GASTON COUNTY, N.C. -- If somebody hits your car and you have to take it to the body shop, how do you know the shop actually did the work?
The NBC Charlotte I-TEAM spoke with Shannon Duncan who found out the hard way. Duncan was involved in a wreck that caused serious damage to her vehicle.
She took it to a local mechanic who billed her insurance for parts they didn't even replace.
Even worse than that, after she got the car back it was still so far out of alignment that it split the front tire. She was about to have a blowout.
"I could have hit a car head on and my kids could have been blown out the window or anything could have happened to my kids. I could have been flung out the window or somebody else's kids could have been hurt or something. It didn't make no sense," Duncan said.
So what should you do? How can you protect yourself?
Insurance officials say to make sure you take your vehicle to a real body shop, not just a repair shop. Second is to research the body shop's reputation online and with people you trust.
Finally, you can take the car to a licensed vehicle damage appraiser who will look over your vehicle for any damages or poor work.