Following an accident, one of the most pressing questions one may have is, “How do I go about getting my car repaired?” If you aren’t well-informed on your rights, you run the risk of not having your car repaired or having to shell out dollars for some repair costs unnecessarily. Here’s how to go about getting your car repaired when an accident happens.

Filing an accident claim

The first thing you should do is file an accident claim. You file an insurance claim with the responsible party, so if you are responsible for the accident, you would file with your insurer. If the other person is responsible, you would file a claim with their insurance company. From there, an appointment will be scheduled to review the damage to vehicle. If the car can be driven, you may be required to take the vehicle to a specific location. If the car is not in drivable condition, the adjuster may come to a specific location to review the extent of the damage. Some companies send the adjuster directly to your home or workplace to cause minimal inconvenience to your daily routine.

Choice of repair facility

You have access to repair options as an accident victim. You can choose between direct-repair facilities or work with your preferred auto body shop. The direct-repair network of facilities consists of shops that have been vetted by the insurer to complete repairs within a certain threshold amount. These facilities are required to have trained repair technicians. If you choose your own shop, be sure to research the facility and perform the necessary due diligence to ensure that your technicians are qualified to repair your vehicle. You can always seek referrals among family members and friends. You may benefit from looking for specific repair shops that specialize in your brand because technicians have often completed the requisite training needed to complete the repairs correctly in accordance with manufacturer standards. You should always look for ASE certified facilities. Technicians at these facilities have completed at least two years of on the job training and one additional year of on the job training or have completed an automotive repair certification at a two-year institution.

Parts and repairs

You have access to aftermarket and OEM parts when getting your car repaired. If your vehicle is used, they are more likely to complete the repairs with used parts. The law requires that your vehicle is returned to you in the same condition it was prior to the accident. Your policy often dictates what types of parts need to be used to complete your repairs. If the policy states that “Like Kind and Quality” parts be used, then economy parts can be used. Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts requires that only original parts can be used to fix the car. Aftermarket parts are made from lower grade materials that could potentially fail in an accident. You should always opt for OEM parts when planning car repairs.

What if I don’t agree with the claims payout?

If you are for any reason dissatisfied with the claim, then you can file suit. This means you need to contact a reputable, experienced accident attorney. You will have to file a dispute with insurance company if the payout desired differs substantially from what you’ve received. An accident attorney will protect your interests.

The steps you take following an accident will determine the outcome of your claim. Filing the claim immediately following the accident increases chances of your claim being paid out. Once authorized to complete the repairs, carefully research the facilities and find a certified facility you trust to complete the repairs. If you are not pleased with the payout, you can contact an accident attorney.