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Call us for all your car needs! 919-872-9459

WHEN ACCIDENTS HAPPEN

How to Respond in a Tough Situation

Being in a car accident is the last thing anyone wants - but when it does happen, there are ways of making sure that the legal and insurance issues are handled with as little stress as possible.

  • First of all - stay calm.
  • If someone is injured, be sure to call for medical help.
  • Make sure you call the police.
  • Don't publicly make any statements where you either accuse the other person of causing the accident or take all the blame yourself. It could open you up to legal problems.
  • Whatever you do, don't leave the scene until you've had a chance to talk with the officer and you've gotten their name. It's important to make sure that your side of the story goes on the record. Afterward, it's a good idea to get a copy of the police report.
  • Make sure you have a pre-printed copy of your insurance information in the glove compartment, along with a camera you can use to provide pictures for the insurance company. A disposable camera with a flash for nighttime or interior shooting is usually best for this.
  • In dealing with the other driver, make sure you get their name, address, driver's license number and insurance information - and that they get the same information from you.
  • Also, make sure to get information from any witnesses as well.
  • Make sure you get pictures of any physical evidence of what could have caused the accident.
  • Write down pertinent details such as where the accident took place, what the weather was like, etc.
  • Once the information's exchanged, report the accident to the insurance company immediately, even if it's not your fault.
  • Make sure you understand how you're covered, and don't be afraid to ask the insurance company to explain the conditions of your coverage and payments.
  • Don't be afraid to seek legal advice - and don't sign anything if you don't understand it.
  • When you're using a body shop to get repairs to your vehicle, be aware that the insurance company can recommend a shop, but you are under no legal obligation to use its services. You have the legal right to choose the shop to do your repairs.
  • Also be aware that insurance companies sometimes try to dictate what type of parts are used in a vehicle's repair. They might insist that a shop not use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, as they are more expensive.

    You have a right to know what kind of parts are being used on your vehicle, and to know if your insurance policy dictates what kind of parts can be used in your car. If your policy lets you choose, you have the right to decide for yourself.
  • An insurance company also has the right to inspect your vehicle, but it is not required to do so. In addition, they cannot require you to visit one of their own claim centers.
  • And finally: Make sure you learn from this accident, but also let yourself move on from what happened. Everyone has an accident once in a while - it's just something that happens.

Remember - Drive Safely!

Want more information on your rights? To make an appointment, call us at 919-872-9459 or make an appointment online!

ASSOCIATIONS

  • ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
  • Car Care Aware

Testimonials

  • Honest and reliable and all of the staff are knowledgeable.
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  • You can trust these guys for diagnostics, replacement and repair!
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  • Excellent place to get your car fixed!! Eric and Team did a fantastic job on my Saab 9-7x.
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  • I've been a Patterson Performance customer for almost 10 years and have never been happier with a mechanic before. His team is friendly, honest, helpful and very knowledgeable.
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  • They know cars, honest, don't try and sell you things you don't need. Friendly reliable service. Customer for 7 years highly recommend.
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  • I have had Eric work on my vehicles on four different occasions over the past three years and he has treated me exceptionally well and very, very fairly. None of his work has had to be redone or "tweaked" after the fact and the charges were extremely reasonable. Not only was his work terrific but he and Kathy could not have been more gracious. I highly recommend Paterson Performance.
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  • We have used Patterson Performance for our vehicles for many years. We are very pleased with the service, professionalism, honesty and knowledge we encounter every time we have our cars serviced or repaired. We have referred our friends and neighbors and they too have stayed true customers.
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  • Best place to get your Saab serviced. The best because Eric does not give you a hard time about owning a Saab. He understands the passion of loving a true vehicle that rides, handles and performs to its best abilities. He knows your car better than you do!
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  • Fantastic shop, the only place I will ever bring my Saab from here on out if/when it needs repairs. Smart mechanics, courteous staff, quick turn-around time, and Zero pressure/hard sell when I couldn't afford all the repairs they noted the car would need in the future!
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  • Eric is the best. He's a true mechanic -- not dependent on, on-board diagnostic computers to tell him what's wrong. And he goes the extra mile to make sure any problems get fixed, regardless of difficulty. We take him tough repair cases that stump even factory authorized dealers & specialty shops -- e.g., an exotic foreign-brand power convertible top that interior and body specialists could not get working. We have not found an automobile repair problem he could not solve.
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