After an auto collision, you face a dilemma and question, “Is this serious enough to warrant a call to a repair shop, or can I live with a slightly dented/dinged/scratched vehicle?” This question echoes through your mind as you weigh the cost and inconvenience of putting your vehicle in the shop.
The reality is that an auto collision, even at low speeds or with little impact, can cause extensive seen and unseen damage to your vehicle. Because of this, there are three reasons you need to call a repair shop right away:
Prevent Further Damage
The most important reason to call a repair shop after an auto collision is to prevent further damage. All too often, drivers will put off a seemingly minor repair, only to find that the damage was far worse than expected, or the damage caused other problems for the vehicle. For example, a scratch on the hood of your car may appear to be a cosmetic issue, but if left untreated, it can lead to rust that may necessitate a hood replacement. A ding on the door can cause a failure of the door seal, allowing moisture into the vehicle, leading to mold and mildew. A tiny crack on the corner of your windshield can spread until you have to buy new glass.
Calling a repair shop right after an auto collision helps to keep the damage localized so that a minor accident doesn’t become a major repair. In the long run, this will save you time, money, and a ton of headaches.
While most of the damage in an auto collision is visible to the naked eye, sometimes damage occurs that goes beyond what you can see. In those cases, driving your damaged car creates a public safety risk that puts you in danger of tickets or lawsuits. The fender bender that twisted your front bumper can leave a jagged edge that can cut a leg or child. The rear-end collision that ruined your morning commute? It may have done damage to your fuel tank or fuel system. Should someone else be injured by your negligence in repairing your vehicle, you can and will be held responsible.
Only a qualified collision repair specialist can determine the extent of the damage and ensure that your car is safe for the road. Continuing to drive a damaged vehicle is sure to make the problem worse, and may even create additional challenges along the way.
As a practical matter, you need to call a repair shop right after an auto collision, because that’s what your insurance company requires. Car insurance companies typically don’t have a fixed time limit to file a claim, even if the accident is your fault. However, the longer you wait to make your claim, the more likely it is that the insurance company will try to deny it.
If you wait weeks to file your claim, the insurance company may respond that the damage you claim is unproven or unrelated to the accident at hand. Because you are left with few ways to challenge the insurance company’s claim or appeal their decision, you may be stuck with the entire bill for a costly repair.
When it comes to repairing your vehicle after a collision, burying your head in the sand and pretending that there isn’t a problem will only make your situation worse. Be proactive and take care of your investment in your vehicle by contacting Brown’s Collision Center, and give yourself peace of mind.