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 540-710-5400 or make an appointment online!
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We have established longterm and stable partnerships with various clients thanks to our excellence in solving their automotive needs!
Great customer service! This is what I remembered from previous visits in the past to Affordable Auto Repair. They are friendly and courteous. They take the time to explain everything up front and answer all your questions. Matthew handled everything concerning my service from beginning to end. James also followed up to make sure things were right and was a great listener. Just good people to deal with. Oh what did I have done? Had my 2007 Toyota Highlander inspected there today. Inspections are always a necessary pain and I hate it when it comes around. I was there when they opened at 8am and they took my car in right away. I had a couple of items that needed to be fixed to pass which Chris the inspector explained to me and showed me. Matthew, who checked me in, said if I got these fixed, they would slip me back in to verify the fixes, remove the Rejection and replace it with a new inspection sticker. Done deal! Just as they said! I couldn't have asked for more. Thanks Matthew, James, and Chris!
I was referred to Affordable Automotive by a family friend. My check engine light had been coming on in my Expedition. James promptly set my appointment, kept me informed of what was needed and within 24 hours I had my Expedition back in my possession. I highly recommend them! Very honest, affordable and very quick turn around. I will be a returning customer!