You've been in an accident... now what? After the initial shock wears off, and you have checked to make sure that everyone is okay, it's time to get down to business. The last thing anyone wants to do after being involved in an acident (whether it be a fender bender or a collision) is do a lot of talking. Unfortunately, it must be done. Your head may be reeling from what just happened, but it's important to compose yourself and make sure that you have all of the information you need from the other involved parties, if any.
After you've been in an accident, don't move the vehicles until after the police have arrived. They will help direct you to moving the vehicles (if possible) to a safe place. They will also take the time to write up an accident report. After you have settled everything with the police, it's time to collect insurance information from the other driver(s). Also, call your insurance agent and report the accident. If they are local to you, they might come to the accident scene and take photos of the accident and damage to the vehicle for their reports.
In the days that follow after an accident has occured, it's time to think about car repairs. If needed, your car may be towed to a nearby auto shop for reapirwork. Your insurance coverage will play a huge roll in getting your vehicle repaired. They might recommend an auto body shop to have the work done at.
If you're unfamiliar with auto body shops in your area, it's important to do your research. Check online and use social media to check out ratings and reviews. It's also a good idea to ask for recommendations from trusted family and friends who have had auto body work done to their cars in your area. Obviously, you don't want to choose a shop that has no experience working on your make/model of car. Choose a shop that is familiar with your type of car.
Talk through the work, and ask questions after you receive your estimate. If you don't like the number you're given for an estimate, you can always have the car looked at some other shop. Keep in mind, this may delay the process in geting your car back to you.
Be upfront with the shop workers and tell them not to start any work on the car until you have approved of their estimate. Once work has begun, try not to become frustrated with the amount of time it takes for the repairs to be made. If parts have to be ordered, it can take longer than expected. If you feel that something seems off, speak up. Establishing a good relationship requires honest communication. The shop will work with you to do the best possible work and get your vehicle looking as good as new, so you can get safely back on the road.
Brought to you by Patrick Auto Body.