Why You Need a Professional Vehicle Inspection After an Accident
The major reasons why you should consider getting your vehicle inspected by a reputable auto mechanic include the following:
To Know Whether the Vehicle Is Safe To Drive
Even though your vehicle may not have shown signs of serious damage after the accident occurred, some inner components of the vehicle may have been affected depending on the severity of the collision. Driving a vehicle with such damaged/faulty parts puts you and other road users at risk.
Unless you are a vehicle repair professional, it may be difficult to tell whether or not such damage has occurred, hence the need to have your car inspected by a professional.
At the end of the inspection, the mechanic would either give you the all-clear, letting you know that your car is safe to drive, or they would let you know if they detected any faulty parts during their safety checks so you can make arrangements to fix them at a vehicle repair shop.
To Support Your Claim for Compensation
Missouri is an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents. As such, if your accident was caused by the actions or omissions of someone else, you have the right to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver or their auto insurance company for the personal injury or car damage you suffered.
The amount you claim should cover expenses incurred due to the accident, such as medical bills and car repair costs. The costs of your medical treatment will be determined by your healthcare provider based on the severity of your injuries. However, the actual cash value of the damage to your vehicle and the necessary repairs can only be determined by an auto mechanic through an inspection.
Getting your car inspected after an accident, therefore, helps you learn the extent to which your car was damaged in an accident, how much it would cost to put it back in shape, or even whether the damage is fixable. This would allow you to properly calculate the present and future accident-related expenses for your vehicle before filing an insurance claim or lawsuit for compensation.
To Establish That the Accident Was Not Your Fault
Missouri law recognizes that sometimes accidents are not caused by one person alone. A victim may have contributed to the accident or the severity of their injuries due to their actions or omissions. But even though they may be partly at fault, the victim in such cases can still recover compensation from the at-fault party.
However, by Missouri’s pure comparative negligence laws, the amount of compensation they can get may be limited depending on how much they contributed to the accident. Insurance companies often rely on this rule to avoid paying full compensation to those who deserve it. They may try to ascribe all or most of the fault to you during the insurance claims process by suggesting that some parts of your vehicle were faulty and that those faults led to or contributed to your accident.
The easiest way to refute such claims is by getting your car inspected. If the vehicle inspection report shows that your car did not have any prior faults, it would be difficult for the insurance company to deny your claim in the face of solid proof. They would have no choice but to pay you what you deserve.
Remember that once you file your insurance claim, the insurance adjuster will likely conduct a car insurance inspection while investigating your claims. If you already got an inspection done beforehand, you would already be aware of the state of your vehicle, making it easier to tell when or if the company is trying to downplay your claims or shortchange you in any way. Hence, it is important to get the inspection done as soon as possible.
What if the Inspection Reveals That Your Car Was Faulty Before the Accident?
The fact that your car had some faults before the accident does not mean you are responsible for the incident. If the insurance company suggests otherwise, it is your job to prove them wrong.
You can do this by relying on other pieces of evidence, such as the contents of the official police report on the case. All the same, it may be difficult for you to identify the type of evidence that you need to support your claim in such cases. Experienced auto accident lawyers can help in such circumstances by examining the facts and isolating any details or evidence that contradicts any allegation of fault against you to solidify your compensation claim.