Whether you’re dealing with damage to your vehicle by yourself or need to file an insurance claim, you need to stick to a strict deadline. Whatever you do, make sure to bring the vehicle into a repair shop for an inspection. You never want to drive a damaged car down the road. After that, you should work to get your vehicle repaired in a timely manner. Let’s look at a few things you should know about fixing your vehicle after an accident.
The Deadline To Fix a Damaged Car
This answer will depend on your insurance company. Companies will have guidelines regarding reporting and using the policy coverage after an accident. In most cases, you must contact your insurance company immediately after an accident. The sooner you start the process, the better the results. With that, your vehicle will be repaired and back on the road. Plus, you can also remember all those details of the crash. Once the insurance company has been contacted, a claims adjuster will walk you through the rest of the process, including explaining any deadlines for using your insurance coverage.
What To Do With the Insurance Money?
If you have minor damage, you might be tempted to forgo those repairs and use the insurance money for other things. Whether you own the vehicle or not, you might be able to keep the money legally. For anyone making payments on the car, the lender is technically the owner of the vehicle. Those companies have a vested interest in retaining the vehicle’s value. In most cases, you must have it repaired after an accident. However, if you outright own your vehicle, then you are free to use the insurance money for other purposes. Most people will want to repair their vehicle and take the insurance money to get it fixed.
Can I Drive My Car After an Accident?
If your car is still operational after an accident, you may want to continue to drive it. While minor dents and dings will not affect the safety features, you must bring the car to a reputable shop. Some types of damage will affect the safety components, making driving your vehicle illegal. These types of damages include:
- Hoods, trunks, and doors that do not latch
- Cracks in windshields that impair or obstruct your vision
- Missing bumpers
- Sharp or jagged edges on the frame
- Damage that threatens the integrity of the gas tank, engine, or structure
Timeline To Repair a Vehicle
Many factors will determine the timeline to fix a car. The location of the damage, the severity of the impact, and the vehicle’s make and model play a part in this timeline. Sometimes, a broken windshield can be replaced in a day, while extensive frame damage could take weeks to months to repair. Plus, if the parts are not easily accessible, it can take longer for the shop to fix your vehicle. When you work with a reputable repair shop, they will take the time to give you an accurate estimate. With that, you can have a general guideline for the repairs. Remember that there is always the chance for a complication that can add to the project’s timeline.
Should I DIY Those Repairs?
After watching a few videos, you might think you are ready to tackle those simple car repairs. However, resist the urge to save a few dollars and take the vehicle to a reliable, trained auto body shop. These technicians use specialized equipment and understand the latest manufacturer-recommended standards to repair your car.
The technicians understand how to fix most types of damage. It is not uncommon for the shop to find additional damage after inspecting the car. When you leave your vehicle at the shop, you can have confidence that they will complete the proper repairs without any problems.
The Timeline for Work
Remember that different insurance companies will have their own requirements and policies regarding the timeline to fix your vehicle. You should never wait to repair the car. Damaged cars are just unsafe on the road. If you happen to be involved in another accident, you could compromise those safety components. In some situations, waiting can cause additional damage to your vehicle and cost you more money in repairs.
After an accident, always report it to the insurance company and file a claim. Once a claims adjuster has been assigned to your case, you can determine the exact deadline to get your car fixed. Ultimately, you just want to get your vehicle back to its pre-accident condition.
Contact a Professional Auto Body Shop
After an accident, you want to choose the right body shop to repair your vehicle. Elmer’s Auto Body is one of the most trusted shops in South Jersey. Our team of certified technicians will inspect your vehicle and provide you with a detailed estimate. Along with that, we have a working relationship with the top insurance companies in the state. We will help you through the entire claims process. Our team wants to get your vehicle back on the road as conveniently and quickly as possible.
It is a frustrating process after an accident, but you don’t want to delay. With those pressing questions, you can turn to us. Trust our experienced team at Elmer’s Auto Body. We will work to restore your vehicle back to its pre-accident condition. Your satisfaction is our top priority. Schedule an appointment by calling us at (856) 218-0202.