Though they don’t happen often, car accidents are a scary reality for any driver, and most average drivers don’t have much experience dealing with the aftermath. Since accidents range from minor fender benders to severe collisions, there are many different kinds of situations to handle. While immediate concerns, like injury and vehicular damage, are often addressed at the scene, many overlook a critical step: the thorough inspection of their vehicle for hidden damage. 

This oversight can lead to unexpected repair bills, vehicle devaluation, and even pose safety hazards. This blog highlights the importance of a careful post-accident inspection and how it can prevent further collision damage and ensure your safety. 

The financial impact of hidden damage

Vehicle damage may not always be obvious, particularly after minor accidents, and hidden collision damage can have long-term financial consequences that we discuss below.

Increased repair bills and maintenance costs

Hidden damage can grow into significant structural issues, resulting in higher car accident repair costs down the line. For example, a car’s suspension system may seem to function correctly after a minor accident, but underlying damage can worsen over time, leading to substantial repair bills.

Even small changes in alignment can mean you’ll need to change tires more frequently, reducing the vehicle’s performance. A thorough inspection will avoid minor problems that might cost you big later.

Devaluation of the vehicle

A vehicle that has suffered collision damage can dramatically reduce its value, especially if the vehicle has underlying issues. This problem can significantly affect your financial returns when you decide to sell or trade the vehicle. In particular, damage to the vehicle’s frame can lead to considerable devaluation.

Loss of potential insurance claim

Insurance companies often require an immediate collision appraisal to assess and cover the damage after an accident. If a thorough inspection isn’t done, you might fail to claim some hidden damages, meaning you would have to bear the repair costs later.

The threat to safety

Hidden damage isn’t merely a financial issue; it can pose a real risk to your safety. Fluids may be slowly dripping without your knowledge, leading to overheating or even a car fire. If, for example, your vehicle’s brake lines were affected in an accident, but this damage went unnoticed, brake failure could occur at a critical moment, causing another accident. Avoid further threats by having your vehicle thoroughly inspected after any accident to prevent dangerous scenarios.

Results of a thorough inspection

Professional mechanics conduct a comprehensive post-accident inspection to identify and address any potential hidden damage. It typically includes a check of the vehicle’s exterior and interior, mechanical components, and electronic systems.

Such a thorough inspection helps to uncover lurking issues that may not be immediately apparent, providing a more accurate collision appraisal. It can highlight hidden damages, such as alignment issues, compromised structural integrity, and internal engine damage, among other things.

When to go to a collision center

The ideal time to take your vehicle to a collision center for a thorough inspection is immediately after any accident, regardless of severity. Even if there are no obvious signs of damage, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

A comprehensive inspection will detect hidden damage and help you make a more accurate insurance claim. Proper post-accident procedures emphasize the necessity of immediate inspection and reporting of damages. 

Simplicity Car Care for thorough post-accident inspections

Whether minor or major, any accident can cause unseen damage to your vehicle that might result in more substantial repair bills, devalue your vehicle, or worse, cause another accident. The best course of action is a thorough inspection, ensuring safety and helping you make informed decisions about car accident repair.

Remember, not all damages are visible, and not all visible damages are the entirety of the problem. Prioritize safety, avoid additional financial burdens, and always opt for a detailed inspection after any car accident.

Contact Simplicity Car Care now if you’ve been in an accident and get a professional and thorough vehicle inspection from vehicle accident damage experts, so you can avoid developing problems down the road.