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What to Ask Your Mechanic After a Car Accident

Nearly everyone experiences a car accident at some point in their life. The primary concern is to make sure everyone involved is out of harm’s way, or at least being treated for injuries.

After caring for each passengers’ personal injuries, you then have to take a look at the vehicles involved. It doesn’t matter if you drive an old jalopy that only serves the purpose of transportation or if you have a newer model car with a bigger price tag. Knowing that your vehicle is damaged is upsetting enough. After the dust has settled on the accident itself, dealing with insurance companies and auto mechanics until the car is drivable again is essential in getting your car insurance claim started.

What Should the Mechanic Be Looking For?

Any qualified mechanic can do an external assessment to evaluate the visual damage of broken windows, dented body panels or bent structural framing. There can also be hidden damage, below the surface of your car’s cosmetic aspects. The stress of the impact and the design of the car’s structure divert part of the force and energy throughout the frame rather than into the driver and passengers. That can leave weakened structure and micro fractures that will not provide the protection you expect with further use of the vehicle.

What Do You, As a Driver, Need to Know About Vehicle Damage?

What you should know about vehicle damage is a difficult question to answer. Unless you’re a mechanic yourself you simply have to trust the advice of experts and often the experts are not working for you and don’t have your best interest in mind. You may receive conflicting reports from an insurance appraiser and mechanic about the nature and expense of repairs. With luck you’ll have a local mechanic you know and trust, but the insurance company is going to want you to use the mechanic they choose. You may have to present a bit of an argument several times in order to convince the insurance company to allow the use of the mechanic you’re comfortable with.

How Does It Affect Your Insurance Claim?

Although insurance companies tend to have a reputation for shady business practices, in the modern age most are relatively reliable for trying to present good customer service and fill their contractual obligation toward your repair bills. To some extent it depends on the specific company with which you have to work, in other cases it may be a difficult employee working as the company’s agent. If everything goes smoothly you may be able to handle the claim yourself. However, if you feel you aren’t receiving the service you deserve, it may be time to consider hiring representation that can more effectively argue your point. Nobody wants to raise the situation to the level of court, but that threat from an attorney can often strengthen your argument and convince the insurance to provide the outcome you feel you deserve.

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