Collision Repair Process After an Accident

Car Collision Accident

Photo by Max Pixel

 

What is the process of having your car repaired after a collision?

In this post, we go through the basic steps of the collision repair process to get your car fixed.

 

Insurance Claim

Immediately after an accident, your first step is to check on the safety of everyone involved. After checking on the people in the cars, call the police to file an accident report. The accident report will be important for documenting the collision and determining fault for the insurance claim.

Once you have the accident report and the vehicles have been removed from the accident scene, contact your insurance agent to file a claim. Your insurance agent will help you figure out what action to take next and may suggest where to tow your car if it needs it.

Your insurance carrier may prefer that you use a center within their network. Just because they may suggest a preferred auto body shop, that doesn’t mean they get to make the decision where to take your car for repairs. Your insurance coverage allows you to take your vehicle to body shop of your choice.

Related Post: What to do after a car accident

 

Estimate

Free Repair EstimateOnce you have taken your car to an auto body repair shop, an inspection will be performed by a technician to determine the full extent of the damage. Parts may need to be removed to check for hidden damage behind them.

Your mechanic will document all damages and create a written estimate for the cost of the parts and labor. You will receive a copy of the estimate and a copy will need to be sent to your insurance company by either you or the shop. Be sure to ask any questions you may have about the estimate and how long repairs may take.

 

Auto Body Repair

Dent Repair ServicesIf the accident caused enough damage to the vehicle and you have an older model car, this is the point in the process where your insurance company may determine that it is not cost effective to repair the vehicle. Car insurance companies label a vehicle a “total loss” when the cost to repair the vehicle to its pre-damaged state exceeds the cost of the vehicle’s worth or actual cash value.

You will need to receive approval from your auto insurance company before you can authorize the body shop to begin repairs. Let your mechanic know as soon as you have approval because they may need to order parts to complete all repairs.

You can ask the body shop if they will order aftermarket or OEM parts. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM are usually more expensive, but they’re often the preferred choice given the quality and warranty. Once the parts have arrived, the technician will complete the repairs.

The auto body shop should begin repairs as soon as they can. You should have received an estimate for how long this process will take.

It’s important to complete all mechanical repairs in conjunction with structural repairs if possible. First, they will get your car is structurally and mechanically sound. Then the bodywork can be worked on. Once bodywork is completed, all exterior parts will be straightened and prepared for paint.

Related Post: How to Choose an Auto Repair Shop

 

Auto Body Painting

Lococo After RepairThe final fix for your car will be the painting. An experienced technician will precisely match the shade of new paint to the existing paint on the car. The vehicle is prepped to ensure the surface is perfectly smooth and adhesive. Parts are sanded, the primer is applied, the base coat is applied, and a clear coat is added to protect the finish. After curing, the painted surfaces will be polished to a glossy finish.

Related Post: How Does Paintless Dent Repair Work?

 

Detailing and Pre-Delivery

After repairs are completed, your car gets a wash and interior cleaning. The body paint is polished and surfaces cleaned and buffed. Your lights and safety components are checked and a quick test drive is done. At this point, if everything has gone well, it should be ready for delivery back to you.

 

Final Inspection

At this point, you should be able to return to the auto body shop and pick up your car. Your mechanic will give you a list of all repairs and expenses. Be sure to check your vehicle and make sure it is running normally.

 

Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

What to Do After a Car Accident

Car accident collision repair

In this post, we’ll discuss how you can prepare yourself for a car accident and what you should do after you have been in one.

Almost everyone will end up in a car accident at some point. Maybe you already have been. We certainly hope when it happens that the accident is minor and nothing is damaged other than vehicles, which can be repaired.

It’s best to be prepared and know what to do after an accident before it happens. Once you’ve been in a collision, it can be a challenge to think straight because your adrenaline has kicked in and you can be feeling stressed or panicked.

It should be obvious that if anyone has been injured, you should call 911 right away. That’s the first thing to do. Let’s make a list of the other things you should do after an accident.

 

What to do after a car accidentFront end collision

  • Safely move vehicles and call police
  • Don’t admit guilt or apologize
  • Exchange information
  • Take photos of the accident
  • Notify your insurance company
  • Get your car to an auto repair shop

 

Safely move vehicles and call police

Most importantly, check on everyone in your car and the other vehicle and make sure they are okay. Call 911 immediately if there are injuries. If there are any injuries involved or you are uncertain about the safety of driving the car, leave it where it is.

If the vehicles can still be driven, then they should be moved safely to the side of the road and out of the main roadway. Not only will this keep traffic moving, but having stationary vehicles in a roadway or intersection can be dangerous to people in the car and other drivers.

Move to the side, put your car into park, turn the engine off and put your hazard lights on. Consider using warning flares, cones, or warning triangles, set them up around your vehicles so they are protected and steer traffic away.

Related: The most common types of car accidents

 

Don’t admit guilt or apologize

In order to protect yourself legally, you should not admit that the accident was your fault. When you talk to the other driver, keep it formal and state the facts without admission of guilt. An accident can make you emotional, and you could admit fault even when legally, it may not be. This could make your situation difficult further down the line if there is a court case, and your insurance premiums can go higher.  Let the police and insurance companies determine who is at fault.

 

Exchange information

While you wait for the police to arrive, make sure you get the other driver’s personal and insurance information.

Collect this information after a car accident:

  • Name, address, phone number, email of driver
  • License plate number
  • Make and model of car
  • Insurance company name and policy number
  • Accident address or location
  • Contact information for witnesses
  • Name of the police officer at the scene

 

Take photos of the accident

Don’t assume you’ll remember all the details of the accident; take photos and make sure you have all the details and evidence you may need. Use your phone camera to take photographs of the accident scene, damages to both vehicles, the surrounding area or intersection, and any injuries or other people involved.

After you have taken photos, write down a summary of what happened. Describe the accident and the moments leading up to it in detail. This will make it easier to give information to the police and your insurance company afterward and may help you in a legal or insurance dispute.

Related: Five things that ruin your resale value

 

Notify your insurance company

Our Probst mechaniics are ASE, ICAR or Manufacturer trainedBefore leaving the accident scene, you should call your insurance company or agent and explain your side of the story. Be truthful and share all facts, because misrepresenting your accident could potentially result in a claim denial.  If your car is unsafe to drive from the scene, your insurance company will tell you what steps to take, including maybe even an approved towing company. You can also find out if the body shop you intend to use is in their approved network or alternately, who to use instead.

 

Get your car to an auto repair shop

This situation can be stressful, but getting your car to an auto body repair shop quickly for dent removal will help get your car back to you as soon as possible. Hopefully, you already have a trusted shop, but if not, read this article about how to choose an auto repair shop.

 

Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

 
Main article image by Daveynin used via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) 

How Does Paintless Dent Repair Work?

 Paintless Dent Repair

What is paintless dent repair?

Paintless dent repair is a method of removing minor dents from the body of a car or truck to return it to its original condition without major work or expense of repainting.

It is not available on all types of dents to an auto, only minor creases, dents, and dings where the paint is not chipped or scratched.

Some people have the ability to do this work at home themselves if they have the right tools. It’s recommended for most people that you instead have an auto body repair shop do the work for you instead. They can do it quickly, affordably, and make sure the job is done right.

Related: Most common types of car accidents

 

Paintless dent removal steps

Assess the dent – Examine the dent to see if it is possible to remove with paintless dent removal (PDR). How big is the dent? Can you get to it?

Gain entry to the damage – To remove most dents, you will need to be able to gain access to the back side of the dent. This may require removing exterior or interior panels in order to get a path to it.

Get the best view of the dent – Trained mechanics use special lights to get a good look at the dent. The light will reveal the full damage on the inside of the panel and show what needs to be pushed out.

Apply slow pressure to work out the dent – Once you have accessed the dent and have a good view, then you can use specialized tools to slowly “massage” the exterior back to its original position.

Related: Five things that ruin your car resale value

 

Benefits of paintless dent repair

When dents are removed using PDR, the original factory finish is preserved and there is no need for grinding the paint off, using Bondo, primers, or sealers. This makes it simpler than conventional body repair work and environment-friendly because no chemicals or toxic materials are used.

Because your original factory paint is preserved, you can avoid problems with color matching any new paint.

Modern vehicle factory paints are more flexible than paint on older vehicles and will not be damaged by paintless dent removal when done by an experienced technician. Dents will not come back at a later date because the metal was properly restored to pre-accident condition.

The main benefit of all these is that paintless dent repair is more affordable than collision repair. No parts, no paint, no primers or sealers and less time all mean that you get a more affordable repair bill at the end.

 

Need professional paintless dent removal?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

Photo by Mikes Photos from Pexels

Tire Pressure in Winter

Tire Pressure in Winter

 

It important to remember to check the tire pressure this winter before driving so you have a safe journey and optimal tire performance.

 

Here are some strategies to make sure that the tire pressure is perfect for driving in the cold weather.

 

Remember that the tire pressure varies as the temperature fluctuates and in this area, the temperature often changes daily. In winters as the time changes, when days are shorter and colder, it’s very important to check tire pressure.

 

Its recommended that you review your car’s manual to check the correct tire pressure of the car. The recommended tire pressure is in the manual and the placard of the vehicle is based on the inflation pressure. Your manual’s recommended tire pressure is more reliable than the number listed on the tire.

 

Related Posts: Preparing your car for winters 

 

In North America, the temperature fluctuation is at the average of 50 degrees which means that the tire pressure changes by 5psi and every 20 degrees the pressure drop by 2psi. A drop of 5psi during winters can affect the handling, traction, and durability.

 

If your car is parked in the heated garage and later your car goes out in the wintry weather, with every 10 degrees drop the tire pressure reduces by 1 psi. Incorrect tire pressure can also lower the gas mileage by 0.3% and can improve the fuel efficiency by 3.3% if the correct tire pressure is maintained.

 

It’s important to check the tire pressure whenever there is a change in the weather and check the tire PSI more often in the winter.

 

 

Need your car repaired after a winter accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair and dent removal in the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

Tips for Avoiding Winter Collisions

Winter car accident

When harsh winter weather arrives in northern Illinois, car accidents and vehicle collisions begin to rise.

Even though this will keep our auto body repair shop busy, we don’t really like all these accidents. Many collisions result only in dents to be repaired but any car accident puts people in danger and can cause serious injuries.

Accidents happen but often they can be avoided. We’ll share some tips for avoiding winter car accidents. 

Illinois is ranked #7 in the nation for winter car accidents by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (Ohio is #1 with Pennsylvania close behind.) That’s not really a top ten we want to be in but we hope it reminds you that winter collisions are a real threat in our state.

In Illinois, the average cost of a winter collision repair is $2,600. Slow down to save lives – and money.

 

Avoiding winter collision tips

  • Slow down when weather conditions are wet, cold or snowy.
  • Leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Avoid distractions: phone, playing with the radio, eating in the car.
  • Replace your windshield wiper blades to improve visibility.
  • Replace your tires if their treads are worn.
  • Make sure your tire pressure is at the recommended level.
  • Don’t overreact if you start to skid.
  • Accelerate/decelerate slowly and try to avoid braking abruptly.
  • Don’t underestimate slipperiness of the roads.
  •  Beware ice on bridges, underpasses, low areas or shaded areas and intersections.
  • If you’ve been in a minor accident or your car stalls, pull over and stay in your vehicle.
  • Watch for deer in rural areas, especially in November and December.

Most common times for winter car accidents

The most common times for deadly winter car accidents were around 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Related: Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer with Your Car

Most common day of week for winter car accidents

Saturday, by far, is the most common day to get into a deadly accident. Friday is a close second.

Most common causes winter car accidents

The most common causes of car accidents in winter aren’t really any different than any other time of the year: distracted driving, excessive speeding, and tailgating.

Related: How to choose the right tires for driving conditions

All three of these common causes of accidents are preventable!

When the snow is falling, put away your phone, slow down for conditions and leave extra room between you and the car in front of you.

Bonus tip: Put away your phone, don’t speed and don’t tailgate all year long and you will be less at risk for accidents.

 

 

 

 

 

Need your car repaired after an accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. Serving the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

Most Common Types of Car Accidents

Front end collision

There is over 5 million car crashes in the United States each year. Luckily, most car accidents are not fatal. Even so, any car accident has the potential to cause you financial distress and sometimes long-term pain.

The average American will be involved in three car accidents during their lifetime. Most car accidents are preventable. The more you can avoid the better, so by learning about types of accidents, you can help yourself avoid them.

Here are the most common types of car accidents:

  • Rear end collisions
  • Single vehicle crashes
  • T-Bone collisions (accidents at intersections)
  • Sideswipes where lanes merge
  • Low-speed accidents

Rear end collisions

Rear end collisions are by far the most common type of car accident. Most of the time these accidents do not lead to serious injury but that doesn’t mean they can’t be avoided. The majority of rear-end collisions could be avoided simply by not following the car in front of you so closely. This gives you more time to react and even a half of a second could be the difference between a collision and a close call.

Single vehicle crashes

Single vehicle crashes, meaning there is only one car involved in the accident are also very common. These types of car accidents include sliding on ice or rain, running off the road, swerving too quickly, breaking too hard, and hitting other objects. Single vehicle crashes often happen because a driver overcorrects for a small mistake, such as steering to the left too quickly when the car enters the shoulder slightly. Other common causes include speeding and driving too fast for conditions. Many can be prevented by slowing down, going the speed limit, not driving too fast during a storm and not overreacting to other hazards.

Related: Winter Driving Tips You Need to Know to Stay Safe

T-Bone accidents

T-bone collisions happen at intersections where lanes of traffic cross each other. They are most frequently caused by a driver running a red light or by making a left turn without yielding to oncoming traffic. These can be very dangerous accidents but are almost entirely preventable. You should use caution at intersections and not try to speed through them. Pay attention to other vehicles because even though you may be driving carefully, others may not be.

Sideswipes where lanes merge

Swiping other vehicles where traffic lanes merge is a common type of accident. These are commonly caused by a failure of the merging driver to check their blind spots. Always carefully check all sides when merging lanes and don’t speed other because it may prevent other drivers from seeing you in their blind spots.

Related: Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer with Your Car

Low-speed accidents

Low-speed accidents often happen in areas such as parking lots. They may not be a serious threat to drivers but can be a big danger to pedestrians. Check carefully for pedestrians, avoid driving to fast and look out for other drivers before reversing.

We hope this information can help keep you safe!

 

Need your car repaired after an accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. Serving the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer with Your Car

If you’ve ever come close to hitting a deer, then you probably still remember that stressful event to this day. The racing heart, the adrenaline, the feeling of not being sure you can avoid an accident. It’s a scary situation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1.5 million deer-related vehicle accidents in 2016. This cost drivers and insurance companies more than $1 billion in collision and dent repairs.

To help try and keep you safe, we’ve listed some tips to avoid hitting a deer with a car. Follow these tips and stay alert to help keep safe.

 

Tips on avoiding a car accident with a deer

  • Be alert during the dawn and dusk hour when deer are most active.
  • Most deer/car collisions occur during fall and early summer.
  • If you see one deer, watch for others. They often travel in packs.Caution deer crossing sign
  • Deer can take off suddenly. Don’t assume a standing deer won’t take off running.
  • Slow down! Even a few mph slower could give you more time to react.
  • Be alert when driving through an area where deer may be.
  • When you see a sign for a deer crossing warning, take it seriously.
  • Slow down around curves in areas where deer are known to occur.
  • Be aware that deer often use woodlots, fencerows, field edges or areas near water.
  • Scan the roadsides for the “eyeshine” of deer ( the reflection of headlights in the deer’s eyes).
  • Honk your horn and flash your lights if you see a deer in the road.
  • If deer are near the road, tap the brakes or use the emergency flashers to alert other drivers.
  • Stay calm. Use your breaks but don’t swerve wildly. Deer can cause accidents without you hitting them.
  • Don’t tailgate. Many severe deer accidents are caused when another vehicle becomes involved.

Related: Winter driving tips

When do most deer accidents occur?

  • Dawn: 5am to 8am
  • Dusk: 5pm to 10pm
  • Late fall: October, November, and December
  • Early summer: May and June

You need to keep alert when you are in an area where deer may be (in a rural area, near a forest, field or farm), especially

What to do if you hit a deer

  • Pull over and move your car to a safe area if possible.
  • Keep your car and yourself out of the roadway and a potential accident with another car.
  • Call the police. Let them know if the deer is blocking traffic and creating a threat to other drivers.
  • If the collision results in injury or property damage, you may need to fill out a police accident report.
  • Document the accident for your insurance. If possible, take photos of the road surroundings, damage to the vehicle, and any injuries.
  • Stay away from the deer. An injured and frightened deer could hurt you with their strong legs and hooves.
  • Inspect your vehicle before assuming it is still drivable.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive. Check for leaking fluids, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, a hood that won’t latch and any other safety hazards. If your car might be unsafe in any way, call for a tow truck.
  • Contact your insurance agent.

Average cost of a deer-vehicle collision

The average cost of repairs for a car hitting a deer is between $3,500 and $5,000. According to State Farm Insurance, the national average insurance claim is $4,100.

Do you have to pay a deductible if you hit a deer?

That depends on your insurance policy. Rumors that you don’t have to pay a deductible because hitting a deer is “an act of God” are not true. Damage to your vehicle from hitting a deer is covered under the comprehensive coverage portion of your insurance, sometimes referred to as “other than collision”. Some companies offer a zero deductible option on comprehensive, but you will pay a higher price for that option. If you have only insured your vehicle for the minimum amount of coverage required to meet state law, then it is likely you will have to pay a deductible.

Need your car repaired after an accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. Serving the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411