As Houstonians are recovering from the icy weather that hit our area this week, the auto repair shops around town are hopping to keep up with the influx of business related to the nearly 1,000 weather-related collisions that have occurred.
Of course, following an accident, no matter how minor, the first order of business should be to make sure that everyone is okay and gets a clean bill of health from a medical professional. After that, however, vehicle owners must take steps to ensure that the repairs get made to their vehicles by reputable businesses.
One body shop manager at a local Chrysler dealership said, “People get into an accident and they don’t know what to do.” His shop alone took in three times more damaged vehicles in one morning than normally the shop would see in an entire day.
The manager offered Houston residents some tips for handling the claims process after an accident due to icy conditions.
First, determine whether it’s feasible to repair the damage. Older vehicles with high mileage might not be worth fixing.
If you suspect that your car might be totaled, it’s a good idea to discuss the matter first with your auto insurance company. If you were not at fault in the accident, you will need to document the damage that was done in the collision.
Not all damage is immediately apparent or even visible. High-tech computerized equipment that is the standard on most newer model cars can be permanently damaged after involvement in an accident.
Arrange for your car to be towed to a repair shop, or at the least, to a safe location off of the highway where it could incur further damage in another vehicular accident.
Understand that repair shops are working overtime right now to get vehicles back on the roads, but there can still be delays. Even with extra manhours, all of the weather-related wrecks can make certain parts scarcer and harder to locate. Also, until the roads are once again free of ice and snow, auto parts delivery companies are not going to risk accidents to their fleet of trucks.
If you suffered injuries in your accident, you may want to file a claim for compensation to cover your medical bills and any other expenses related to the accident.
Source: KPRC, “Phones are busy at Houston-area automobile repair shops after icy roads plague drivers,” Brandon Walker, Jan. 17, 2018