In An Accident?
In the collision repair industry, we see accidents happen about every seven years. You could be fortunate and never get in an accident, but when and if you do, Alan’s Collision Center manages accidents every day. We want to help you manage yours as much as possible.
Here are 11 tips to consider if you’re in a vehicular accident:
While on the scene of an accident, take as many pictures as you can. You want a record of the collision where it happened and of both vehicles. Each vehicle involved in an accident will be towed to separate places, and there is likely to be separate insurance companies involved. You will not see the other vehicle again unless you get pictures.
The pictures will help you long term. If you need to hire an attorney to help you settle the accident, s/he will want images, if possible.
Are There Witnesses on the Scene?
If someone witnessed the accident, it’s important for him or her to tell the story of what they saw to the police officer on the scene. This is critical information for the insurance company, police report and to assign responsibility to the driver at fault.
Get Accident Information on the Scene
During an accident, each driver will complete a contact form with insurance information, driver’s license, owner of the vehicle, make and model of the vehicle, and contact information with phone numbers.
The police officer is likely to issue citations on the scene. If s/he doesn’t, there still may be a chance that you could be cited later. You need a copy of the police report as soon as possible.
Because the claims adjuster was not at the scene of the accident, they will piece the story and facts together to determine who’s at fault. Some insurance companies will try and assign a percentage of responsibility on you. The more proof you have to protect yourself the better. That’s why photographs, witness stories, and statements from the accident are so important.
Is your vehicle drivable?
Even if you drove away from the accident your vehicle may NOT be considered drivable.
You need an auto body repair professional to check the safety items on your vehicle:
- We check for damage to head lamps, running lights and tail lights.
- We check door closures to ensure each door shuts and latches properly.
- If any of your air bags deploy, your vehicle is certainly not driveable.
When you phone in your claim to the insurance company, the claim adjuster will ask you whether your vehicle is drivable. Vehicles that are not drivable generally receive a quicker response.
Where Should You Tow Your Vehicle?
If the police towed your vehicle and you did not inform the tow-truck driver where to take your vehicle, then the police will have it towed to a local tow facility. It will be stored there until you call and give permission for the auto body repair shop to pick it up.
Every auto body repair business has a partnership with a towing company. Alan’s Collision Center has used Glenn’s Towing for years. We can pick up your vehicle from the police lot and bring it back to Alan’s Collision Center for your collision repair.
Do not leave our vehicle sitting in the police lot for long; you want the auto body repair technicians to begin as soon as possible to assess the damage and begin to write an estimate.
Learn About DRP Auto Body Shops
- Your insurance company may try to steer you to an auto body repair business that works for them.
- The auto body repair businesses that work within an insurance network are part of a direct repair program (DRP).
- DRP shops have a contract with insurance companies.
- They must adhere to guidelines set by the insurance company.
- They work for volume and in return give concessions to the insurance companies.
It is your right to choose auto body repair of your choice under Pennsylvania law. It is illegal for an insurance company to force you where to have your collision repair done.
Alan’s Collision Center is a non-DRP auto body repair business. We do not work with any insurance companies, nor are we in any insurance networks. We fight for your rights as a consumer to repair to manufacturer specifications to the best of our ability and as per the insurance policy you have purchased.
Select the Best Auto Body Repair Shop
- Do your homework on the collision repair shop you choose. Do not be afraid to call and ask questions of the repair shop manager.
- Check the business’s website and read the reviews from other customers on Customer Lobby, Google, and Facebook.
- Is it certified to repair your vehicle? What other credentials does the shop have?
- What kind of training do the technicians have and is there language on the website that states, ‘we invest in our training.’
Why Alan’s Collision Center
- Alan’s Collision Center has been in business since 1975.
- Our technician team has been with us on average 20 years; this is unheard of in the auto body repair industry.
- We invest annually in equipment to stay abreast of manufacturer guidelines.
- We invest annually in training for our technicians.
- Alan’s Collision has achieved the I-CAR Gold Class rating, the highest training in the auto body repair industry.
Read Your Insurance Policy
Read the fine print in your insurance policy. Most people do not realize they bought a policy that allows the insurance company to put inferior parts on your vehicle.
Most insurance companies will repair your vehicle with aftermarket (imitation parts) or junk yard parts. A good repair shop will know how to get around this for you.
Do not be afraid to stop in and check the progress of your auto body repair unannounced. A good business will be proud to show off the repair and explain the craftsmanship to you.
Understand Diminished Value
Diminished value is what your vehicle is worth after an accident. A good repair shop knows what this means. If a repair can be detected, then obviously your vehicle will suffer in value. An average person only sees things like the paint and body gaps but a professional can look past that and see the quality of the repair.
Be sure to address diminished value with the collision repair business you select. You must have your vehicle repaired to standard, and you need to be comfortable knowing the shop you choose will deliver the best quality service.
If your car has been repaired and something isn’t right, consider finding a collision repair center, like Alan’s Collision, that will conduct a post-inspection of the repairs.
Alan’s Collision Center general manager can look inside the vehicle for a visual inspection and check quality for you. If something is seen that looks suspicious and incomplete, then Alan’s Collision will work with you on how to manage the next steps.