Dealing with your car after an accident is very unpleasant. Apart from all the paperwork, there is also the issue of getting your car fixed. That involves a lot of careful observations and proper decision-making. If you do not know how this works, here is what you should do with your car after it is involved in an accident.
Assessing the Damage
Evaluating the overall situation of your car is the first course of action. By inspecting the vehicle from front to back, you need to understand the scale of the damage. That will help you decide the next steps you need to take to deal with the car’s damage.
Start by identifying the point of impact. It is the place where the car was hit or most involved in the accident. Afterward, run a front-to-back inspection of the whole vehicle.
Check the headlights and see if they are broken. Next, look for dents on the front bumper and grill. After that, check the windshield for cracks.
Now move to the sides. Observe the doors as well as the windows. You can spot problems with the side-view mirrors easily if they have been involved in the accident. Be extra careful while looking for dents, paint chips, and scratches on the sides. They might not be visible that easily. Hence, you should run your hand across the sides to see if you can feel any small scratch or dent.
Check the back of the car in the same way you checked the front. Once you are done assessing the damage, it is time to move on to the next phase.
Checking the Technical Aspects
The car’s body is not the only thing that can be damaged in an accident. There could be issues with its technicalities as well. Hence, you need to evaluate that as well.
Start by seeing if your car will turn on or not. You can assume something is wrong with the engine or battery if it does not turn on. Unpleasant noises coming from the engine of the car are also signs that something is wrong with the mechanics.
Then, check the electricals. See if you can operate the wipers, lights, and other electronics inside the car. You should also see how the car feels when you drive it (if it is possible to drive, that is).
Checking Your Insurance
By now, you should have a good understanding of the full scale of the damage. Everything that has been broken or does not seem to work should be accounted for. After that, cross-check your damage report with your car’s insurance papers. See what type of damages the insurance covers and which ones you need to deal with on your own. Then, you can go ahead and decide how you want to deal with all the damages.
You should also talk to your insurance provider about your coverage once you get the repairs done. If you live in the UK, your insurance provider may ask you to get a new vehicle MOT. They may provide only basic coverage until your car passes the new MOT. Discuss these aspects with your insurance provider right in the beginning, so you can decide accordingly.
Dealing with the Damage
Divide the damages into two parts – urgent, and not so urgent.
The damages labeled urgent require your immediate attention. That can include damaged engines, broken lights or windows, major electrical problems, and so on. You should get them fixed immediately because otherwise, you cannot get the car back on the road. And even if you did, you will probably be penalized for driving without fixing those issues.
Then come the ones that are not so urgent. That mostly includes dents, paint chips, and small cracks on the windows. You can attend to them later on if you want.
Different parts of the car need to be dealt with differently when it comes to damage repair. Some of the parts can be repaired, while others need to be replaced. The costs will vary accordingly.
Analyzing the Car’s Performance
Once the car has been fixed, you need to evaluate its performance. Otherwise, you cannot understand whether all the problems have been solved or not.
As usual, start by observing the car’s body first. Then, move over to its electricals. Finally, drive the car and see if it feels alright. Go through the list you had made to take note of the car’s damages. Use that list as a reference to evaluate your car’s performance if necessary.
Once all the checks are completed, and you are comfortable driving the car, you can rest assured that the damages have been dealt with properly.