If your car has been damaged in an accident, you'll want to get the repairs taken care of as soon as possible. In most cases, the damage can be repaired, and your car can be restored to pre-accident condition. The first thing you'll need to do is contact your insurance company. They'll help you arrange for the repairs to your car. In addition to contacting your insurance company, here are three steps you should take to if your car has sustained body damage due to an accident:
Have Your Car Inspected
If your car has been damaged, you need to have it inspected at an auto body shop. This is true whether you think the damage is significant, or not. You never know when the impact caused by an accident has knocked fittings lose, or caused hidden damage to your car. Unfortunately, those hidden damages can make your car unsafe to drive. Avoid driving an unsafe car by having it inspected as soon as possible.
Get Several Estimates
When it comes to getting your car repaired after an accident, it's important that you get several estimates. Don't settle with just one estimate, even if it seems reasonable. The multiple estimates will allow you to consider all the variables:
When comparing estimates, the first thing you want to look at is the price. Of course, you want to choose the shop with the lowest repair costs, especially if you're paying cash for the repairs. However, price doesn't necessarily paint the entire picture.
When choosing a collision repair shop, you also want to look at the estimated time for repairs to be completed. If the price is low, but the estimated time for repairs is several days longer, you might want to go to a different shop.
Finally, when choosing a repair shop, look at the repair warranty that's being provided. When it comes to damage repairs for your vehicle, you want to choose the shop that offers the longest warranty on their work.
Check Online Reviews
Once you've reviewed the estimates, you'll want to take one more step before choosing a repair shop. You'll want to check the online reviews for each of the shops you received estimates for. Read both the positive and the negative reviews. Look also to see what the customers are saying. Bad reviews don't necessarily mean bad service. However, if the bulk of the reviews are negative, and based on poor work quality, you should look for a different repair shop.