The claims process can be somewhat complicated after a car accident, you’ll need to know:
- what paperwork to file;
- who will perform your car appraisal; and
- how to go about getting the compensation to get your repair work done.
Understanding the general process will help you know what to expect, what your rights are, and what your next steps should be.
Steps for Vehicle Repair after an Auto Collision
In order to get your car repaired and back on the road as quickly as possible, you’ll need to:
- #1: Get an appraisal – Speak with your insurance company to find out if they will be sending an adjuster to give you an estimate. Even if they are, you might want to take your car to another mechanic to see if the estimates are in alignment.
- #2: File your claim – File any necessary paperwork with your insurance company to get the claim in motion. They should offer you a settlement based on the estimates. If fault was an issue with the accident, or the damages were severe, get an attorney’s help before filing the claim or agreeing to any settlements.
- # 3: Take your car to the shop – You can ask your adjuster if your insurance company has a preferred local auto body shop. You can adhere to their suggestions if you wish, but you retain the right to go to your own licensed mechanic, as well.
- #4: Contact your insurance company if additional damage is found – If the mechanic informs you of additional damages that he or she noticed while repairing your car, inform you insurance company immediately.
Battles Over Estimates
Auto collision repair estimates can vary widely and are often disputable. If you and your adjuster cannot agree on an estimate, you can inquire about their conflict resolution process.
In some circumstances, your adjuster may phone the mechanic to determine where the discrepancies lie. In other situations, the estimates are averaged to arrive at a median figure.
And in some unfortunate situations, what it really boils down to is that the insurance company is simply trying to lowball the car accident victim and try to skate around having to pay the full settlement.
Note that when you get your car repaired, it should wind up in the same condition as it was prior to the accident. If you are having problems obtaining your settlement check for repairs, run your case by a local attorney for help.
Important Things to Know about Car Accident Settlements
If you have a deductible on your policy, you’ll be responsible to pay for the auto repairs up to that amount.
If the other driver was at fault, you should not be responsible to foot the bill for the repairs. The other driver (or his or her insurance company) should be accountable for the damages.
Also, if you sustained injuries in the accident, you’ll likely be entitled to additional compensation for medical bills and treatments.
Consult Attorney D.J. Banovitz in Denver
If you need help with any stage of the claims process, or if you are having difficulties getting the compensation you deserve, call attorney D.J. Banovitz in Denver. Contact us today at 303-300-5060 to schedule a free consultation.