the other driver caused the crash, they may be second-guessing everything they did leading up to it, even if they did nothing wrong. Moreover, they may be afraid to get behind the wheel again.
You can do a lot to help your teen. Be available to talk to them whenever they want. Encourage them to talk to supportive friends and family about it. Just don’t let them go down the path of imagining how things could have been far worse. Your teen may benefit from talking to a mental health professional.
Getting behind the wheel again can help restore confidence
It’s also important to encourage your teen to get back in to the driver’s seat as soon as possible. Don’t rush them, but don’t let them wait too long. Assuming that they’re physically and emotionally healed enough to drive safely, the sooner they start driving again, the better off they’ll be.
Everyone’s somewhat anxious about driving again after a crash. If your driving history is very short, it’s only natural to feel that way. It’s probably best to accompany your teen the first time or two they drive again as they regain their confidence.
Get them involved in the claims process
Another way you can help your teen is by involving them in the process of dealing with the insurance company, determining what kind of compensation you’ll need to cover medical bills (including any psychological counseling), physical therapy, damage to the car and other expenses. This can help give them a sense of control over the situation. It’s also good experience for when they’re inevitably involved in another crash at some point in the future.
You may need to seek the help of an attorney to get the compensation you need. You can help show your teen that you don’t have to be at the mercy of what an insurance company offers you.