Car accidents happen fast and unexpectedly and can throw you into quite a bit of chaos. A common mistake that victims of an accident will make is forgetting that they are still in control of what happens next.
Following a wreck, everything may seem too hectic to handle it all on your own, so it is very easy to allow the insurance company to make some decisions for you. The problem with letting the insurance company be in control is that they may not be looking out for your best interest. Insurers have a priority to protect the bottom line, and doing so can put their clients in situations that cost them hundreds of extra dollars and stress that is completely avoidable.
Knowing what you can do and what your rights are before you are involved in an accident is the best way to form a contingency plan for a worst-case scenario. Here is what all auto accident victims should understand about their rights:
You have the right to choose a collision center
While you may be encouraged to select a preferred collision center that is partnered with your insurance provider, it is against the law for your insurer to require the repairs to your automobile to be done at any specific collision repair center. Once you inform your insurance company where you would like your car to be repaired, they cannot attempt to persuade you or change your mind.
You Have the Right to OEM Parts
While it is best to buy policies that guarantee OEM parts for repairs, having your vehicle repaired with original manufacturer parts is still an option even if not expressly stated in your policy. In those cases, OEM parts can be obtained through sharing the repair cost with your insurance agency. You have the freedom to research and decide for yourself if you should choose to exercise that option when looking for replacement parts.
The Insurance Company Does Not Have the Right to Authorize Repairs
You are the only person who can authorize the repairs of your vehicle. It is important to take advantage of this fact by signing off on repairs only when you are completely satisfied with the estimate of cost, repairs to be made, and the parts to be used.
You Have the Right to Choose Your Rental Agency
Just as is the case with your chosen collision center, your insurance company cannot legally require you to rent from a specific rental company. The choice of which agency you rent through is yours, regardless if your claim is third-party through the other motorist’s insurance or through your own. Likewise, should your vehicle need to be towed following an accident, the selected tow company is entirely up to you.
While nobody expects them, automobile accidents happen. Be prepared and form a plan before you are involved in a traffic accident and know which agencies you would like to handle your situation. At Medines Collision Center, our team is not only skilled at auto body repair, but we are also knowledgeable in Louisiana law and insurance negotiation. Remember, you have the power to choose; not your insurance company.