703-430-1840 | 45720 Woodland Road Suite 100 Sterling, VA 20166
WHEN ACCIDENTS HAPPEN
How to Respond in a Tough Situation
Being in a car accident is the last thing anyone wants - but when it does happen, there are ways of making sure that the legal and insurance issues are handled with as little stress as possible.
- First of all - stay calm.
- If someone is injured, be sure to call for medical help.
- Make sure you call the police.
- Don't publicly make any statements where you either accuse the other person of causing the accident or take all the blame yourself. It could open you up to legal problems.
- Whatever you do, don't leave the scene until you've had a chance to talk with the officer and you've gotten their name. It's important to make sure that your side of the story goes on the record. Afterward, it's a good idea to get a copy of the police report.
- Make sure you have a pre-printed copy of your insurance information in the glove compartment, along with a camera you can use to provide pictures for the insurance company. A disposable camera with a flash for nighttime or interior shooting is usually best for this.
- In dealing with the other driver, make sure you get their name, address, driver's license number and insurance information - and that they get the same information from you.
- Also, make sure to get information from any witnesses as well.
- Make sure you get pictures of any physical evidence of what could have caused the accident.
- Write down pertinent details such as where the accident took place, what the weather was like, etc.
- Once the information's exchanged, report the accident to the insurance company immediately, even if it's not your fault.
- Make sure you understand how you're covered, and don't be afraid to ask the insurance company to explain the conditions of your coverage and payments.
- Don't be afraid to seek legal advice - and don't sign anything if you don't understand it.
- When you're using a body shop to get repairs to your vehicle, be aware that the insurance company can recommend a shop, but you are under no legal obligation to use its services. You have the legal right to choose the shop to do your repairs.
- Also be aware that insurance companies sometimes try to
dictate what type of parts are used in a vehicle's repair. They might
insist that a shop not use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, as
they are more expensive.
You have a right to know what kind of parts are being used on your vehicle, and to know if your insurance policy dictates what kind of parts can be used in your car. If your policy lets you choose, you have the right to decide for yourself.
- An insurance company also has the right to inspect your vehicle, but it is not required to do so. In addition, they cannot require you to visit one of their own claim centers.
- And finally: Make sure you learn from this accident, but also let yourself move on from what happened. Everyone has an accident once in a while - it's just something that happens.
Remember - Drive Safely!
Want more information on your rights? To make an appointment, call us at 703-430-1840 or make an appointment online!
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Owner Miguel of Latinos Auto is by far the most professional and accommodating mechanic that I have worked with in a very long time. I have worked with quite a few mechanics and car professionals during my time and Miguel is at the top of my list. Please allow me to explain. My 2016 Ford Expedition needed a complete engine replacement, but the challenge was that I had a warranty through Car Shield. If you ever had an auto warranty through a 3rd party then you will understand that nothing is easy and Car Shield is NOT an easy company to deal with. Matter of fact, I had taken my truck to two dealership and another garage and all three gave up dealing with Car Shield. One garage said they will not conduct work on any vehicles covered by Car Shield. I had the reached the end of my patience with Car Shield and was ready to just sell my truck to a junk yard when I saw a bright yellow and red sign LATINO AUTO on the street just down from another garage that gave up on me and Car Shield. From personal experience, i always find Latinos to be some of the hardest working people on the planet doing jobs that no one else wants to do so I figured that a place bearing the name LATINO Auto must be good. Upon meeting Miguel, it was evident that he was willing to work with me and most importantly with Car Shield. From when I first dropped off the vehicle to when it was finished took about 35 days...most of that time spent dealing and working with Car Shield. Every step of the way, Car Shield needed pictures, information, etc, etc..and Miguel patiently worked to send them everything they needed. It was as if Car Shield was hoping I would give up. However, I was determined to have Car Shield cover the engine replacement, but having the right mechanic was the important thing. Any other mechanic would have probably given up..but,not Miguel. Together, we both tagged team against Car Shield and after a drawn out process, Car Shield and I finally came to an agreement where about 2/3 of the cost for an engine replacement was covered by them. Once the new engine finally arrived, Miguel single handedly installed the new engine in less than 3 days. Now, my Expedition runs better than before all thanks to Miguel. If not for Miguel and his patience to deal with the many requirements by Car Shield, I would not be where I am today. I highly recommend Miguel for any and all of your automotive repairs. The fact that he was able to remove an old engine and replace it all by himself speaks to his expertise. Thank you Miguel for a job well done. Muchas Gracias my friend!. Ron P. FIE'EIKI AZ resident living in VA.