From minor bumps to high-speed crashes, most car accidents result in damage that requires the expertise of an auto body repair shop. Collision repair isn’t always straightforward. Even minor accidents can cause expensive and timely repair body damage. The type of impact and the style of the damaged car play an important role in determining how much damage has occurred.

Determination of a total loss

Many drivers think there is no hope if their insurance company says their car is “wrecked.” However, because that adds up, it is not necessarily irreparable. The extent of the damage has very little to do with whether or not an insurance company declares a total loss. Instead, the decision is based on the cost of repairing the collision compared to the fair market value of the car. If repairing the body damage will cost more than the car is worth, it is said to be totaled.

Structural damage

Correcting damage to a vehicle’s chassis is one of the most expensive types of collision repair, but undoing structural damage is not impossible. A knowledgeable auto body repair shop will generally inspect a broken down vehicle before anything else to see if it is misaligned. If the car does not meet the exact measurements of the manufacturer, advanced machines are used to return the frame to its original specifications.

Rear collisions

Depending on the speed, a car that is in the rear can take a lot of damage. Structural damage is not uncommon after a severe rear-end collision. The amount of damage will also depend on the car. In a recent IIHS study, a low-speed rear-end collision in a compact car with a poorly designed bumper can result in more than $ 3,500 in body damage. On the other hand, a car with dent-resistant plastic body panels can often be repaired for less than $ 200.

Frontal impacts

Head-on collision repair is typically more extensive than rear-end damage. At higher speeds, a frontal collision can damage the front bumper, hood, windshield, and side panels. If the damage is minor, the auto body technician may choose to repair the panels rather than replace them. Unless the parts are pre-painted, the body shop will also have to match the paint color and re-spray each panel before reassembling the car.


A rollover car generally has much more body damage than a vehicle involved in a head-on or rear-end collision. Damage to the frame is usually unavoidable in a rollover. There is a chance that every part of the car has suffered at least minor body damage. The decision to repair an overturned vehicle must be made carefully. Extensive damage like this could also require additional mechanical work.

Whether the damage to the car’s body appears to be major or minor, an experienced collision repair specialist should examine the car for invisible damage. Accidents can cause cosmetic damage that is fairly easy to repair, as well as frame damage or mechanical problems that are much more expensive to repair. Almost any type of collision damage can be repaired, but it is sometimes more profitable to scrap the vehicle.

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