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How to Handle Replacing or Repairing Your Car After an Auto Accident

After a car accident, you may be unsure of what steps to take to receive your compensation. At The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, we understand the stress and confusion that often accompany this process. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you get through the challenges of getting your car back on the road after an accident.

Replacing or Repairing Your Car After an Auto Accident

Step 1: Assess the Damage and Safety of Your Vehicle

Immediately following an accident, it is important to assess the extent of the damage to your vehicle. If your car is still drivable, move it to a safe location — this could be the shoulder of the road or a nearby parking lot. However, if the damage is severe or you suspect that driving the vehicle may be unsafe, it is best to leave it where it is and call for a tow truck.

Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Company

As soon as possible after the accident, notify your insurance company about the incident. Most insurance providers have a 24/7 claims hotline that you can call to report the accident and begin the claims process. Be prepared to provide details about the accident, including the date, time, location, and a description of what happened. Your insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your case who will guide you through the next steps.

Step 3: Obtain a Police Report

By calling the police to the scene, you can easily obtain a report after they conclude their accident scene analysis. This report can be valuable when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action. To obtain a copy of the police report, contact the police who responded to the accident. In most cases, you will need to provide the date, location, and parties involved in the accident to request the report.

Step 4: Choose a Repair Shop or Dealership

When it comes to repairing your vehicle, you have the right to choose the repair shop or dealership you prefer. Your insurance company may recommend a specific shop, but you are not obligated to use their suggestion. Research repair shops in your area, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from friends or family to find a reputable and trustworthy facility.

Step 5: Get a Repair Estimate

Once you have chosen a repair shop, schedule an appointment for a damage assessment and repair estimate. The shop will thoroughly inspect your vehicle and provide you with a detailed estimate of the costs associated with repairing the damage. Be sure to ask questions and have the repair shop explain any terms or procedures you do not understand.

Step 6: Determine if Your Vehicle is a Total Loss

In some cases, the cost of repairing your vehicle may exceed its actual cash value (ACV). When this happens, your insurance company may declare your vehicle a “total loss.” If your car is deemed a total loss, your insurance provider will typically offer you a settlement based on your vehicle’s ACV minus any applicable deductibles.

Step 7: Negotiate the Settlement Offer (if Necessary)

If you disagree with your insurance company’s settlement offer for a total loss, you have the right to negotiate. Gather evidence to support your case, including recent sales of similar vehicles in your area, and present this information to your claims adjuster. If you are unable to reach a satisfactory agreement, consider seeking the advice of our experienced auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff.

Step 8: Repair or Replace Your Vehicle

If your vehicle is repairable, authorize the repair shop to begin work once you have agreed to the estimate and your insurance company has approved. If your car is a total loss, use the settlement funds to purchase a replacement vehicle that meets your needs and budget.

Seek the Help of Our Dedicated Attorneys

Dealing with the process of repairing or replacing your vehicle after an auto accident can be challenging, but by following these steps and seeking the guidance of experienced professionals, you can minimize stress and get back on the road more quickly. Remember, if you are ever unsure about your rights or feel that you are not being treated fairly by your insurance company, don’t hesitate to consult with our knowledgeable auto accident attorney.

At The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, our team is dedicated to helping accident victims protect their rights and secure the compensation they deserve. If you have been involved in an auto accident and need legal guidance, contact us today by calling 772-492-8967 to schedule a consultation. We are here to help you every step of the way.

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