Three weeks ago, my friend took her kids and my kids to the lake for some afternoon fun. On the way home, they were rear-ended! Both cars were drivable although my friend's car needed a new bumper, back gate, side panel and apparently the floor was cracked. She is still driving a rental car. Two of my three kids initially complained of some neck and back pain but I shrugged it off. Mostly because one is highly susceptible to the power of suggestion and the other tends to obsess over aches and pains. Well, three weeks later, the power of suggestion kid has made no mention of any aches but my other son begged me to take him to the doctor. He was sitting in the third row on the passenger side of a small SUV, right at the point of impact.
The doctor took copious notes (for insurance purposes??) and gave my son a page of exercises to do. We are to call back in a week if things are still the same. I hope that the reassurance from the doctor that all is well will be enough to make him realize that he is ok. And if in a week he is not, we'll be going to some physical therapy to help make his back stronger and (it is his upper and lower back that hurt) hope that these issues do not follow him throughout his life. In the meantime, I have tons of paperwork to fill out and need to call the main office of the pediatric clinic tomorrow to work out the billing for this visit.
I know this accident could have been a lot worse. And it is funny but I have never had any misgivings or second thoughts about letting a friend drive my kids before but now I do think twice before I say OK.
Oh, and the rest of the passengers? They were all ok with the exception of my friend, the driver. She has put off going to the doctor for neck and back pain too because she does not have insurance. Yes, the auto insurance will cover but I think the paper work involved is overwhelming to her too.
When I was growing up this was never a problem because we rarely drove in other's cars (no one had 7 or 8 passenger vehicles) and we'd just take public transit (the TTC) where ever we went. I wish we had that option here.