It doesn’t matter if you were in an accident or are looking for an auto shop to repair your car, it is helpful to know the process of car accident repairs. For expert tips, coverage details and FAQs, as well as claims and coverage details, read on!
Six Steps to Follow After a Car Accident
1.Call 911 to get to safety
First, get out of the way of any other traffic. You should then call the police. This is legal in certain states, regardless of whether you are in a minor or major collision.
An accident report will be prepared by the responding officer, which you might need to give to your insurance company. You can file a report at the nearest police station if an officer is unable to reach the scene.
2.All things should be documented
You should take pictures of the scene is one of the most important actions you can take.
- All cars involved in the accident
- Weather conditions
- Road conditions
- Lighting on the roads
- Any injuries that you may have sustained
You should contact another driver if you were involved in an accident.
3.Don’t Admit Fault
You should tell the truth if you are responsible for an accident. But don’t give your opinion.
4.Seek medical attention
If there are no visible injuries, it might not be necessary to seek medical attention. Immediately after an accident, your body starts pumping adrenaline which can make injuries sometimes difficult detect. You should immediately seek medical attention if you have any visible injuries. Even if you feel fine and the accident was minor, it is important to make an appointment with your primary doctor for an examination.
5.Get in touch with your insurance company
You can either start a claim while you are still at the scene or afterward. You will be given an overview of what the next steps are and what you can expect.
6.Locate a car accident repair shop
You may be offered a list by your insurance company of preferred shops to take your vehicle to for repairs. However, you don’t have to follow their recommendations. You have the option to choose an auto shop you feel comfortable with or search for one near you.
No matter what route you take, ensure your auto body shop offers these:
- Free, quick estimates
- I-CAR certified technicians
- All repairs covered by a lifetime limited warranty
- A meticulous quality control process
Each auto body shop is unique and will vary in how extensive the repairs are. When you bring your vehicle in for repairs, the following steps can be expected:
- Estimate: An auto body shop will assess the extent of damage to your vehicle and compile an estimate. This will allow you to get an estimate of the damage done and the cost of potential repairs.
- Insurance Approval: Your insurance company will receive the estimate from the auto body shop. This step is not a simple one.
- Dropoff: After the estimate has been approved, you can bring your vehicle to be repaired.
- Disassembly – Technicians will disassemble your vehicle and create a blueprint for the repairs.
- Order Parts: Once a blueprint is available, replacement parts can be ordered. In order to obtain the best parts for the lowest price, this requires coordination with your insurance company.
- All structural and mechanical repairs are covered. This step can be completed before new parts arrive in most cases.
- Painting: Restoring vehicles to factory condition with a new coat of paint.
- Reassembly – After all pieces have been freshly painted, the vehicle can be fully reassembled.
- Detailing: This includes cleaning, vacuuming, and finishing touches.
- Final inspection and delivery: The vehicle is inspected by the quality control department. Your vehicle will be ready for collection once they approve.
Insurance Claims and Coverage
How does the claims process work and what is covered by your insurance? Each accident is unique, and each policy is different. However, you need to know which factors fall within your coverage.
Collision coverage “helps pay for the repair of your car if it is damaged in a crash with another vehicle or object such as a fence.” Collision coverage is generally available when a driver causes an accident.
Collision insurance covers your vehicle from:
- Single-car rollovers
- Accidents involving vehicles other than your own
- Accidents that involve objects like fences or trees
Liability insurance covers the damages to property and medical injuries of “other drivers” if they are at fault in an accident.
Five Expert Tips to Repair a Car Accident
1.You have the option to choose your auto repair shop.
Contrary to what your insurer may tell you, you don’t have to take your car to the auto shop they recommend. While your insurance company may have a list that recommends the best auto shops, it is ultimately up to you to choose.
2.Look at a few repair estimates.
You can save time and money by getting estimates from multiple repair shops to find the best price.Don’t be tempted by the lowest price. Sometimes, the cheapest option won’t produce the best quality repairs.
3.Make sure that the replacement parts are brand new if your insurance covers it.
You will find out whether OEM or aftermarket parts are allowed to be used for your vehicle’s repair under your insurance policy. Aftermarket parts are not always the best option because they are manufactured by a different company than your vehicle. OEM parts should be included in your lease agreement if your car is on a contract.
4.All insurance communications can be handled by your auto shop.
Except for initiating the claims process, you don’t need to act as a middleman between your repair shop or your insurance company. From the initial estimate through final billing, your repair shop should coordinate all aspects of your vehicle’s repairs.
5.If you discover new damage, ask to be notified.
Technicians may find additional damage while they are fixing your repair. To notify your insurance company, technicians must report any additional damage to be approved to do these repairs.
It’s great to have your insurance company and auto shop coordinate, but this could be an instance when you would like to see updates. To ensure that you don’t get any surprises when picking up your vehicle, and to see the final invoice, you can request notification at the same moment as your insurance company.