What To Do After a Car Accident - Questions to Ask Your Insurance

Do I Have to Use the Insurance Recommended Repair Shop?

No, you don’t. You can use any body shop you want. Insurance companies will likely refer you toward one of their “Preferred” repair shops. These local body shops often have agreements directly with the insurance companies.These preferred body shops are often very good, but it’s always a good idea to research shops before selecting. Use our Body Shops Near You page to search for local body shops. Get reviews and, if possible, look for a body shop that specializes in your vehicle. If you drive a Honda, Toyota or Mercedes-Benz, look for a Honda, Toyota or Mercedes-Benz body shop. If you don’t have collision or own your car and plan to ask your insurance company for a check, DamagedCars.com will buy your wrecked car, no repair needed.

Get an Instant Online Offer for Your Car!

Enter your zip code below to get your FREE estimate and see how much your car is worth. Get paid the real cash value of your car in 24-48 hours!

Will My Car Be Repaired Using OEM or Aftermarket Parts?

This is something that’s written into your car insurance policy back when you bought it. OEM, or Original Equipment Manufacturer, parts are identical to parts that were originally fitted to your car. Aftermarket parts are a direct-fit replacement, but they’re made by a different company than the originals.

Did you know?

We buy wrecked cars, damaged cars, or even junk cars near you. We'll give you an offer for your car as-is, in 90 seconds or less!

If you want to sell your car quick and easy, you can sell it to us online fast! We’ll buy your car in any condition, even if it has body damage or has major mechanical issues!

How Long Until I Get the Check for My Repair?

The severity of the accident, whether or not there were any injuries and the number of cars involved all have an impact on how long it will take for you to get your check. Be sure you discuss this with your insurance adjuster to better plan the repair or selling of your wrecked car.

Who Is the Check Made Out to?

If you own your vehicle outright, the check for repairing your car may be made out to you, in which case selling your car to DamagedCars.com may be an alternative to repair. However, the insurance company may also require the name of a body shop to be added to encourage repair. If your car is a lease or financed, the check may also include the lien holder or leasing company. Knowing this in advance can help to smooth out the payment and repair process. If you don’t have collision coverage, you may not be getting a check. If that is the case, you can sell your car to a damaged car buyer like DamagedCars.com.

What If I Can’t Afford My Deductible?

Back when you bought your car insurance policy, you selected the amount of your deductible. At that time, you may have been balancing the desire for the lower monthly payment that comes with a higher deductible versus having to pay less out of pocket should an accident happen.

Now you’ve had an accident and realize you can’t afford your deductible. Some insurance companies will work with your repair facility to get a repair estimate. Then they’ll send a check. This check may be valid for an extended period, allowing you time to pay the deductible. Bear in mind that the longer the vehicle awaits repair, other problems may develop like storage fees.

How Do You Determine If My Car Is Totaled?

If the cost of repairing your car is near or greater than the value of your car, odds are it’ll be declared a total loss. If the repairs to your car are higher than a set percent, it’s totaled. Each state has a mandated point at which a car must be totaled. However, if the state requires a car be totaled at 75% damage, that doesn’t mean the car can’t be totaled at 65%.

A damaged vehicle that has been repaired can be worth as little as a third of what it was. So, if your damage is close to your state’s threshold, you can push for a total as there may be additional hidden damage not found during the repair estimate. If your car is totaled, a claims adjuster will use current market pricing to determine your car’s value.

How Is the Insurance Company Valuing My Car?

Just like in real estate, the value of your car is dependent on the value of similar, comparable cars in the market. Generally, an insurance adjuster will look at the value of your car before the accident, taking into account mileage and general condition. But, don’t expect that $2,000 aftermarket sound system have a big impact.

Don’t be Afraid to Question the Settlement.

In many instances there may be some flexibility in the insurance company’s settlement offer. If it seems like they may have missed something or you are finding higher values for similar vehicles in your area, ask your adjuster about it. Odds are they won’t be able to increase it by thousands, but a couple hundred may be possible if you have legitimate documentation or concerns.

Car Crash

Submit your Car Accident Report to the DMV

While you settle everything with your insurance, remember that you need to submit your car accident report your local DMV. In some states, like Oregon, they must be submitted within 72 hours of an accident if they involve serious injury or substantial damage.

Obtaining your Traffic Accident Report

To get a copy of your traffic accident report, you must contact the law enforcement agency that delegated the car accident. You can usually call the municipal police department, or Sheriff's Department if outside a town or city. The car accident report may also be useful for your car accident attorney if you have one.

 Finally, Can You Sell Your Car After an Accident?

Absolutely. DamagedCars.com is a junk car buying specialist. We buy damaged cars, scrap cars, totaled cars, and cars in pretty much any condition. Get an instant offer for your damaged car, and you might get more than you'd think.

About Author
Automotive Expert

Need answers? Get FREE advice from our client care experts NOW!

Need answers?

Frequently Asked Questions

For what it’s worth...

DamagedCars is the premier marketplace for less-than-perfect cars!

Find Out The True Value Of Your Car For what it’s worth...