Expert Advice on Filing Your Collision/Accident Report
As a collision repairs and refinishing specialist, Harold’s Auto Body Ltd. has assembled the following helpful advice for customers who’ve recently been in a collision and may have questions about filing their collision report:
Keep Your Safety First
Drivers involved in minor accidents with no serious injuries should always move their cars to the side of the road so they’re out of the way of oncoming traffic. Leaving cars parked in the middle of the road or a busy intersection may result in additional accidents and injuries. If a car cannot be moved immediately, drivers and passengers should remain in the cars with their seatbelts fastened for everyone’s safety until help can arrive. Be sure to turn on your hazard lights and set out cones, flares or warning triangles, if possible.
Always Get All the Facts
It is essential to get the names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident. A description of the car and licence plate number can also be helpful. Also, be sure you get the other driver’s insurance company and the vehicle type and make of their car.
Photograph and Document the Accident
If available, use your cell phone’s camera to document damage(s) of all vehicles involved at the accident site. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information. They may be able to help you should the other involved driver dispute your version of what happened.
File an Accident Report with the Police
Even if you’re involved in a minor accident, it’s important to make sure there is a legal accident report filed. In Alberta, if damage is $2,000 or more (both cars combined), a damage sticker is required. If the damage(s) is slight, you should proceed to your nearest police station and report the accident as soon as possible.
Call Your Insurance Agent
Call your agent or insurance company’s 800-number immediately, if possible.
Choosing a Collision Shop
It is your right to have your vehicle’s damage(s) estimated and repaired at a collision shop of your choice. Look for a collision shop that has the appropriate technology and training to fix your car. Choose a shop that has a reputation for high quality work and a written guarantee, such as Harold’s. Check with the Better Business Bureau® or your insurance company to get a list of qualified collision repair shops in your area.
An estimate should specify: (1) what repairs are being done, (2) whether parts are being replaced or repaired, (3) whether new or recycled parts are being utilized, and (4) whether new parts are from the original equipment manufacturer or from an after-market producer. Only one estimate is required; however, you may decide to get more than one to compare prices and opinions about the extent of the repairs. If you get another estimate and it’s different, always find out why.
Most repair shops use industry-standard estimating programs and labor and parts prices in a geographical area are similar, so a substantial price difference indicates a difference of opinion as to the nature of the damage or the appropriate repair technique. The best price may not always be the best deal. Estimates at Harold’s are booked by appointment. Contact us to schedule a repair estimate appointment!
Download Our Collision Report PDF