The First Car Accident – 1990

Tuesday the 13th of March 1990. I was a carefree 17 year old teenager who in recent months had started my first full time job in the bakehouse of one of Australia’s largest supermarket chains. At the time my position was as a packing girl at an in store bakehouse while waiting for a position to become available as an apprentice so that I could embark on my chosen career as a baker.

What I never anticipated that morning as I left for work, was that by the end of the day my dream of becoming a baker would be torn away. Even more so, I was completely unaware of the lifelong journey I was about to begin, a journey where pain would become my constant uninvited companion.

Not only would pain become my constant uninvited companion for the rest of my life, but due to the fact I was travelling to work my accident automatically became a Work Cover matter (Work Cover being a Work Place Accident Insurer in Australia). —Of which I had no option as to whether I wanted Work Cover involved or not, NO option as to whether I sought financial compensation or not! —The legal wheels set in motion the instant my car was hit from behind, causing me to be swept up in a ride I only ever wanted to get off.

As a result of the later I would be labelled A Malingerer, A Liar, A Money Hungry Compensation Fraud and learn the harsh realities of how destructive Medical “Professionals” and Lawyers could be toward those requiring their assistance.

For now, let me tell you about the accident itself and the day that my life came to a crashing halt at that age of 17. (My full Work Cover Experience in a separate piece, here The Work Cover Experience – Insurance Doctors.)

It was early that morning, on the 13th of March 1990, at sometime after 6am, I approached the intersection of a T Junction, where a side road entered the main road I was driving along, the lights turned amber I came to a stop.

Almost as soon as I had come to the stop a movement caught my eye in my rear vision mirror, I looked up at the mirror and saw a car that was approaching fast, that did not look like it was going to stop … And sure enough, as the car approached it slammed into the back of my car at approximately 60km/h (37mph) without breaking at all, shoving my car right through the intersection and beyond.

The entire incident occurring within the blink of an eye!

Thankfully the car in the side road that had triggered the change of lights at the T junction was the only one waiting to make a turn into the main road we were travelling along. So, by the time the collision occurred the road was completely clear with the exception of myself and the car behind me who had just run up my behind.

Unfortunately for me, the car I was driving was a Pre-1970 Ford Cortina with low back seats. (That’s an important point right there, that wasn’t so important in 1990 at the time of the accident.)

Naturally, having seen the car approaching mine, fast, in the rear vision mirror I had tensed up as a result of being able to foresee what was about to occur … Watching for the briefest moment of time when the car behind struck my car and I was forcibly  jolted back and forth due to the impact. —The low back seats giving no support or cessation to the involuntarily reactive movement of my body.

At which point I felt and heard my neck crack!

The damage to both sides of the car shows the significant force of the impact from behind. Also note, that cars built in this era were not designed to crumple on impact! —Once again illustrating the force of the collision.

As I got out of the car my neck and shoulders were sore, and as the day progressed my head began to ache unrelentingly with a headache that has only ever dulled and never fully gone away in 28 years.

In summary of the 24 to 48 hour period that followed…

The Impact
– Hit from behind at 60km/h (37mph)
– My car stationary
Low Back Seats
Tense upon impact due to seeing accident occur in rear vision mirror

Injuries Sustained
– Significant Whiplash
Constant Headache
Neck, Shoulder & Upper Back Pain
Lower Back Pain 

Immediately after the accident the middle aged businessman who was driving the other car rushed to see if I was okay and apologised profusely for his lack of attentiveness. (This was back in the days when people actually apologised when they hurt another person by accident, we still had manners and could accept responsibility for our mistakes without fear of being sued or painted as someone with malicious intent.)

He could see quite clearly, through his own shaken up state, that I was somewhat disoriented and taking my time to collect myself while I sat stunned by what had just taken place. Calmly, he then ushered me into a side street, to clear the main road that was about to hit peak hour.

1990! … We’re talking pre-mobile phone era here, which meant we had to knock on a local residents door to ask to use the telephone to call my parents, along with the other driver making his own arrangements to get to where he needed to be. I could not have asked for a kinder lady to answer her door, she sat me down as we waited for my parents to collect me and handed me a glass of milk to try and alleviate some of the shock that was so visibly evident.

No ambulance or police were required.

Within hours that same day I saw a doctor at our family’s regular doctor’s surgery, who prescribed me Valium (Diazepam) and instructed me to see a physiotherapist.

Doing as the doctor had insisted, I then saw a physiotherapist within a 24 hour period and was given a foam neck brace to wear, as well as beginning Ultrasound Therapy immediately.

However, once my employer learnt of the accident I was immediately placed in the Work Cover System, along with the associated legal and medical systems .

The lawyer whom I was appointed then initiated consultations with the doctor of their choosing. I found their doctor to be pleasant and easy to converse with so I remained under his care until the legalities of the Work Cover process came to completion during early 1993.

This is where my mistrust of medical professionals began and where it initially became clear to me that many within medical professions are only there to make money.

In short, I never recovered fully from this accident. —Not only did I not recover physically, the injuries from the accident were nothing compared to the arrogantly intentioned harm that I would go on to suffer from those who I trusted to aid me in my physical recovery.

To read the full story on that supposed “recovery and treatment process” please head to my next post on this topic The Work Cover Experience – Insurance Doctors.

The 13th of March 1990. Not overly impressed with the day’s events, the pain in my head, the discomfort of the foam neck brace hidden behind my hair … Or having photos taken to remind me of the awful day that was still so raw.

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