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 805-496-8886 or make an appointment online!


Reviews

Quote reviewiconHonest Auto Repair
Electronic Services, near Thousand Oaks, CA

After taking my truck to several auto shops and one of them actually replacing a valve for the check engine light. The light kept coming on, took my truck to Bennett automotive, he cleaned up corrosion on an electrical connector and put a little electrical grease on the connector, and no more problems. I will go to Bennett automotive for all my auto needs from now on. A fair and honest team. Thanks Brent

, 03/22/2021

Quote reviewiconProfessional Auto Service
Thousand Oaks, CA

Brent always does a professional job. I have been going to this garage for almost 10 years. Never had a problem he could not fix. Even gave my son, a budding auto mechanic, suggestion as my son rebuilt his car. The online service is great for making appointments and seeing past and future maintenances.

Quote reviewiconAuto Repair Done Right
Thousand Oaks, CA

In the middle of a heatwave the last thing you need is your AC to be on the fritz. I was trying to be cheap and tried diy and soon realized this needs to be left to the pros. I found Bennett's Automotive and was impressed with the reviews so I called and Brent quoted me less than any shop. I went to his shop and was impressed. He's very professional and doesn't sugarcoat things. He's up front and to the point when it comes to prices. Unlike most mechanics these days that throw surprise costs at you at the time of checkout. Needless to say my AC is blowing nice cool air and I can now cruise with my windows up and be comfortable. I'll be back for future maintenance.

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