Whether you were injured or not, you will likely have to deal with getting your car repaired after an auto accident. Having car repairs made is a top priority as most people depend on their cars to get them back and forth to work, take children to school, run errands and engage in recreational activities.
There are, however, certain specific steps which should be followed in order to get your car repaired after your accident. When the proper steps are not followed, the process of getting your car repaired can be slowed considerably, or your claim could even be denied.
To ensure the insurance company covers all your car repairs and those repairs are made in a timely manner, the following steps can help.
- If you are able, take photographs at the scene of the accident, of your car, the other person’s car and the position they both ended up in. These photos could end up being critical to proving the other driver was at-fault. Get the other driver’s insurance information and personal information such as name, address and phone number. Determine whether your car is drive-able or will need to be towed.
- As soon as possible, make notes about the accident, including specific damages to both vehicles as well as witness information. Ask the police officer when you will be able to get a copy of the police report.
- Call your insurance company and give them the details of the crash.
- Ask your insurance company—or the other person’s insurance company if it was clearly their fault—when an adjuster will come to look at your car and estimate how much it will cost to repair the damage.
- If the insurance company asks that you obtain an estimate for the necessary repairs to your vehicle, take your vehicle in for that estimate. Some insurance companies require three estimates, so ask whether one estimate is sufficient. All the damage to your vehicle should be repaired so that your car is equal to its pre-accident condition. If the damage to your vehicle is fairly minor and it will cost less than your deductible to have the damage repaired, you might want to pay for the repairs yourself rather than file a claim—if you are dealing with your own insurance company.
- The insurance company may make suggestions as to which mechanic or body shop you should take your car to, but ultimately it is your decision. If you have a regular mechanic who does body work and want to use that business, let the insurance company know that up front. Determine whether the insurance company will pay for a rental car while your car is being fixed.
- Once you have an estimate which has been approved by the insurance company, make arrangements to have your vehicle fixed.
- If additional damage is found while your vehicle is being repaired, either contact the insurance company of have your mechanic contact the insurance company.
- If you want new or original parts used to fix your vehicle, let your insurance company know, as insurance companies often ask repair shops to use used or aftermarket parts to cut costs. You may have to pay the difference in price between a new or original part and a used or aftermarket part.
- Once your car is ready, inspect it carefully before you sign the release. If you later find the repair shop did a shoddy job after you have driven away, it can be very difficult to convince the insurance company to have the repairs re-done.
Getting your vehicle fixed after an accident can be very frustrating—as though the accident itself were not traumatic enough, dealing with insurance companies and repair shops can multiply the frustration. An experienced automobile accident attorney can explain exactly what steps should be taken to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your vehicle’s damage, as well as for any injuries you may have sustained.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers
When someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you need an attorney who can fight for your rights to compensation. Contact the car accident law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, P.C. at 303-355-7202 for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing unless you receive a financial settlement or award.