You rely on your vehicle on a daily basis. Whether you’re commuting to work, dropping kids off at school, or bringing home groceries, you need a reliable vehicle to get through your day.
A car accident changes all of that. Suddenly, you can no longer rely on your vehicle and instead must wait for it to be repaired. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of a rental vehicle while your automobile is undergoing repairs, but driving a rental is not the same as sitting comfortably behind the wheel of your own car. The sooner you get your car back after an accident, the quicker your life will return to normal.
Since getting you back in your own car is a priority, you might be wondering how soon after a car accident you should get your vehicle fixed. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Instead, we must take several factors and potential complications into account.
Can I Get My Car Repaired Right Away?
Before you go immediately from the scene of the accident to a repair shop, take a few deep breaths and make sure everything is in order first. Exchange information with the other driver (including insurance details), call 911 if anyone is seriously injured, and seek medical care for yourself.
Before you get your vehicle fixed after a car accident, you should be sure to take detailed pictures of all visible damage, including dented bumpers, crushed doors, broken windshields, and more. This type of documentation can be key when you need evidence to substantiate your personal injury claim. If you repair your vehicle before taking pictures, you’ll potentially miss out on essential compensation for car accident damages.
You will also want to speak with your insurance company before proceeding with any repairs. The insurance adjuster handling your case will advise you on your next steps. Do not give a recorded statement or sign anything at this point in the process. Provide only the basic facts of your accident and avoid making any statements that may make you appear liable.
Where Can I Take My Car for Repairs?
Your insurance company should have a list of preferred providers for where to get your vehicle fixed after a car accident. Choosing a mechanic from the preferred providers’ list is convenient, and you won’t have to worry about negotiating repair prices. The insurance company should cover the cost of repairs with minimal to no hassle.
You are not legally obligated to take your vehicle to someone from the insurance company’s preferred providers’ list. You have the right to choose any auto repair shop of your liking. This is great if you have a trusted mechanic you’ve been going to for years or a friend or loved one recommended someone they know and trust. When choosing your own auto mechanic, you also have the opportunity to negotiate lower prices. Be cautious when negotiating auto repair costs, though—you might secure a lower price, but also end up with inferior repair work or parts.
Upon completion of repairs, have your car reappraised. Even with repairs it might have taken a hit in value after the accident.
How Long Will It Take to Fix My Car?
Pinning down an exact timeframe for car repairs is tricky. Even auto mechanics generally provide customers with a window of time in which they might expect repairs to be completed rather than providing hard and fast dates or times. You might be looking at a few days, a week, or even longer.
There are various factors that may influence how long it takes to repair your car, including:
- The severity of damages
- Any out-of-stock parts
- Shipping delays
- Specialty parts that are hard to find or order
- Unforeseen additional repairs
- Insufficient staffing
If you feel like vehicle repairs are taking too long, do not hesitate to reach out to the shop performing the work to see what is going on. While the situation might be out of your control, delays are sometimes related to missing a confirmation from either you or the insurance company. Speaking with the repair shop is an excellent way to make sure that you have done everything within your power to expedite the process.
If you are unhappy with the service and delays you are currently dealing with, consider moving your vehicle to a different repair shop. Be sure to speak with your insurance company before doing so to see if it will affect any coverage for repairs. The insurer might not cover the cost of towing your vehicle to a new shop if it is not yet roadworthy.
What Can I Do While I Wait for Vehicle Repairs?
Your insurance coverage should clearly state how long it will cover the cost of a rental vehicle. If your vehicle is not repaired by the time rental vehicle coverage runs out, you could be on the hook for the remaining costs. A good attorney can help you make sure these and other costs are fully covered by your personal injury claim.
At Stapp Law, LLC, we know that a car accident can create an enormous financial burden. Our clients often deal with sky-high medical bills, which they are expected to pay despite being out of work because of their injuries. No one should have to shoulder the burden of car accident damages when they were not at fault for the collision.
Whether you are wondering how soon after a car accident you should get your vehicle fixed or the best way to make sure you get the compensation you deserve, Stapp Law, LLC can help. We will guide you through the first steps to take after an accident, the merits of your case, and your legal options for making a personal injury claim. Contact us today to schedule your confidential case evaluation.