I've been involved in an accident. What now?
If you’ve been in a car accident
(with other vehicles or alone):
Get uninjured passengers out of the vehicle to the side of the road, safely away from the vehicle and oncoming traffic.
Call 911. If you do not have a phone, ask at least two people to call on your behalf.
Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.
Call Cornerstone Collision Center at (936) 441-2758.
Do not make any statements about the accident to anyone but the police.
Do not accept any informal settlements offered by other drivers involved.
If your car is damaged while parked, by hail or any other situation:
Call Cornerstone Collision to discuss your situation.
Report the accident to the police if the damage appears to have been caused by another vehicle.
Do not attempt to drive your vehicle if you suspect that it is unsafe to do so.
If you need your vehicle towed, give us a call and we will send a tow truck out to you.
Report the damage to your insurance agent or company within 24 hours.
Once your car is safely at Cornerstone Collision, the repair process can begin.
What happens now that my car is at Cornerstone Collision?
Our cars are valuable to us. Second to our homes, they’re some of the most significant investments we’ll ever make. It’s important that you understand the repair process of your collision center and that you trust what’s happening at all times.
Our customer care team members make sure each of our customers understand what is happening to their vehicles every step of the way. We’ll call, text or e-mail you frequently to give you updates on your vehicle and help you plan for the completion of your car’s repairs.
COLLISION REPAIR PROCESS:
DAMAGE ASSESSMENT & REPAIR PLANNING:
Our team will disassemble your vehicle to find all damage to the exterior and interior. Your estimate will be created, and then any necessary parts will be ordered as a repair plan is being determined.
Your vehicle’s body will be repaired to fit all original factory specifications. We’ll work on dent removal, scratch repair, auto frame repair and other repair to ensure it is safe to drive.
PAINT PREPARATION & APPLICATION:
Your vehicle will move through the car paint preparation and application processes, where we’ll match the color and texture to fit your existing paint job.
ASSEMBLY & QUALITY CONTROL:
We’ll reassemble your vehicle and do our final quality control checks to check for any final fixes necessary.
Your vehicle will be delivered for your final approval and payment will be finalized.
Your Insurance Claim
It can be stressful trying to navigate your insurance claim,
if there’s no one helping you.
After an accident, your insurance company will need to be contacted before any repair work can be done. Cornerstone Collision works with all insurance providers and can contact them on your behalf, if you choose.
Our team will work with you and your insurance provider to create your claim and begin the estimation process. We will help you navigate the claims process and can also facilitate all communication with your insurance provider, until your repairs are complete.
If you choose to call your insurance company prior to Cornerstone Collision, remember that in the State of Texas, you have the right choose any collision repair facility you like, regardless of your or the other party’s insurance providers’ recommendation. In fact, the insurance company may even tell you that they will not issue payment for repairs at certain shops or that they cannot guarantee repairs at certain shops. This is wholly untrue and illegal, according to the Texas Insurance Code (TIC § 1952.301).
State Law also does not require you to obtain multiple repair estimates; however, if you choose to do so, remember that estimates may vary based on the quality of work being performed. A very cheap estimate may not address all of your damage, and although your car may look nice afterwards and drive well for a short time, these repairs may not provide a long-term solution.
Auto Body Glossary
It isn't always easy to understand "repair shop" language. That is why we have provided a useful glossary of "Body Shop" terms to help you with those confusing words that you might encounter on your way to having your car repaired.
Automotive replacement parts that were not made by the original equipment manufacturer.
See Also: LKQ Parts
The process of drying fully during exposure to air at normal temperatures.
Alternate Term: Drying
Basecoat / Clearcoat
A paint system in which the color effect is given by a highly pigmented basecoat. Gloss and durability are given by a subsequent clearcoat.
A heavy metal platform used to restore a vehicle's structural geometry to factory specifications. This is done by securing a portion of the vehicle to the platform, then pulling appropriate areas of the vehicle into place using special clamps, chains and hydraulic winches.
Alternate Terms: Bench, Frame Rack
This is a term used to describe an item replaced due to an accident, that has some wear. The practice is often applied to tires and batteries that are several years old. If a battery has used up 3/4 of its life, the Insurance company will pro-rate the item's cost and in this case will pay 1/4 of the cost to replace the battery and will ask the insured or claimant to pay the remaining 3/4. The premise being that the Insurance Company is only obligated to return the vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
A chip resistant, protective coating normally applied to lower panels to avoid sharp stones etc. chipping the paint finish.
The removal of paint from a substrate by means of impact of sharp stones etc.
Clear or Clear coat
The clearcoat imparts gloss and protection to a basecoat clearcoat system. It is essentially a pigment-free paint.
A single layer of paint on a surface.
The action of using an abrasive polishing material either by hand or by machine.
Alternate Term(s): Polishing
Degradation of the metal substrate by oxidation. That is the formation of an oxide layer on the metal surface. This process requires that the metal surface be exposed to oxygen, and is favored in the presence of water. In the case of iron and steel, corrosion is often referred to as rusting.
The removal from the substrate of contaminants which would otherwise give rise to surface defects and performance failures. E.g. poor adhesion.
Final cleaning of vehicle, application of pinstripes, removal of overspray from under hood, trunk lids etc. as well as polishing.
Direct Gloss (DG)
A topcoat paint which contains pigment and resin and gives the required gloss level without the need of the application of a clearcoat. A DG Paint film has good weathering and durability characteristics.
Acronym for Direct Repair Program. This is a network of auto body shops who have contractual agreements with select insurance companies. The agreements set the rules and limits of repairs and standardized procedures that may be used, as well as what parts will be used, all in a concerted effort to keep repair and replacement costs as low as possible, for the insurance company (not the insured).
The process of change of a coating from the liquid to the solid state by evaporation of solvent, chemical reaction of the binding medium, or a combination of these processes. When drying takes place during exposure to air at normal temperatures, it is called 'air-drying'; if it can be accelerated by the application of a moderate degree of heat it is called 'Force-drying' (or Low-bake), as distinct from High-bake.
Alternate Term(s): Binder, Air-drying, Force-drying, Stoving, Low-bake, High-bake
A term denoting a complete panel repair as opposed to a touch-up or spot repair.
Alternate Term(s): Spot repair
A topcoat paint which forms a film by chemical crosslinking of its component molecules during the cure.
The EPC light system warns drivers by sending codes to the dashboard. The codes indicate the system of the car facing a problem, but not a specific problem in the system. It indicates any faults with the traction control, throttle pedal, cruise control-, and throttle body. It can also show malfunctions and defects of the EPC.
Acronym for Front End Alignment.
The degree to which a painted surface possesses the property of reflecting light in a mirror-like manner.
LKQ is an acronym for "Like Kind and Quality". The most common name for LKQ parts is “Aftermarket”. These parts are typically sold online or in car parts stores.
Temporary covering of areas not to be painted.
A term used for finishes incorporating fine metallic particles, usually aluminum, in the paint.
A naturally occurring mineral, based on silica, which after treatment, is used as an effect pigment in coatings. Their special property is that light falling on a mica particle, depending on the angle of illumination, reflects the light with a change in color. Because of this they are sometimes referred to as pearls.
Alternate Term(s): Pearl
Motor Manufacturer's Primer
An undercoat system applied by the manufacturer to the metal surface of a commercial vehicle or to new automobile panel parts to give protection during transit, storage, etc. and which, depending on its type, age and condition, may be able to support the finishing system. It may consist of more than just a simple primer coat.
Alternate Term(s): OE Primer
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. The OEM is the original producer of a vehicle's components, and so OEM car parts are identical to the parts used in producing a vehicle. Aftermarket parts are produced by other vendors and do not necessarily have a consistent level of quality or compatibility with the vehicle.
The coloring matter in paint. A pigment is different from a dye in that a pigment is insoluble in the media in which it is used.
The process of washing, degreasing and lightly abrading a panel prior to applying paint.
Alternate Term(s): Prep Work
The chemical treatment of unpainted metal surfaces before painting, for enhanced adhesion and corrosion resistance.
The first layer of a coating system. Applied to an unpainted surface. Its' role is to protect the substrate and to prepare it for the application of a surfacer or topcoat. It must therefore have above all, excellent adhesion to the substrate and to the coating which will follow.
An undercoat which improves the adhesion of the topcoat, and which seals old painted surfaces that have been sanded.
A pigmented composition which acts as a primer and at the same time has filling properties such that it may be sanded to provide a smooth surface for the color coat that is to follow.
A plastic material with a high mineral filler content – used for filling deep holes or wide gaps.
Acronym for Remove and Install. Refers to a part removed from the customer's damaged vehicle to be saved and reinstalled after the repair has been completed.
Acronym for Remove and Replace. Refers to a part removed from the customer's damaged vehicle that cannot be acceptably repaired. It is replaced with a new part.
The point at which a Consumer authorizes the repair to their vehicle.
An abrasive paste that smoothes and polishes paint films.
Alternate Term(s): Polishing compound
An abrasive process used to level a coated surface prior to the application of a further coat.
Alternate Term(s): Flatting
An undercoat which improves the adhesion of the topcoat, and which seals old painted surfaces that have been sanded.
A coating which contains colored pigments only, i.e., does not contain pigments such as aluminums and micas.
A liquid, usually volatile, which is used to reduce viscosity. This is essential in both manufacturing and application processes. Solvents evaporate during application and drying of paint and therefore do not become a part of the dried film. In conventional coatings the solvents are organic compounds (Alcohols, Esters and Ketones) whilst in waterborne systems there is a mix of organic solvents with water.
The uncoated/unpainted surface.
Additional repairs needed to complete the repair that were not identified on the original estimate
The imprint caused by applying masking tape on to a newly-applied paint film before it has time to harden.
A blend of volatile organic solvents added to the paint to reduce it to the correct viscosity for application.
A topcoat color which consists of 3 parts, a basecoat, a midcoat and a clear.
Alternate Term(s): Tri-coat
Tint and Blend
The process of mixing toners to match the existing paint finish, then blending or overlapping the color into the adjacent panel to avoid color match problems.
Any colored pigment or paint mixture used to make small adjustments in color, or to the mix the color in the first place from a mixing scheme.
Alternate Term(s): Base color
The final layers of a coating system whose role is primarily decorative. However the topcoat often imparts protection to ultra violet light present in sunlight.
A localized repair usually confined to the smallest area possible (for example, repairs due to stone chips damage).
Chemicals added to paint to absorb Ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight.
That portion of the spectrum which is largely responsible for the degradation of paint films. Invisible to the eye, causes sunburn.
A first coat; primer, sealer or surfacer.
The structural support found in most late model vehicles.
Acronym for Vehicle Identification Number. This is a unique number that identifies your vehicle. Although its primary purpose is to identify your vehicle, it often contains important information concerning the equipment and options that were installed on your vehicle at the factory. This information allows the Repair Center to order the correct parts for your vehicle. Any professional estimate or Repair Order will have this number on it.