Frequently Asked Questions
When you are involved in an accident, you don’t always know what to do or what your rights are.
The following are just some Frequently Asked Questions relating to being involved in an accident. We hope that this helps you and we welcome you to contact us if you have any other questions.
What are the procedures that need to be followed if I am involved in an accident?
Every municipality has unique procedures that need to be followed at the scene of an accident. Some will call in a tow truck that is contracted with their local police department. Others will request the first available and closest tow truck to attend the accident scene.
Once the tow company that will take care of your vehicle has been determined, your vehicle will then be taken to an impound lot. The lot is generally one that the tow operator has a continuous relationship with or owns. Or, your vehicle can be towed to a repair shop of your choice. Most tow operators can recommend a reliable shop for you. You should be given the business card by the tow operator (unless you are injured in which case the police officer investigating your accident will have the towing information).
You then need to contact your insurance company and advise them where your car is. They will then send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage and what steps should be taken next.
Do I have the right to select the shop that will repair my car?
Yes… this will help expedite your claim. Your insurance company may say that you have to have your car repaired at one of their “preferred shops” but you have the right to choose the repair shop you would like to go to. Just remember that you must notify your insurance company of your accident.
Do I need to get 3 estimates?
You can, if you want but no, you do not HAVE to get 3 estimates. Obtaining those estimates takes time and money (to tow from shop to shop). As mentioned above, you have the right to have your car repaired wherever you choose.
Must I notify my insurance company about repairs?
Yes. Insurance policies require that you notify your insurance company or agent. At that time you will file your report with them and advise them where they can go to inspect your vehicle.
Who is reponsible for repairs to my vehicle?
The repair shop. That is why it is important that you select a repair shop that is properly trained and that guarantees their work. Again, your tow operator will be able to help you find a shop that suits your needs.
If I am involved in an accident, can I call my own tow truck?
Yes and no. Most municipalities issue licenses to the towing companies, and their operators, in their region. If you are involved in an accident and your preferred towing company is licensed in that region then yes, you may be able to call them. However, if the accident is impeding traffic, the investigating officer will want it removed as quickly as possible and may have the tow truck that is already on the scene hook up your vehicle and move it out of the way. Once the vehicle is on the tow truck, that tow operator has the right to be paid for the tow. So, having him drop the vehicle in a parking lot (or somewhere out of the way of traffic) so your preferred towing company can pick it up is not recommended as it will cost twice as much.
Other factors may play a role in whether you will be allowed to call in your own tow truck. If the police department that is investigating your accident is very busy and the officer who is at the scene needs to be somewhere else fairly quickly, he may have the tow truck that is already there pick up your car. Please remember that most officers know the tow operators in their region and if they didn’t feel you will be in good hands, they would not authorize the tow.
Also, if your preferred towing company does not have a license to tow in the region in which your accident occurred, they will not be allowed to tow your vehicle.
If you have any questions that we may not have answered here, please feel free to Contact Us and we will do our best to help you.