If you’re involved in a car accident, one of the first things you’ll think about is where to get your vehicle repaired so that you can keep driving it. Nowadays, vehicle accidents such as collisions can cause a lot of damage to the exterior and interior of your car, so your best bet is to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop. Taking your vehicle to an auto collision center can be costly, especially if your insurance provider doesn’t cover all of them, but there are several ways to save cash.
But where and how do you start? To reduce your auto accident repair estimates, one of the first things you should do is research and apply what you learn. For this reason, in this review, we’ll discuss several tips to help you reduce auto accident repair estimates, including evaluating the damage on your car, interacting with lawyers, scouting for body shops, etc.
Evaluate the Damage
When your vehicle is damaged in a certified collision, you should evaluate the damage before you request a car towing service to ferry it to an auto collision center, where you will get auto accident repair estimates. The following tips should help you evaluate the damage:
Note Any Personal Property Damaged During the Accident
Personal belongings, including smartphones, laptops, purses, etc., can be destroyed in an accident. Also, note anything else you will need to repair or replace as a result of the accident. This will come in handy when you contact your insurance provider.
One of the best ways to evaluate the damage to your vehicle is by taking pictures inside and outside. Make sure you take close-up and distant photos; you can scrutinize the images to see the level of damage done by the collision. In addition, taking photos is important because your insurance provider will require these photos as evidence.
Write a Description of the Accident
Whenever there is an auto accident, authorities will be involved. Therefore, you should write an accident description to be used in place of a police report in case the authorities don’t show up on time. This report will also be submitted to your insurance provider.
Call Your Insurance Provider
When you’re involved in an accident, you should contact your insurance provider and inform them of the basic details of the accident, including the vehicle, location, etc. This can help lower your auto accident repair estimates because your insurance provider can provide a list of repair shops where you can take your vehicle for repairs.
However, if your insurance provider is taking long and you need your vehicle back on the road as soon as possible, you shouldn’t wait on them to send an insurance adjuster to assess the damage to your vehicle. You can take the vehicle to a repair shop and inform your provider; from this point, you can request a reimbursement from them.
Inquire With a Lawyer
After an accident, you might need to consult a car accident attorney. However, you need to meet them, and there are two reasons for this. The first is to allow the attorney to assess your case and claims. The second is for you to ensure that it’s the person you want representing you in any legal proceedings. But, what’s the first meeting with a lawyer like?
Even if you have an initial consultation with a lawyer over a call or online, your lawyer won’t fully understand the circumstances and facts surrounding your case until you have a sit-down with them and carefully explain the accident.
The first step when you sit down with a lawyer comprises explaining the facts of the accident and damages (personal and non-personal) you’ve sustained. This conversation can be with the attorney or one of their representatives (paralegal).
Don’t hold off anything from the lawyer regarding the accident, even if you’re worried it can hurt your case or is embarrassing. Even if you haven’t hired them, attorney-client privilege still applies. Withholding info will eventually come back to haunt you.
Your attorney may decide to represent you based on the information you provide. However, if the lawyer detects that you’re withholding some facts regards the case, they may decide to abandon it altogether and tell you to find another lawyer.
When the Car Accident Attorney Takes Your Case
When the car accident takes your case, there are a couple of questions you should ask them, such as the possible outcome. This will boost your quest to get favorable auto accident repair estimates because you won’t pay for your car accident repairs out of pocket; instead, your insurance provider or the liable party will be forced to pay. Questions to ask include:
Do I Have a Strong Case?
To receive damages, your lawyer must be able to clearly show that you weren’t liable for the accident and that the negligent party failed to act with a reasonable degree of care hence why the accident happened. If your lawyer thinks they can prove this, whether in or out of court, they can determine the case’s outcome.
Will the Case Go to Trial?
Most car accident cases are settled without the need to enter a courtroom. The liable party will agree to pay you a certain amount that your lawyer will deem fair or not. If no resolution is found, the case will go to trial.
How Long Will It Take for a Resolution to Be Made?
The time it takes for you to be awarded or not awarded claims depends on the case’s complexity. Typically, most cases should be settled in a couple of weeks or months, with more complex ones extending over a year.
What Compensation Should I Expect?
The compensation you should expect includes auto repair and other associated claims like medical bills, missed wages, caregiving, etc. You can also seek compensation for the inconvenience the accident caused you.
How Can I Boost the Chance of Getting a Favourable Outcome?
Many people believe that all they need to do when seeking compensation after an accident is show up; after all, they’ve gone the extra mile to hire an attorney. However, your attorney may require you to be proactive in your case, including speaking out, and generally remain involved in the case until a resolution is made.
Shop for Deals
When you want auto accident repair estimates following a car accident, it’s essential that you shop for deals from various auto body shops. How can you do this?
To minimize auto accident repair estimates, start by doing research. Although you won’t find a substantial price difference, you could be able to find a shop that charges you less and offers you a faster turnaround time than the rest of your options. Ask your insurance provider, family, friends, or work colleagues for referrals to find good deals. People will quickly share body shops with whom they’ve had a positive working experience and warn you of unreliable body shops; try and follow up on the recommendations you get.
Ask the Right Questions
When shopping for deals to minimize auto accident repair estimates, the second step is asking the right questions. Which questions are these? Ask the body shop about the general price base for the repairs your car needs, including labor. Although a body shop might not give you an exact price, they should give you a range of what to expect. Also, ask them how much time they need to complete repairs on your vehicle. Finally, ask them about payment arrangements. Do they accept insurance, and are they liaising with any insurance providers? All these questions should help you find a good body shop for your car.
Weigh Your Options and Make a Decision
The third step when shopping for deals to minimize auto accident repair estimates is weighing your options and making a decision. Your decision should be influenced by price; however, don’t negate high prices when doing auto accident repair estimates and assume the body shop is overcharging. Maybe the body shop offers additional services like towing, which you might need depending on the severity of your car’s damage. On the other hand, if the auto accident repair estimates from a specific shop are very low, be wary; it might be an indication of the kind of work they’ll do on your vehicle. Therefore, carefully weigh your options prior to making your decision; timeliness and quality of work should be your priorities.
Give the Body Shop Time
Once you’ve settled on a specific body shop to do repairs on your vehicle following an accident, give them time to work on your vehicle. Note that they need to do things like brake repair, which isn’t easy, and buy tire, which requires time for the order to come through. However, you can call from time to time to check on the progress of your vehicle.
When you want to minimize auto accident repair estimates, you can also try visiting shops that specialize in car services, such as:
Auto Accessory Shop
An auto accessories shop is where you can find car replacements like headlights, spark plugs, batteries, wipers, tires, etc. Rather than allowing your body shop to do all repairs, you can source replacements from an auto accessories shop to lower auto accident repair estimates. Therefore, be on the lookout for good deals for auto parts; most body shops are willing to work with parts clients have bought for themselves for no extra charge.
Mobile Glass Repair Shop
Another specialist service you should visit when you want to minimize auto accident repair estimates is a mobile auto glass repairs shop. These shops provide replacements for all mobile glasses such as windshields, side mirrors, sunroofs, back glasses, etc.
Fix Up the Paint
The paintwork is one of the trickiest parts to get right when repairing your vehicle. So how do you get the best paintwork for your vehicle following an accident?
Match Vehicle Paint
The first thing you should do when you want to fix the paint on your car after an accident is to match the paint. Matching paint is often trial and error; you need to get the color code of your car’s paint job, which you should find on the manufacturer’s website.
Then you’ll take the code to your body shop and order the paint, which will need to be mixed if it’s not readily available. When mixing the paint, you’ll experiment with various dark and light shades until you find the right color to be applied to your vehicle.
The job doesn’t end with matching the paint; the next step is applying the paint, which is typically done in a paint booth found in established auto body shops.
Buffing and Finish
Once the body shop is done painting your vehicle, they need to buff and finish it. Why? Because even with a good match, the new paint will have a stark difference from the old one hence why rubbing compound should be applied to finish the job.
Over time car paint will deteriorate due to weather elements like the sun, rain, ice, etc. The solution to this problem is getting auto paint protection like ceramic coating. What is ceramic coating? This is a chemical polymer solution that’s applied on top of your vehicle’s existing paintwork to protect it from all types of harsh elements, such as weather. Typically, ceramic coating blends with your car’s paintwork and creates a waterproof protective layer. Thanks to this chemical bonding and the creation of a new layer, your car’s paint job is protected. You can ask your body shop whether they offer auto paint protection; if they don’t, you can search online for car ceramic coating services near you.
In conclusion, there are numerous ways to minimize your auto accident repair estimates, such as the ones listed above. However, as you lower your auto repair estimates, be careful not to compromise the quality of work done on your vehicle.