This week, we can explore a few related topics. Think back to the collision and the weeks and months right after it. Think about the help you did – or DID NOT – get… and where you got it or wanted to get it from.
What was good – and what wasn’t? In a perfect world, what support should be there truckers who may go through this in the future?
I’m not sure what help there could have been in my case, maybe just better advice going in or not being so hard headed and taking advice?
I will say being an owner operator creates a whole new level of stress, as if being put out of work, hurt and witness to a fatality isn’t enough to process you’ve got a business to keep afloat. WCB ended up being our Achilles heel front and center. Being a startup company I elected to take the minimum coverage to be legal and get rolling, because “it’ll never happen to me right?” When push came to shove the benefit was barely enough to pay my rent let alone support a family, car payments, utilities etc. On top of that, being panicked about where the next meal was coming from, we raced through the papers WCB wanted signed to begin paying us and the sneaky jerks threw in an “election to claim” clause which entitled them to ANY money paid to us by an insurance company as settlement for the accident. This in turn led to them suing us for my insurance payout. So I paid good money every month to be bullied into getting screwed all in the name of “protection”. I wish I had gotten a lawyer the day the wreck happened, but who has money for that?!
Onto my next point. I think there has got to be some sort of fund to help in extreme cases where insurance etc. falls short. I don’t wish the stress we went thru financially, and still are 5 years later, on the devil himself.
I had a lot of people suggest counseling to talk about the wreck and things, but anyone I had tried talking to, unless they had been through something similar themselves, just didn’t “get it”. I lost my dog just doesn’t equate to the loss and despair of holding a steering wheel trying to avoid an oncoming vehicle at highway speeds and realizing there is no way out. There are some things in life that only experience can process.