Car crash? Always think about your windshield!

Car crash windshield repair

Body shops often have to work on your windshield even if the car crash didn’t damage it.

Your car crash may have caused direct damage to your windshield. Then again, maybe not. In either case your body shop may have to replace, or at least remove and reinstall the windshield. Some repairs near the windshield require that procedure. Is your front end smashed in, or did you get t-boned by the hinge of the front door? Fixing structural metal near the windshield may require an “R&I” procedure even if the windshield itself didn’t get cracked.

Windshield repair is complicated and important!

Your windshield has always been a critical safety component for roll-over car crashes. Modern windshields also have cameras, sensors, head’s-up displays, and more. Body shops and glass repair shops have to have training, expertise, and motivation to fix them properly.

Car crash windshield repair can produce insurance hassles

The insurance industry itself drove manufacturers to make modern windshield’s “smarter” and more expensive to fix. The radar, sensors, and cameras help make a car crash less likely.

But, not surprisingly, insurance adjusters are unhappy to pay the full cost of a true pre-loss condition repair when a shop has to work on your windshield. Windshield replacements are “supposed” to cost $5-600. Removing them and re-installing windshields is “supposed” to be fast and easy. That’s changing, and insurance companies are still catching up.

Adjusters put a lot of pressure on body shops to cut corners and reduce repair costs after a crash. That pressure is particularly effective at larger, national-chain repair shops on insurance company’s “preferred” or “direct repair” lists. Those shops have a contractual obligation to accept adjuster influence about repair processes – if they don’t, they lose their “preferred status.”

You can fight for your rights

After a crash, first determine whether your car manufacturer recommends any windshield work for your repair. You can simply ask the body shop to show you the manufacturer (“OEM”) procedure guide for your repair.

Then, if windshield work is necessary, make sure the shop includes it on its estimate. Consider asking another shop for a second opinion about whether the procedures and time allotted for them are accurate.

Then ask questions – about the shop’s training, whether it intends to follow OEM procedures, whether it will be subcontracting the windshield work to another shop (and if so, which one).

Then monitor the repair process to make sure the insurance company is paying the shop the proper amount for a true OEM-procedure repair.

If you run into trouble with any of those steps, seek a second opinion from a shop – particularly one that doesn’t have any “preferred” or “direct repair” contracts with insurance companies.

We can help

If your adjuster is persistently refusing to pay enough money for the body shop to do a good job on your repair after a car crash, contact us. We have helped thousands of vehicle owners navigate the car crash property damage claim process, and we’re one of the only law firms in Washington willing to do it!

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