How To Get Through The Stress Of An Auto Collision

There are many physical complications that can come from an auto collision, but the stress and emotional trauma can be even more detrimental. Following an accident (you could be the driver, a passenger, or even a bystander who witnessed an accident) you may have signs of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and even nightmares regarding what you’ve experienced. You should always seek professional help if these issues interfere with your life, or get too intense. Turning to a mental health professional can also help reduce even mild stress and anxiety associated with an auto collision, as well as support from friends and family, and practicing good driving behaviors (such as wearing a seatbelt, minimizing distractions, and driving defensively).

There are a few other important steps that may not be as common sense but will help to ease your worries and reduce your stress after an auto collision. Let’s review.

Think About Your Needs

Traumatic events take some time to work through. Therefore, first and foremost, you should always take care of your basic needs. Make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep, and staying social. Depending on the severity of your accident, you may need to contact professional help. There is no shame in this. If need help finding aid, you can always check out the resources from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) or the National Center for PTSD.

Contact a Lawyer

First, you should contact a lawyer to find out what your legal rights are, and what your options may be going forward. You should also make sure to let your insurance company know the situation, as they may ease your worries and be able to tell you exactly what your financial options may be, if any. Besides these things, staying positive and trying to live life normally after a traumatic auto collision is important to your mental well-being, and having definitive answers about your legal and financial issues will be very important in bringing you closure with your recent event.

Get Your Car Repaired ASAP

Regardless of your legal or financial burdens, your car will probably have to be repaired. Even if there’s no evident damage, there may be issues that are unseen that a professional should evaluate, which will also help your insurance cover you and may bring closure to a large part of your ordeal. At the scene of the accident, you should always be sure to take plenty of photos of the vehicles, as this may help when getting an estimate from auto body shops in South Jersey. Your insurance company will probably have suggestions for an auto body shop for repairs, but you don’t have to use the shop they suggest!

You should always choose the right repair shop for you, which may be your regular shop where you know and trust the employees/owner or a shop that specifically deals with auto collision repair. You should bring your vehicle to the best body shop in NJ, so peace of mind will help you get closure from your experience. You should always be sure to have a certified technician look for hidden damage to your vehicle, and get an estimate for the cost of the repairs (which may help you shop around, your insurance company will also provide you with an estimate that you can compare and contrast).

Ask Plenty of Questions

For the sake of peace of mind, you should be sure to ask how long the repair will take, what type of parts you should purchase (OEM, aftermarket, recycled, etc.), and if the repair shop will provide any kind of warranty on their work. Once you’ve chosen the auto body shop you must see if your insurance company will cover the cost of repairs, and then you can finally have your car fixed (and finally get rid of any physical reminders of your accident lingering in your vehicle).

Head to Your Nearest Collision Repair Center

An auto accident can be extremely stress-inducing and traumatic, and having help will ease the process greatly. In addition to all the help listed above, having your car fixed as professionally and carefully as possible should be one of your least worries. That’s why you should consider Elmer’s Auto Body, the best body shop in NJ to perform your post-auto collision maintenance and give you the peace of mind of knowing that your vehicle will be back in perfect working order. You can schedule a free consultation or book an appointment online, or visit our Medford, Mt Ephraim, or Sewell locations anywhere from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.

4 Things to Know About Auto Body Repair for Electric Vehicles

4 Things to Know About Auto Body Repair for Electric Vehicles

Drivers choose electric vehicles for a variety of reasons. They may want to reduce fuel costs or combat climate change. However, owning an electric car also requires a different approach to bodywork than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. Handling a repair is a challenging task for these vehicle owners. Whether you’re a current electric car owner or considering purchasing one, here are four things to know about auto body repair for electric vehicles.

What You Should Know About Electric Vehicle Body Repairs

When you own these vehicles, you should understand that they are not like their gas-powered counterparts. For example, you may need some work completed after an accident to get it back on the road. Taking it to the nearest body shop is not always an option. Consider these points when your vehicle needs to be repaired.

#1 – They Still Need Regular Maintenance

While electric cars have fewer moving parts than traditional vehicles, they still require regular maintenance to function correctly. For example, you must regularly rotate the tires to ensure they have even wear. Along with that, the brakes should be checked to make sure they are functioning properly.

With an electric vehicle, the battery also needs to be inspected. If any of the components or housing become damaged, they can turn into safety hazards. Additionally, some parts of the vehicle are prone to fail if you do not keep up with their maintenance. In turn, that can lead to complications when it comes time to repair the car after an accident.

#2 – They Use Unique Parts

Electric cars have different parts and components than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. Instead of an engine, they have a battery that powers an electric motor. Plus, these cars use specialized systems that allow them to recharge their batteries. These electrical systems required trained personnel to complete any repairs on them. Not all shops know how to work on these vehicles. With that in mind, make sure to find trained auto body shops in South Jersey that can handle these repairs.

#3 – They Require Expensive Repairs

If you own an electric car, you already know the vehicle is expensive. However, those costs can extend to bodywork. If the panels are damaged, it is not an easy fix like a conventional car. Many times, it could be costly to repair them. If the accident damages the battery, it may need to be replaced, which could cost thousands of dollars. Unlike gas-powered vehicles, these cars must use parts directly from the manufacturer.

#4 – Repairs Need Specialized Equipment

Some electric vehicle repairs require specialized tools and skilled mechanics to fix a problem. Unfortunately, not all auto body businesses are knowledgeable about repairing these cars. You should bring your electric vehicle to a maintenance facility specializing in this type of work. With that, you can ensure the mechanic has access to the equipment needed to perform the necessary repairs.

Damage to the paint is another problem. If your vehicle needs to be repainted, it might require more time in the shop. With conventional cars, the repairing process is relatively quick. However, that is not the case with electric vehicles. Since these cars have a battery, the mechanics have to be mindful of the temperature during the curing process. Heat could damage the charging or power components when the vehicle becomes too hot.

How to Find the Best Body Shop in NJ for Your Electric Vehicle Repair

Now that you know about the four factors of an electric vehicle auto body repair, here are a few tips to choose the right shop for your car.

  • Check the Manufacturer’s Website

Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for authorized repair shops. Many electric vehicle manufacturers have a network of authorized dealerships and repair shops specializing in electric vehicle auto bodywork.

  • Ask Other Electric Vehicle Owners

If you know other owners of these vehicles, ask where they take their cars for repairs. They can recommend a good repair shop in your area.

  • Search Online

You can also search online for New Jersey repair shops specializing in auto bodywork for electric cars. When it comes time to find a shop, check its reviews and ratings to make sure they have an excellent reputation.

  • Speak With Local Mechanics

While not all mechanics have the specialized training and equipment to work on these vehicles, some will have the necessary expertise to restore the appearance of your electric car.

When you find a potential repair shop, you always want to ask about their certifications and training. The mechanic should be certified and have specialized training to handle any auto bodywork for your car.

By following these tips, you can find a qualified repair shop to fix your electric vehicle after an accident. Keep in mind that not every shop can take care of these repairs for you. Before you drive your car to the local mechanic, make sure they understand how to fix these vehicles properly.

Need an Auto Body Shop Near Me?

At Elmer’s Auto Body, we have the experience you need to safely and effectively repair your electric vehicle. Our shop has been serving the South Jersey community for over 70 years. We make the repair process as fast, easy, and convenient as possible. Along with that, our team focuses on providing exceptional customer service to all vehicle owners. You can schedule a consultation by calling (856) 218-0202.

The Ultimate “What to Do After a Car Accident” Checklist

The Ultimate “What to Do After a Car Accident” Checklist

Car accidents can leave you distraught and wondering how to respond. Especially when the emotions run high, you may forget what actions to take to put yourself in a good position. Along with worrying about the injuries, you need to cover yourself for insurance and potential legal issues. This is why you may want to know a checklist of how to respond after a car accident.

#1: Check for Injuries

After a car accident, you need to check to see that no one suffered injuries. Never panic and drive off right away because it falls into the category of a hit and run, which can land you in serious legal trouble. You need to check to see that everyone in your car was uninjured, and you need to check to see that everyone from the other car was uninjured.

Keep a calm and clear-headed demeanor because you need to think clearly after the accident. Accidents can stress you out, but one of the best things that you can do is to stay calm.

#2: Get the Vehicles Involved out of Traffic

Staying on the road poses a threat to other vehicles that may come upon the accident, so you want to clear the road. Move as far away from traffic as possible, but stay on the scene. Warn oncoming traffic with hazard lights or with road flares.

#3: Call the Police

In cases where a death or injury happened, you need to call the police according to New Jersey law. The other time where you would need to call them is when one of the vehicles suffered damage of over $500. You do this for two reasons: First, you should always seek medical attention after an accident even if you feel fine. Some injuries won’t manifest themselves until a couple of weeks later. Second, the police will file a report that you can use for documentation of your claim.

The officer usually gives their opinion on whether someone violated a traffic law and caused an accident, which is valuable to your case.

Some of the steps after the police arrive include:

  • Answering questions to help the officer file a report
  • Providing driver’s license and insurance information
  • Tell the officer what happened, but keep to the facts
  • Request a copy of the police report for your insurance claim

#4: Exchange Information and Snap Photos

You will want to exchange information with the other driver like the name, address, phone number and insurance information. After you do that, you will want to snap some photos of your own from the accident. While the police officer will take photos, you always take photos of your own as additional evidence.

#5: Get a Medical Examination

After an accident, you should get a medical examination done as soon as possible to document the specifics of your case. In cases where you file an insurance claim, they will want evidence of your injuries and getting one later can hurt your compensation. They may, for example, try to blame your injuries on something else.

#6: Begin the Claims Process

Once you finish with this, you will need to inform your insurance company that you had an accident. This begins the claims process. You can file the claim either with your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. Usually, they will just request basic information and photos from the scene of the accident.

After that, you would take the car to one of the auto body shops in South Jersey. You could Google, “Auto body shop near me,” to look at the ones available. In some cases, an insurance company will recommend that you use one of theirs. You have no legal obligation to use the ones that they recommend. In fact, it’s one of your protections as a consumer to use whatever auto body shop you would like. Many times, insurance companies recommend one because it keeps their own costs low, but it doesn’t go in your best interests.

Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of you. Also, sometimes the other party’s insurance may call you and request a statement. Never give a statement to the other party’s insurance without your lawyer present to ensure that they don’t take something you said out of context. This can hurt your settlement.

Possible Action Required: File a Report with the MVC

Along with the other things, you will need to file a report with the MVC in New Jersey if you had an accident of over $500. You do this if you had damage of over $500, and you didn’t report it to the police. You must send the MVC a letter within 10 days of the accident. The letter must tell about the circumstances of the accident and give as much information as possible. This is a fill-in for if you didn’t call the police to the scene of the accident, but it provides you with official documentation if you need to use it.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the best body shop in NJ, call Elmer’s Auto Body in South Jersey. For over 70 years, we have served the local community with some of the best auto body services, and we’re a family-owned and operated business. We seek to make services easy, convenient and fast. If you were in an accident recently and require auto body repairs, you can speak with us at (856) 218-0202.

The Importance Of Proper Frame Damage Repair For The Safety Of Your Vehicle

The Importance Of Proper Frame Damage Repair For The Safety Of Your Vehicle

In many ways, the frame of your vehicle is the most important part. Engines and transmissions are the most expensive parts to replace, but they are still interchangeable components. A frame, on the other hand, isn’t really an interchangeable component. You can’t simply remove the old one and bolt another one in place. If a damaged frame cannot be repaired, the whole car is a loss. Why? Because it simply isn’t safe to drive a vehicle with a damaged frame.


Knowing When Your Frame Has Been Damaged

The frame of your vehicle is not readily visible, so it isn’t always easy to see when those critical struts have been damaged. However, other cases are much more obvious. For instance, if you have been in a head-on collision and the front of the vehicle is crumpled in, you can bet that the frame has been damaged.

One good idea is to look at the vehicle from all angles and see if it has been “twisted” by the impact. If so, the lines and corners won’t be quite right, and that twisting indicates frame damage. You also might be able to detect frame damage when you drive your vehicle. Telltale signs include:

  • Unusual vibrations coming from the wheel area
  • Odd noises and/or vibrations when turning
  • Lack of stability in general
  • In severe cases, the vehicle may lurch to one side, making it hard to stay in your lane.

In the end, though, you won’t usually know for sure until a qualified professional has assessed the vehicle. If you see any of these signs, it is essential that you get the vehicle to a shop immediately. Yes, it’s inconvenient to be without your car for any length of time, but serious injury and death tend to be a lot more inconvenient.


Why Is It Unsafe To Drive A Vehicle With Frame Damage?

If your frame has only sustained minor damage, you might feel that you can ignore the problem and keep driving. This, however, is a very bad idea that could even result in serious injury or death.

Even if you are a careful and competent driver, an accident can happen at any moment. Even if you do everything right, someone else’s carelessness can still cause a collision. That’s why you always wear your seat belts, that’s why you always keep your airbags in good shape, and that’s why you never drive a car with a damaged frame. That frame is like a cage that gives you some protection against the outside world. Think of it this way: Would a smart knight go into battle with weak armor? No, of course not.

In some cases, frame damage may even cause a collision. As we said in the earlier section, frame damage can make it hard to keep your vehicle on a straight course. Obviously, that can cause you to run right into another vehicle through no fault of your own. So, if you’re thinking of driving a car with such issues, don’t do it.


Can Frame Damage Be Repaired?

In many cases, frame damage can indeed be repaired. However, it depends on the full extent of the damage. You should probably know this right away: If the frame damage is bad enough to be visible after the accident, it probably can’t be repaired. However, there are many instances in which a frame just receives a little warping from the impact. That metal can be straightened, but only to a certain point. If you go too far with that straightening, you will weaken the metal significantly. So, you can bend and beat the metal back into place, but only to a certain extent.

The location of the damage also plays a role in this question. There are some parts of a vehicle’s frame that are less essential than others, and some parts can even be replaced. In the end, it comes down to two questions:


Frame Types Also Make A Difference

There are two basic types of vehicle frames: Unibody and body-on-frame. A unibody frame is incorporated with the outer parts of the car (i.e., the “body”). This allows the components of the frame and body to mutually support one another. Most cars will have this type of frame, so this is probably what you have.

Most trucks and larger vehicles, on the other hand, will have a body-on-frame design (also called a ladder frame). In these vehicles, the frame is a separate piece, shaped roughly like a ladder with wheels, to which the body is bolted. In most cases, bolt-on-frame designs are easier and cheaper to repair because they represent an older and simpler design.


No matter what kind of damage you are dealing with, the help of competent professionals will be needed. Frame repair is not the kind of job that you can do at home in the garage, so it pays to trust those who have earned your trust. If you are now asking yourself: “where can I find a trustworthy auto body shop near me?”, then we have the answer. All you need to do is call us at (856) 218-0202.

Unseen Damage Caused By Rear-End Collisions

Unseen Damage Caused By Rear-End Collisions

Most of us have had the experience of being rear-ended in traffic. Since these are usually just minor bumps, people sometimes tend to dismiss these accidents without reporting them. This is especially true if there is no visible damage to either vehicle. However, a lack of visible damage does not rule out the possibility of hidden damage. Not all problems are easy to see, so never just assume that your car is fine after a collision. Let’s talk about the most common types of hidden damage.

1. Frame Damage

This one is obviously the most dangerous possibility. A car with a bent or broken frame is absolutely unsafe to drive. Not only does it provide much less protection against impact, but it can also throw your entire vehicle out of alignment. If you thought it was bad having a wheel or two out of alignment, imagine what happens when the whole car is warped!

When your vehicle has a damaged frame, it might even start swerving to one side. If this happens at the wrong time, it can throw you right into the other lane and right into the path of another vehicle. The worst part of all? You will have no ability to correct the situation. The only thing you can do is throw the steering wheel hard to the opposite side, which may or may not be effective. Needless to say, it’s better to just get the frame repaired or replace the vehicle.

2. Transmission Damage

Many vehicles have their transmission in the rear, or they have transmission components in the rear. Together with the frame and the engine, your transmission is one of the three most important parts of your vehicle. Your transmission uses a series of gears and chains (similar to bicycle chains) to move your car in and out of the various gears. This requires specific timing and adjustment, and a collision can easily throw that timing out of whack.

Also, if any part of the transmission system is damaged, it will likely leak transmission fluid. Without that, your transmission will not work properly and may even be ruined. When you start working all those chains and cogs with no lubrication, all that metal grinding on metal can be disastrous.

3. Hidden Fender Damage

You surely know that all vehicles have front and rear fenders, but think about this: Are they always visible? The answer is no, many modern vehicles have fenders that are hidden by panels of steel or plastic. This is done mainly for cosmetic reasons, but it does have one negative side effect: It is harder to tell when your bumper has been damaged.

A damaged fender is no joke. When a collision occurs, the front or rear fender is usually the first part to take the impact. There’s a reason why they call these things “bumpers.” So, since these chunks of steel are your first line of defense, you need to make sure that they are strong at all times. For this reason, you should always get your vehicle checked out by a certified auto body shop after a collision.

4. Electrical Problems

A minor rear-end collision can also cause problems with your vehicle’s electrical system. There is a complex network of electronic components in every modern vehicle, consisting of wires, relays, fuses, switches, and various other things. If one of these components should become detached, all sorts of problems can occur. Your electrical system powers door locks, tail lights (and all other lights), turn signals, AC, stereo, etc.

The vehicle’s electricity comes from the battery, which is charged by the alternator, which is run by a belt pulley from the engine. Alternators and batteries are usually located in the front of the vehicle, but some designers have put these components in the rear. You’ve probably known at least one person whose car battery was located in the trunk. Even in a minor collision with no visible damage, those electrical components can easily be damaged or detached.

5. Suspension Problems

When we talk about your car’s suspension system, we are mainly talking about the shocks. These are large spring-loaded rods that allow your vehicle to bounce on its wheels to some extent. This makes for a much smoother ride, and it also maximizes the friction between your tires and the road. By suspending all of the vehicle’s weight over the tires, the suspension system puts all that weight and pressure right where it needs to be. This makes your vehicle less likely to slide or slip when driving on wet/icy roads.

Naturally, a rear collision can easily cause damage to the rear wheels. If the suspension system connected to those wheels is damaged, you may not notice the effects until much later. In particular, you will probably notice that kind of damage when you hit a bump in the road or when you drive on wet/icy roads.


After a collision, you need to take action immediately. You’ll want to exchange information with the other driver and with any witnesses, and you’ll need to call the police and your insurance company. Once all that is done, however, your next job will be finding a good body shop in your area. Only a qualified professional can verify that your vehicle is still safe to drive. So, if you’re at that stage, you might be wondering: “Where can I find the best auto body shop near me?” To answer that question, just give us a call at (856) 218-0202.

Auto Body Repair And Insurance: What You Need To Know

Auto Body Repair And Insurance: What You Need To Know

Everyone who ever had to bring their car to an auto body repair shop understands how fast the costs can quickly spiral out of control. You can expect auto body repair to cost anywhere from $75 to $2,500. Luckily, provided you paid for car insurance, the insurance provider will often cover you. You do need to follow the process.


Take Action from the Start

Truthfully, insurance companies won’t always play fair, and you need to take action to make them play fair. Document everything right from the start. Right after the accident happens, assess the damage and snap photos as evidence. Granted, the police will take photos of their own, but you can never supply too much evidence for your case. The documentation will let you fight if you need to.

If you suffered a bad injury, call the ambulance and the police first. While waiting, exchange contact information with the other driver, but don’t worry if they refuse. You can grab this information from the police report. Let’s say that the other driver says that they don’t have car insurance. Tell the appropriate authorities since this isn’t legal in any of the 50 states.


Don’t Put off Medical Examinations

You must receive a medical examination as soon as possible if you think you suffered even a light injury. Don’t put off even a light one because this documentation will help you with insurance claims. If you wait, the other party’s insurance will claim that your injury came from another cause. That will stop you from receiving the most on your claim.

Minimizing Vehicle Depreciation After An Accident

Get the Repair Estimate

At Elmer’s Auto Body, we encounter situations where a customer will send in photos of the damage, or they might request a consultation over the phone. You may want to take this one step further. We encourage our customers to bring their car into the shop. In doing this, we can give them a more accurate and thorough estimate.

When someone sends us a photo, they might miss a key repair that we need to bill them for. For example, we see a common scenario where technicians might look under the vehicle only to discover extensive damage that you didn’t see. That will tack on extra costs to your repair bill. If you already sent the quote to the insurance company, you would need to adjust it.

When we talk about car repairs and auto body work, remember how insurance will calculate with depreciation in mind. In other words, an older car won’t receive the same payment as a newer one. That’s because your insurance company will assume that some parts of the car suffered wear and tear before the accident.

Important to Note: You don’t ever have to accept the quote from an insurance company blindly. In some cases, you would do well to hire a lawyer and fight it. If you think that an insurance company is trying to pay out the least amount possible, explain why you think the costs will be higher. If you can’t settle it that way, hire a lawyer with documentation to fight the case.


The Next Step: Blueprint of the Vehicle

Next, your insurance company will request blueprinting and teardown of the vehicle. During this process, they will tear down the parts to thoroughly examine them and ensure that you don’t require further repairs. The auto body repair shop will create a blueprint to understand the full picture of the car’s condition.


Repair of the Metal and the Frame

After a car accident, auto body technicians first focus on the frame to repair the car back to its condition from the accident. However, it will never return to its original condition and auto body repairs will lower the value. Once they repair the frame, they will work on the metal of the car. They will replace metal panels where needed and use special equipment to bring the car back to its original condition.


How Does the Payment Work?

Most auto body repair shops understand the process well, and they will work directly with your insurance company to repair the vehicle. In some cases, you may need to pay a deductible, but this depends on the terms and conditions of your policy and how much coverage you bought. Most shops will only accept payment after they complete the work. You also want to understand the warranty policy. Solid warranties will cover the workmanship and the refinishing for as long as you own the car.

You Choose the Auto Body Repair Shop

Don’t let an insurance company tell you that you can’t pick your own auto body repair shop. While they may keep a list of preferred repair shops, you can choose whatever auto body repair shop that you prefer. Don’t let them steer you on this because they most likely just want to keep their own expenses as low as possible without regard for your well-being. Choose a quality auto body repair shop.


Final Thoughts

Google, “Auto body repair shop near me,” to check for businesses that could help you with your auto body work. You could also speak with our experts here at Elmer’s Auto Body. We are a family-owned and operated business that has done business in South Jersey for over 70 years. We seek to make auto body service easy, convenient, and fast. Give us a call now at (856) 218-0202.