How to Respond in a Tough Situation
Being in a car accident is the last thing anyone wants - but when it does happen, there are ways of making sure that the legal and insurance issues are handled with as little stress as possible.
- First of all - stay calm.
- If someone is injured, be sure to call for medical help.
- Make sure you call the police.
- Don't publicly make any statements where you either accuse the other person of causing the accident or take all the blame yourself. It could open you up to legal problems.
- Whatever you do, don't leave the scene until you've had a chance to talk with the officer and you've gotten their name. It's important to make sure that your side of the story goes on the record. Afterward, it's a good idea to get a copy of the police report.
- Make sure you have a pre-printed copy of your insurance information in the glove compartment, along with a camera you can use to provide pictures for the insurance company. A disposable camera with a flash for nighttime or interior shooting is usually best for this.
- In dealing with the other driver, make sure you get their name, address, driver's license number and insurance information - and that they get the same information from you.
- Also, make sure to get information from any witnesses as well.
- Make sure you get pictures of any physical evidence of what could have caused the accident.
- Write down pertinent details such as where the accident took place, what the weather was like, etc.
- Once the information's exchanged, report the accident to the insurance company immediately, even if it's not your fault.
- Make sure you understand how you're covered, and don't be afraid to ask the insurance company to explain the conditions of your coverage and payments.
- Don't be afraid to seek legal advice - and don't sign anything if you don't understand it.
- When you're using a body shop to get repairs to your vehicle, be aware that the insurance company can recommend a shop, but you are under no legal obligation to use its services. You have the legal right to choose the shop to do your repairs.
- Also be aware that insurance companies sometimes try to
dictate what type of parts are used in a vehicle's repair. They might
insist that a shop not use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, as
they are more expensive.
You have a right to know what kind of parts are being used on your vehicle, and to know if your insurance policy dictates what kind of parts can be used in your car. If your policy lets you choose, you have the right to decide for yourself.
- An insurance company also has the right to inspect your vehicle, but it is not required to do so. In addition, they cannot require you to visit one of their own claim centers.
- And finally: Make sure you learn from this accident, but also let yourself move on from what happened. Everyone has an accident once in a while - it's just something that happens.
Remember - Drive Safely!
Want more information on your rights? To make an appointment, call us at 770-696-1486 or make an appointment online!
what our customers say
I used to live in this area and when I returned to buy a car I was happy to see this shop was still around. They did a pre-sale inspection for me, and were able to work me into their busy day. The cost was $139, and would include up to 3 cars to be inspected. To compare, the Toyota dealer was $160 per car and it's only a visual inspection. This was a great relief to know I could look at multiple cars without paying for each one. They did a thorough inspection and talked me through the whole thing. I was super impressed with their knowledge and dedication to doing a good job. I would trust them with other needs for my vehicle.
Do you remember when mechanics were the good guys? Truly loyal to their craft of automotive wizardry? When was the last time a "service writer" smiled (without deviously licking their chops), and made sustained eye contact with you when entering the facility? In movies they are helpful, honest, and dependable. Although in real life most interactions with the auto repair industry leave one with a sense of wonder, doubt, and the ever present, possible easy deception.... Have you ever encountered a mechanic or shop that told you what you need to do, what you should do and what you should save for? I know it's an easy concept, just think about it for a second..... Automotive enthusiasts aka repair technicians/mechanics know that your vehicle is an investment, not just a transportation device. In transportation safety is always paramount, so why not trust in people who see every vehicle as an extension of the customer (it is your baby after all) and treat it more like a doctor would a patient? With doctors, you make an appointment you walk in, they ask questions, and charge you $150 dollars. Then send you off to the next place for some testing, but you trust them because they have a large building, spotless uniforms and clean floors (dealerships). Why not take your baby/ investment to an automotive Dr. and shamen, who has the equivalent education of an 3 automotive PHD's (owner/ lead tech has ~40 years of successful businesses)! Long story short... I, myself am a mechanic and frequently take my children/ cars to his shop for all repairs. There is no greater remark possible in the auto repair industry than a referral!!! I guess this is mine. Thanks Grey! And remember, diagnostic fees are expected in all industries! You are paying for Dr's visit after all!