When a person crashes into your car causing damage to your car, you may need to settle the claim with that person's insurance company. If the other person was at-fault, he or she will be responsible to pay for the damages your car experienced from the accident. The other person's insurance company may want you to use a certain auto body repair shop, but you always have the right to choose a shop of your choice, and here are several important things you should know about getting your car fixed after an accident.

You Can Choose the Shop

Many insurance companies prefer using certain auto body repair shops, but the important thing to know is that you can choose the shop of your choice. This is your car that needs repairs, and that is why you get the choice. You can choose to use the shop the insurance company recommends, but you do not have to.

In addition, you might want to have a couple shops give you estimates for the repair. One of the first things the insurance company may do after you file a claim is contact you to have an insurance adjuster look at the car. The adjuster needs to examine the car to determine how much the repairs will be. This estimate will be the basis the insurance company uses to determine how much to give you for the repairs.

If you take the car to an auto body repair shop of your choice and the costs are higher than the amount the adjuster calculated, you may need to talk to the insurance company about this. They will probably ask you for a copy of the estimate from your auto body shop before they will approve it, and this is so that they can compare the differences.

You Can Choose the Type of Parts You Want

A second thing to understand about getting body work done after an accident is that you can choose the type of parts you want used for the repairs. There are two different types of parts available, and insurance companies often try to convince people to use aftermarket parts.

Aftermarket parts are parts made by auto part manufacturers, and they are not the same as the original parts for cars. The other type is called OEM parts, and these are original parts. OEM parts come directly from the car manufacturer, and OEM parts are often better than aftermarket parts.

If the insurance company quoted the repairs with aftermarket parts, you can fight this if you want to.

You Should Make Sure the Estimate Covers All Repairs

Unless you are an expert with car repairs, you may have no idea whether the estimate covers all the repairs that are needed, and this is why you should stick with choosing an auto body repair shop that you trust. While an estimate for repairs typically includes all the repairs the car needs that you can visually see, there might be other services the car will need that you cannot even see.

One example of this is an alignment. A car accident often involves a lot of force, and this force is often enough to mess up a car's alignment. If the estimate does not include getting your car aligned, you might want to ask for this service to be covered in the repairs.

There might be other small issues that you might not notice right away. For example, if the accident damaged one of the doors on your car, you should make sure the repairs will cover fixing the window too. If a door was struck in an accident, the window might not roll up and down properly.

Choosing an auto body shop you trust is vital after an accident occurs. They will make sure your car is repaired with the right parts, and they will also make sure everything in your car works properly just like it did before the accident occurred. Contact a place like Sam's Automotive Reconditioning Center for more information.