WHEN ACCIDENTS HAPPEN
WHEN ACCIDENTS HAPPEN
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.
Abel Almodovar, 07/26/2021
I had an appointment at another shop that was a installer for tires that I had purchased at Tire Rack (Pep Boys Palatine). When I got there at my scheduled appointment time they told me it would be at least a two hour wait before they got to my car. I asked what was the purpose of making an appointment then? I then asked how much additional fees would be for installing my tires as their fee was advertised as $78. I realized that my car had tire pressure sensors and it was a good idea to replace them while the tires were off the rims. I had priced what Tire pressure sensors for my car would cost before I got to their shop. The price varied from different sources but the range was from $30 to $80 each. I figured on the high end as I was a new customer to them. So in my mind $80 X 4 = $320 + $78 install = $398 + tax $40 Total around $438. They said $548!!! I said what is the extra $110 for. Pep Boys says to program the sensors. At this point I was furious, so I said forget it I'll take my tires somewhere else. I went down the street to Action Auto where the owner Ira, listened to my story and took my car in without an appointment. They then removed my tires and tire pressure sensors and mounted my new tires with new tire pressure sensors, balanced the tires and reprogrammed the tire sensors to be compatible with my cars system. They even checked and doubled checked that all four tire sensors were showing the correct tire pressures. The cost for all these services with tax out the door $318. $318 vs. Pep Boys $548 not to mention them telling me I would have to wait at least two hours before they could get to my scheduled appointment, I guess I made the right decision plus I saved $230! Thanks Ira, Jose and Mike!!!!!!!
Fast, quality service on my truck. Very welcoming, very clean shop. They asked questions, and suggested things to watch, and helpful on items coming up. Out in 20 minutes as promised!
D Lane, 02/03/2016