How do I get my car repaired after an accident Oklahoma?

Clayton T. Hasbrook

Written by Clayton T. Hasbrook. Last modified on February 15, 2024

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Getting into a car accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Your top priority is making sure everyone involved is safe and unharmed. But soon after, questions about how to get your damaged vehicle repaired start flooding in. Will insurance cover the costs? What is the process for filing a claim? Who determines fault and liability for repairs? The answers to these questions depend on the specific circumstances of your accident. With some knowledge about the process, you can make informed choices and get your car back on the road smoothly.

Initiating Contact With Your Insurance Provider

The most direct route to getting your car repaired is through your insurance company. This involves contacting them to report the accident and initiating a claim. You’ll need to provide specifics such as the accident’s time and location, a description of the damage, and information on any other involved parties or property. Your insurer may request photos of the damage, so having visual documentation is beneficial. If another party is responsible for the accident, your insurance company will pursue reimbursement from that party’s insurer.

Filing a Claim With the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance

Should another driver be responsible for the accident, you can file a claim directly with their insurance provider. This requires collecting their contact information, insurance details, and policy number. When submitting your claim, include all relevant information and documentation regarding the accident. The insurance company will then assess the repair costs for your vehicle. An adjuster may inspect your car, though sometimes an estimate from a repair shop is sufficient.

Utilizing Your Collision Insurance Coverage

In instances where you are at fault, or the other driver is underinsured, you can file a claim under your collision coverage. This coverage will address repair costs after you’ve paid your deductible, regardless of who was at fault. Review your policy to understand what it covers, as it may include benefits like rental car reimbursement. While filing a claim can lead to increased premiums, paying for minor damages out-of-pocket might be more cost-effective in the long run.

Selecting an Appropriate Repair Shop

Although insurance companies may suggest certain repair shops, the choice ultimately rests with you. Research to find a shop that meets your standards; looking for:

  • Certifications indicating advanced training, such as those from Assured Performance Networks.
  • Positive reviews highlighting quality work and customer service.
  • Modern repair technology and training.
  • Specialization in your vehicle’s make, often found at dealership body shops.
  • Competitive pricing is confirmed through multiple estimates.

The Importance of Documentation

It is imperative to maintain comprehensive documentation throughout the claims process. This includes keeping all repair invoices, detailed photos of the damage, accident reports, and records of all communications. Such documentation is your safeguard against disputes with insurance companies and is crucial if additional repairs are needed or if you must demonstrate your vehicle’s value before the accident. Accurate expense tracking ensures full reimbursement for related costs according to your policy.

Claiming Diminished Vehicle Value

Even with complete repairs, a vehicle’s resale value often decreases after an accident. If you were not at fault, you could claim this diminished value. Begin by researching your car’s value before the accident and obtaining current value estimates, considering mileage and condition. Use this information when negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurer.

Property Damage FAQs

What is the process for getting my car repaired through insurance after an accident in Oklahoma?

After an accident, you must file a claim with your or the at-fault driver’s insurance. Provide detailed information about the accident and obtain a repair estimate. The insurance company will review the damages and provide a settlement offer based on their assessment. You can then select a repair shop and authorize the repairs. Keeping detailed records of all related expenses is essential throughout this process.

Can I choose where to get my car repaired after an accident?

Yes, you have the autonomy to select the repair facility for your vehicle. While insurance companies may recommend certain body shops, you are not obligated to use them. Research a shop that meets your criteria, ensuring they have the necessary training, certifications, and positive customer feedback, especially for your vehicle’s make and model.

How do I claim diminished value on my car after it was repaired?

To claim diminished value for a non-fault accident, compile evidence of your car’s value before the accident, including year, make, model, mileage, and condition. Obtain current value estimates post-repair and present this documentation during settlement negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance to seek compensation for the lost value.

Can I keep the property damage check and skip getting my car repaired?

While you can keep the insurance payout, if your vehicle is under a loan, the lienholder likely requires the car to be repaired. Verify with your loan provider before deciding not to proceed with repairs.

What should I know about rental car coverage after an accident?

Check your insurance policy for rental car reimbursement coverage and understand its limits. If you use this coverage, arrange a rental and save all receipts. If another driver was at fault, their insurance might cover rental costs, but confirming their policy details is essential.

How long does it take to get an insurance settlement check for repairs?

The timeline for receiving a settlement check can vary, typically within a week. Still, it can extend to months, depending on the accident’s complexity, liability disputes, and the thoroughness of the claim investigation. Maintaining open communication with your insurer and providing detailed documentation can help expedite the process.

Can Oklahoma Car Insurance Companies Help with the Cost of Car Repairs After an Accident?

Following an accident, Oklahoma has separate claims for personal injury and property damage. It’s advisable not to sign a settlement release if undergoing medical treatment, except for a “property damage only release” that preserves the personal injury claim. Obtaining a settlement advance to cover repair costs is unnecessary for settling property damage.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Clayton T. Hasbrook who has years of legal experience as a personal injury lawyer. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.