What to do after a car accident
As a local auto body repair shop, people often ask us what to do after a car accident. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there were over 273,000 accidents on North Carolina roads during 2020. As more people have moved into the Fuquay Varina, NC and surrounding areas, those numbers will continue to go up.
If you or someone you care about has been in a car accident, you can take some simple steps. These steps will help on the day of the accident as well as the weeks after it.
1. Stay calm
Check for injuries and move to a safer area away from the accident.
Call the police. Even if the accident appears to be a minor one, vehicles can have hidden damage. It is always best to have a police report in case people change their minds later about paying for repairs.
2. Collect and document helpful information related to the accident
You should avoid admitting personal guilt or assigning blame to the other person. Instead, just collect information like this:
- Name and insurance information of the other driver or drivers
- The other driver’s telephone number, if they are willing to provide it
- Witness contact information
- Photos of any damage
- Police report number
- Police officer’s name and telephone number
- Personal notes on what happened during the incident
You can use our helpful and totally free Accident Checklist Form to collect important information. Print a copy and keep it in each car you own. It is especially helpful if you have a Student Driver.
3. Determine what insurance coverage applies and whether or not to file a claim
If the damage appears to be minor, it is tempting for the driver at fault to offer to pay cash for the other driver’s repairs. But the repairs might be costlier than expected. According to Consumer Reports, test crashes at just 10 mph produced damage that looked minor but cost between $3,000 and $6,000 to repair.
4. Know before they tow
If you live in North Carolina, you have the right to have your car towed to the shop of your choice.
You are not required to have your car repaired at the shop decided by the other driver’s insurance company or your own. If the tow truck driver has taken your car to another shop, you can have it towed to the shop of your choice. If you’ve had an accident out of town, an experienced automotive collision repair shop like ours can work with your insurance to have the vehicle towed back to our shop.
Document the towing company in possession of the automobile and where the automobile is being towed. If you’d like us to handle things for you, can you can have it towed to our shop at:
You can call (919-552-0333) and leave a message to let us know your car is on the way.
5. Understand how to respond to insurance companies
When you contact your insurance company and files a claim, you should request that the vehicle be inspected by the collision repair shop you have chosen.
Do not be swayed by an insurance company’s efforts to promote their preferred provider if that provider is not the one you know and trust. Although being a preferred provider is not negative, vehicle owners have the right to have repairs done at the shop of their choice.
An insurance company may make comments similar to the following:
- “We can’t warranty or guarantee that shop’s work.”
- “We will not be responsible for rental coverage if you use them.”
- “It will be weeks before we can send an adjuster to inspect your vehicle.”
None of these statements are true. They’re also “steering” comments that are not legal in North Carolina.
All reputable shops will warrant and guarantee their work. The insurance company is obligated to pay for repairs and to restore an insured vehicle to its pre-accident condition. The insurance provider must deal in good faith with whatever shop you choose to use.
6. Schedule the repair with a local auto body shop you know and trust
Your insurance company will need to accept the claim. When they do, an auto body repair shop like ours can provide them with a written estimate and schedule the repairs if they’re on our preferred list. The insurance company will then give authorization and the shop can order parts and start repairs.
About Automotive Collision Specialists in Fuquay Varina, NC
With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Automotive Collision Specialists is ASE certified and fully equipped with advanced diagnostic technology and repair tools needed to perform collision repair, paint service, and complete restoration for all vehicle makes and models.
We’d be happy to talk about your collision repair if you’ll call us today at (919) 522-0333!
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