After An Accident, Here's How To Evaluate Vehicle Damage
Once you are involved in an auto collision, one of the pieces of the puzzle will be estimating vehicle damage and getting compensation from the insurance company. Here is what that process may look like.
Hidden and Visible Damage
First of all, be aware that there may be a lot more damage than what you can see right away. Broken windows and banged up side panels are obvious. But a collision also tends to cause suspension damage. It may bend the frame of your vehicle. It may also prematurely wear your tires or brakes. So, take your vehicle to an auto body shop to see what damage exists before you make any decisions about repairing the vehicle.
Insurance Adjusters May Get Involved
When the insurance company gets wind of your accident claim, they may want to inspect the vehicle themselves. Your auto body shop will give the insurance adjuster a call to see if they would like to inspect the car and make sure the repairs are justified. The insurance company is obligated to return your vehicle to the condition it was in the day before the accident, so be vocal about getting auto body repairs on any parts that are damaged whatsoever.
As you go along in this process, be sure that you document everything. Take photos at the scene of the accident whenever possible. Get photos of every single part that you believe was damaged in the accident, and from multiple angles. That is a good way to corroborate the damage the auto body shop report finds on your vehicle. The more independent reports that corroborate your damage, the harder it is for insurance companies to refute the amount of money they owe for damages.
Repair What You Want
What results from all of this is a claim you file to the auto insurance company. They need to pay for reasonable repair claims. If the damage amount is too great, the insurance company can also decide to total the car and pay you a fair market value for the car instead.
It is up to you to repair the vehicle so that it is safe to be on the road. Used auto parts will help you cut down the amount of your settlement that you need to spend on repairing damaged parts. As far as repairing every single ding in your vehicle, it is up to you what you do with the money awarded by the insurance company. Your auto body center can advise you to the most necessary repairs on your vehicle.
For more information, contact a business such as Goodfellow Motors Inc.