There is never a good time to have a traffic accident. But it happens all too often, leaving vehicle owners with questions about the auto collision repair process. If you or someone you love has just been involved in a traffic accident that has damaged your car, the following information can help you successfully navigate the auto collision repair process.
Understanding the extent of the damage
One of the first things vehicle owners will need to understand after being involved in a crash is whether or not their car will be considered repairable. Cars that cannot be repaired for an amount equal to or less than their actual value are typically considered to be total losses. When a car is considered to be a total loss, vehicle owners are given a settlement in the amount of the car's value at the time of the accident in lieu of repairs and the insurance company then assumes ownership.
Understanding the damage evaluation process
Vehicles that are classified as having repairable damage are evaluated by an insurance adjuster and bids can also be obtained from auto collision repair services to help establish the scope of damage and the amount the insurance company is willing to pay for repairs. Although some insurance companies routinely use specific auto collision repair centers, vehicle owners have the option to consider other collision repair services and choose the one they feel most comfortable with.
Understanding the repair process
Once your car arrives at your preferred auto collision center and the scope of work is agreed upon, the damaged components will be removed from the car. While straightening techniques and fillers may still be used in some cases, most modern body shops utilize paintless dent repair techniques on areas with minor dents and replacement parts to address more heavily damaged areas.
In some instances, collision repair centers may use pre-painted body replacement parts that are guaranteed to match the original paint on the vehicle. Auto collision centers may also discuss the use of aftermarket and salvage parts if the vehicle's age or other issues make it difficult to locate new replacement parts that are manufactured or approved by the original vehicle maker.
Vehicle owners should also understand that their crash-damaged vehicle may also require extensive mechanical repairs, as part of the collision repair process, before the vehicle can be returned to service. To learn more about the repair process, drivers should contact an auto body collision repair service in their area.