Understanding Property Damage Claims Following a Car Accident
After a car accident, you may have a property damage claim. A property damage claim is one for damages caused to a vehicle and other personal property as a result of a car accident. Insurance companies typically treat these claims separate from an injury claim. So, if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, you will likely have two claims: one for your bodily injuries and the other for the damage to the vehicle, personal property and associated expenses.
Property damage claims can be handled in two ways. If you are covered by insurance, you can have your own insurance company pay for the property damage. Your own insurance company will then have the burden of seeking reimbursement from the other side if they were at fault. The advantage to this is that your insurance company has a duty to treat you fairly and will likely issue payment faster. However, if you have a deductible, it will have to be paid or deducted from the amount paid to you.
Alternatively, you can seek compensation for the property damage directly from the other side’s insurance company. The compensation you may seek can include: repair costs of the vehicle, replacement costs of the vehicle, rental car expenses, towing expenses and costs to repair or replace other personal property that was in the vehicle (such as a broken baby seat, broken cell phone, damaged tools, etc.). However, if you are pursuing compensation for other personal property that was damaged, make sure to take pictures of the damaged property and be prepared to provide receipts for repair or replacement.
No matter what you decide, be mindful that your objective is to receive as much compensation as possible. Don’t just take the amount that the insurance company offers. Make sure you ask how it calculated the amount it is offering. Then examine the analysis and see if you can negotiate a higher amount. Click here for Tips on Negotiating the Property Damage Settlement of a Motor Vehicle.
The Piccuta Law Group assists its clients in negotiating property damages settlements when we handle your injury claim. We teach our clients what to look for and provide them with the knowledge necessary to maximize these settlements. If you have significant personal property losses, in addition to your vehicle damage, we can negotiate a settlement for those losses on your behalf. Contact the Piccuta Law Group today if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and need an attorney. One of our attorneys will be happy to provide a free consultation.