When you fall victim to another person’s negligence, chances are you face both personal injury and property damage. Usually insurance companies are more willing to settle property damage claims more fairly since damage and cost of repair is easily verifiable through sources like Kelley Blue Book. Many people get their cars fixed well before they receive compensation for injuries, medical bills, and lost wages.
However, you may face unique circumstances where you face a property damage claim or find the insurance company is unwilling to cover personal property damages arising from a car accident. Here is what you need to know about being compensated for property damage and when to get an attorney involved.
Types of Property Damages Claims
When discussing property damage, car accidents come to mind very quickly. In this context, it is almost always about the damage to vehicles involved in the accident. Depending on the extent, insurance companies may opt to repair the damage or declare the car a total loss. In the latter, you receive compensation equal to the value of the car.
In total loss scenarios, there are opportunities for dispute. If you had a loan on your car and the settlement amount does not cover the outstanding balance, that places you in a bad situation. Not only will you have no way to replace your car but you also still owe money on your totaled car. People in this situation often need an attorney to negotiate this settlement so that at the very least, the loan goes away.
There are other types of property damage in car accidents. For example, a bad car accident may result in broken eyewear or the loss of valuable property stored in a car trunk. Laptop computers may get smashed or tablets sustain screen cracks when they go flying inside a vehicle. If you are pedestrian or bicyclist, the impact may destroy a mobile device you were carrying at the time. It is possible to compensate you for these losses as well.
You may also be involved in a claim where you were not injured but suffered property loss and damage. If a driver crashes into your fence, for example, you may require a new fence and replacement vegetation in your lawn. The same is true for more infrequent occurrences like drunk drivers crashing into your house or commercial property. Homeowners have lost playground equipment, intricate landscape, and retaining walls due to careless drivers and recovered damages from those incidents.
Proving Property Damage Claims
Like personal injury claims, property damage claims must be proven. You must show that the negligent behavior of another person resulted in the loss or damage of your property. Photographs, police reports, and insurance loss statements are usually good evidence for proving your claim.
Many people fail to realize that if a car crashes into their house or yard, it is that driver’s insurance policy that should cover the damage. In cases involving uninsured motorists, you may file with your homeowner’s insurance and they will pursue the driver to repay what your homeowner’s insurance paid out for the damages. That way, you receive the needed repairs to your home or land.
Property damage claims are also subject to a two-year statute of limitations. Once the damage occurs, you need to act quickly to start the recovery process. If you are having difficulty, it is time to talk with an attorney.
Do You Need Help With a Property Damage Claim?
There are several bad results that may occur with a property damage claim, if you handle it yourself. Your homeowner’s policy may deny the claim even though the damage is firmly covered in your policy. You may discover that the crash into your yard or home was the work of an uninsured driver and find few avenues for relief.
It is also possible that you are focused on your injuries or vehicle damage and never think to claim your eyeglasses, mobile phone or laptop computer in your claim–even though an impact damaged those items. When you consult with a personal injury attorney, these possibilities are thoroughly examined so you receive a fair and complete settlement.
The Cagle Law Firm assists injured victims with property damage claims so the focus is on physical recovery rather than jumping through the hoops presented by an insurance company. If you face a challenging property damage claim, contact our lawyers today and schedule a free case evaluation.