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Know Your Rights

How Do I Choose A Collision Repair Facility?
As the owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident or submitting an insurance claim, you have the right to choose the shop where you wish to have your vehicle repaired. No law requires you to get more than one estimate, nor are you obligated to have your vehicle repaired at the “cheapest” shop or one “preferred” by the insurance company. You should select a repair facility based on their skill, service, knowledge, reputation and guarantee of their workmanship.

Remember, the body shop is fixing YOUR vehicle for YOU. If you’re making an insurance claim, the insurer pays the bill, but most states prohibit the insurer from requiring you to use a particular shop — that means, ultimately, no matter what you hear, THE BODY SHOP IS YOUR CHOICE.

What Is A DRP Body Shop?
Direct Repair Program (DRP) is another name for an insurance company’s listing of shops, such as: State Farm’s “Service First”, Allstate’s “PRO”, Progressive’s “Total Pro or Concierge”, etc. DRP repair facilities have been solicited by the insurance company which sends customers their way in exchange for discounted repairs, such as lower labor rates or parts discounts. The consumer is not required or obligated to use a DRP repair facility.

Automotive Specialties made a decision many years ago to decline any DRP contracts which allows us to work WITH all insurance companies but work FOR our customer.

Must I Notify My Insurance Company Before Repairs?
Yes, insurance policies require that you notify the company and tell them where the damaged vehicle may be inspected. The insurance company may wish to send an adjustor of their choice to inspect the vehicle or review the shop’s estimate prior to repair.

Who Pays The Repair Bill?
You must arrange for payment. Your insurance policy states the insurance company will pay for repairs less any deductibles or depreciation.

What If Repair Costs Exceed The Original Estimate?
Often times in the collision repair process additional damages are found resulting in more labor and parts needed to restore the vehicle to pre-accident condition. Parts sometimes come in at higher prices than quoted. These additional charges are called a supplement and will be covered by the insurance company with supporting paperwork from the repair facility.

If There Is A Problem With The Repair Job, Who Should You Contact?
First, contact the manager of the repair shop. If your problem is not resolved, contact your insurance company claims manager.


Knowing Your Rights if You’re Injured in an Accident

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Being in a car accident is scary, even if it’s just a minor one. Knowing what to do and how to handle being in an accident is stressful and confusing, so knowing your rights and how to proceed after you’ve been in one is very important. Here’s what to do if you’ve been injured in a car accident. 

Seek Medical Attention

Before anything else, seek medical attention and make sure you and all of your passengers are okay. Get thoroughly checked by medical professionals, because even the smallest injury can turn into a bigger one down the road. Some accident injuries, especially around the head and neck, may take a few days to show themselves, so make sure you know the extent of your injuries.

Document Everything

Whether you want to take pictures, video while you talk through what happened, or write everything down, it’s important to document every detail of the accident. Photos and videos can go along way when it comes to winning your case, so it’s important to document everything. Having someone else help you with this can also help you keep details straight so you don’t get anything confused. 

Speak with an Auto Accident Attorney

Speaking with an attorney that specializes in auto accidents can help you understand the process better and what parts of your case really matter. If you’re injured in an accident, you can pursue charges on your own, however, an auto accident attorney can help you maximize the settlement and recoup your losses. Most attorneys will help you on contingency, which means you don’t have to pay anything up front, and all of their fees will come out of your settlement. 

Don’t Accept a Settlement Immediately

After an accident, some insurance companies will try to call you and offer you a settlement even before the extent of the damage is known. Even accepting an apology can hurt your case, so if you get a call like this, decline to speak with anyone. 

If you’ve been in an accident and don’t know where to turn when it comes to repairing your vehicle, Automotive Specialties can help. Our full range of services and trained employees will help you get back out on the road in no time. Give us a call today at (630) 553-0397, or visit our website to learn more about how we can help you.