What To Do After An Accident
Accident scenes can be very shocking, especially right after the impact occurs. Try to remain calm and do the following:
- Safety First
If you can, move your vehicle out of traffic and turn on the hazard flashers. Surround your car with warning triangles or flares if you have them. Then stand a safe distance away while you talk to other drivers or wait for help.
- Are You Injured?
Check yourself and your passengers to make sure no one is hurt. Some injuries may delay their effects, so check often over time. Even a fender bender might have caused an injury that's not noticeable right away. Call for medical help if there is any doubt.
- Call The Authorities
Call 9-1-1, especially if there has been substantial damage, if anyone is injured, and/or acting confrontational. When the authorities arrive, ask for the investigating officer's name and contact information. Also ask for the accident report number so you can follow up.
- Exchange Information
Obtain the name, address, phone number, drivers license number, plate number, and insurance information of any other drivers involved in the accident. Also record names of anyone with injuries and witnesses. Don't argue over who is at fault or admit blame.
- Record The Scene
If possible, take photos of the scene or draw a diagram showing the positions of all involved vehicles. Contact your insurer right away.
- Call Golden West Collision Center
After recording the scene, call Golden West at (408) 636-1300 and we will guide you through the next steps of getting your vehicle repaired quickly and safely.
Keep and share this guide with your friends and loved ones. You never know when you’ll need an accident guide!
Yes! Call and let us know you’re in need of a tow to the shop
If you are going through insurance, the tow bill will be sent directly to them. If you decide to pay out of pocket, the tow bill will be added to your final bill and due at the time the repair is complete.
If you need a rental car, we can help to make the necessary arrangements. Insurance companies will only pay for a rental car if you have that option on your policy or if you are the claimant. Verifying coverage and limits prior to renting a vehicle is highly recommended.
We offer all estimates free of charge and appreciate you making an appointment. This makes it so we can guarantee the time it requires to make you feel comfortable in your decision to let us repair your vehicle. Please call your preferred location to schedule an estimate.
No. We provide free estimates as a courtesy to our customers.
Estimates are written during normal shop hours. While an appointment is not required, it is a good idea to call ahead. Click here to start an online estimate.
No. There is no requirement or law to do so. We work with all insurance companies to agree upon the best repairs for your vehicle. We are a preferred and recommended shop by many of the largest insurance companies in today’s market. You are our customer and we will provide you with the finest quality and safest collision repairs.
Tell them NO and you are dropping your car off at the shop of your choice to get repaired. The adjuster can inspect your car there with the bodyshop manager. It is your car and you have the right to get your car fixed where you want. We work for you, not the insurance company.
Claim numbers are issued by your insurance company at the time you report your accident. Make sure to write it down and bring it with you when you come in to begin the repair process.
Absolutely. We take care of the estimate and notify you when the vehicle can go in for service. Most times, the insurance company will pay us directly so you don’t have to worry about payment. You will likely have to pay a deductible depending on your insurance. Contact us today to learn more about the process.
If your insurance adjuster already came to look at your vehicle, contact us to schedule the repairs. You can email us a copy, drop it off, or give us your insurance information and we’ll get a copy of the estimate. We must start the repair process from the original estimate.
Yes! It’s your responsibility, and your right, to choose which body shop will repair your vehicle.
Once we write your estimate, it must be approved and then you authorize us to begin work. We then set up a timeline and let you know when your vehicle will be ready. If you need a vehicle before then, we will be happy to set up a rental car for you. In many cases we can communicate with your insurance company to handle the payment. Speak with your insurance company for more details about rental coverage.
We know what we’re doing and consistently offer the very best customer service. Our technicians are constantly training and consistently learning about the latest innovations in body repair. All of our techs are I-CAR trained and ASE Certified. These credentials ensure that you get quality repairs by knowledgeable automotive professionals.
We have made a major investment in the finest paint system and equipment available. Our professional and skilled painters take special pride in their ability to match every color from each manufacturer.
Yes. We provide a written guarantee of workmanship and a lifetime warranty on all auto body repairs and painting.
We do everything in our power to ensure your vehicle is back to pre-accident condition. If you experience any problems, don’t hesitate to give us a call or stop back in. We warranty all of our work and will fix any problems caused by a repair we performed after you’ve picked up your completed vehicle.
A deductible is the portion of the total repair cost that you may be responsible for. It may be included in the terms of your auto insurance policy. You may be responsible to pay a deductible. Typically you will have a deductible for a comprehensive or a collision claim and the amounts can vary. The amount of your deductible is determined by what you chose when your policy was purchased. We will be happy to verify for you the deductible amount you are responsible for.
There are many repair shops that advertise to save your deductible. What they fail to tell you is how they are able to do this. Your repair may be compromised by sacrificing quality. As a rule, insurance allowances to repair vehicles at a repair facility are regulated very tightly. We hope that if you choose to use a facility who is going to "save your deductible", that they are not sacrificing the quality of your repair.
The cost of repairs plus the value of the vehicle in damaged condition (salvage value) must be greater than the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle prior to the accident.
You have the right to retain ownership of the vehicle, however the amount of the settlement may be reduced by the salvage value. Please discuss this directly with your insurance company.
Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM) is a term for parts made by the manufacturer of your vehicle.
These are parts not made by your vehicle manufacturer. They are also known as Quality Replacement Parts (QRP). Aftermarket parts are often much cheaper than OEM parts and might not have the same fit and function as OEM parts.
LKQ = Like Kind & Quality. These parts are more commonly referred to as used parts. These parts generally come from automotive salvage yards. Salvage yards purchase damaged or totaled vehicles, remove the good parts and sell them as LKQ parts. All LKQ parts are inspected for prior damage, and rust.
The insurance company will assign an appraiser to inspect your vehicle and determine its condition prior to the accident.
Sometimes. If you feel the ACV offered by the insurance company is too low, then you are obligated to prove this. You can do this through documented receipts of vehicle enhancement or written statements by qualified experts to determine the proper value.
Subrogation is the process by which your insurance company pays for the repairs to your vehicle. They are also obligated to collect from another insurer or party. Your collision coverage will require you to pay your deductible, which may be refunded once the other party pays.
Your deductible payment is due and payable to Golden West Collision Center. There may be an insurance check issued to you that will be taken from your pending deductible amount. Your deductible payment is due when your repairs are complete and you come to pick your vehicle up.
No. When you purchased your insurance policy, you signed a contract saying you will pay the first amount of the claim up to your deductible. Repairers should not be asked to hide the deductible. That practice would constitute fraud by both the shop and consumer. This is also related to the Insurance question above “Can you save my deductible?”.
Cash, Check, Debit Card, Master Card, and Visa. Payment is due, in full, before any vehicle is released.
You can wash your vehicle by hand, with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge as soon as you get it back.
For the first 30 days we suggest that you:
- Do NOT use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes/sponges can damage the finish and surface.
- Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done within the first 30 days.
- Avoid parking under trees and utility lines which are likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. Also, tree sap can mar or spot a freshly painted surface.
- Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield solvent on the new finish.
- Do not scrape ice or snow from the newly painted surface.
For the first 90 days we suggest that you:
- Do not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to dry and harden completely.