Our vehicles get us where we need to go. When you lose access to your vehicle because of an accident, it can be difficult to determine how best to proceed. You may be wondering how you’ll pay for the repairs, whether or not the car is fixable, and what you’ll do until you have your car back.
If you’re in a situation where you’re waiting to get your vehicle repaired after a collision or need to start the process, there are a few ways you can expedite the process and make the waiting game a little easier on yourself and your family. Here are 5 tips to help you through the process of repairing your car:
Report the Accident
Immediately following an accident, especially one that results in significant property damage or injuries, you’ll want to contact local law enforcement. They will arrive and take an official report that the insurance company can look at later when attempting to determine liability and compensation amounts.
Either at the scene or a short time later, contact your insurance company. They will be able to tell you what you need to do next to start the process of getting your vehicle repaired. Depending on the circumstances and your policy, they may also be able to arrange to have your car towed to one of their approved facilities.
Document the Damage
Documenting the damages on your vehicle will help ensure you receive the compensation you need to fix it. After the accident, try to take pictures of any damage inside and outside of the vehicle. Take pictures from different distances and angles, so you have everything documented. You may also want to write down everything you remember, including the area of impact, so you’re able to recall the information to the insurance company later on.
Get an Estimate
Your insurance company will be able to help you estimate how much it will cost to repair your vehicle. Different companies use different methods. After the adjuster examines your vehicle, they’ll be able to calculate the cost of new parts and components. While this number may not be exact, it should give you an idea of what will need to be done. Your adjuster should also be able to estimate the cost of labor and other related fees.
In some cases, your insurance company will want to work directly with an auto body shop to determine how much it will be to repair your vehicle. The sooner the estimate is made, the sooner you’ll be able to have your car repaired.
In the event your vehicle has been totaled, which means the insurer is estimating the cost to fix the damage exceeds the current market value, you should receive compensation equal to the value of the vehicle prior to the collision.
Choose a Trusted Mechanic
The insurance company you go through to get compensation to fix your car will likely have a preferred auto repair shop that they use. They may also provide you with a small number of recommended shops. It’s likely the insurance company likes the shop because they keep their costs down. This doesn’t mean the shops do not provide quality work, as many of them do; however, while you can choose from their list, you generally don’t have to.
Do your research. Choose a shop that you feel comfortable going to. Often times, you do not have to stay with the shop that gave you your repair estimates. If you’d rather take your business elsewhere, that is your right. Keep in mind, however, individual policies may differ. Our attorneys can help you understand your auto insurance policies, so you don’t jeopardize your compensation.
Establish Alternative Transportation
While it may not be the first thing on your mind when thinking about getting your car repaired, do not forget to find an alternative mode of transportation until you get your car back or get a new one. You may be able to call on help from family and friends. Depending on where you live, utilizing different forms of public transportation or rideshare services may also be available. Even with your car in the shop, it’s important that you are able to carry out your everyday plans.
If you’ve been in an automobile wreck and are dealing with insurance companies and claims, you may be feeling overwhelmed. The attorneys at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC have the experience needed to make the process as easy as possible for you. To learn more about your rights and options, get in touch with us today.