If you own and operate a car, chances are that you WILL be involved in an automobile accident at some point and will not only be faced with car damages, but also repairs. Unless you are a car specialist or auto mechanic, the estimate to repair your car may come as a shock; however, knowing some basic factors to consider when estimating car damages may lessen the shock value when and if you are involved in a car crash.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
Each time you get into your car, you run the risk of being involved in an automobile crash, even though you may never consider it happening. Imagine being late for a doctor’s appointment and while looking down at your GPS for directions, you fail to see a line of cars stopped ahead of you and plow right into the rear end of the vehicle in front of you. After making sure everyone is okay, you inspect your car and the other vehicle for damages and they don’t look too terribly significant, until you get the repair estimates.
Once the accident has happened, you must deal with the situation, car repair shops, and the insurance company in the best possible way. While this won’t minimize the financial impact, it can assist you in understanding the procedural matter. Some simple guidelines to follow AFTER an accident has occurred include:
- Notify the police
- Contact your local OK independent insurance agent to assist you
- Secure photos to document damages to all the vehicles involved
- Report the claim to your insurance company if your independent insurance agent advises
- Assist your insurance adjuster with the details of the accident, once coverage is verified
- Get 2 repair estimates on your car damages
Understanding The Repair Estimate
The bottom line of the repair estimate may be the first thing you look at once it is received, but there are many components involved in getting a car repaired that you need to acknowledge.
Price of Car Parts- This portion of the repair estimate will show an itemized list of body parts that need to be repaired/replaced and the cost to do this.
Labor- Labor is the most costly aspect of the estimate. Keep in mind that labor costs may run anywhere from $50/hour to $100/hour, which includes the time it takes the mechanic to repair damaged parts, equipment used to do the work, and maintenance of the tools, just to name a few. Also, these mechanics have to keep their auto repair knowledge “up to date” in order to properly service and repair the newer model cars.
Paint Costs- The costs to paint include the paint as well as the labor time it takes the body shop to paint after repairs or replacements are complete.
Supplemental Damages- These type of damages, also known as “hidden” damages may not show up until after the repair work has begun or after completion, but are still considered covered damages as long as it is shown to be accident related.
Taxes- After adding together all of the above, there are taxes calculated on top.
There are many variables to consider when estimating the cost to repair a vehicle after an auto accident, and once you are aware of the time and costs involved, you may have a better understanding of why the estimate seems steep for what you originally inspected to be minimal.
If you have any questions regarding an auto accident or the damages to your car as a result, please contact us at 918-341-6081.