An additional consideration is that you are required by law to report to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles when you decide to keep a car that has been extensively damaged. This is to ensure that any future potential buyer is fully made aware of the automobile’s accident and repair history. This also means that the car will receive a salvage title, which will detail the type of accident it was involved in and the damages it incurred before repairs.
After the paperwork has been accomplished, it’s time to take your car in for repairs. First, the car shop will have to disassemble the outer parts to see the extent of the damage. This is important because any repairs you’ll need for it shouldn’t miss out on the hidden structural and mechanical damage. Second, any damaged parts are removed and replaced with new ones. More components and parts are ordered whenever necessary, to complete the whole body and mechanical repair work.
Finally, with mechanical, body and structural work completed and restored, painting and detailing work can proceed to make the car look brand new. The penultimate stage may take some time as body measurements, among other things, need to comply with the original factory specifications.
(Source: Driving your car after it’s totaled, Money.msn.com, May 25, 2014)