Getting Compensation for Property Damage Caused by a Car Accident
The main concern following a catastrophic automobile accident is generally personal injury. Personal well-being trumps any other consequence of a collision and should be attended to first and foremost by medical professionals and a good personal injury lawyer. However, what do you do if you weren’t hurt? What if the catastrophic damage caused by the collision purely affected your vehicle? Or what if the collision caused a car to slam into your house?
Should you still seek advice from an injury attorney if the injuries sustained were to your property?
Settling Personal Property Damage
In cases where a car accident causes property damage, you can deal with the other driver’s insurance company directly. When you do so, you should be able to get it to compensate you for the amount needed to repair or replace a vehicle. The amount of money at stake in a property-damage-only case is so low—relative to the expenses of a personal injury claim—that insurance companies don’t often fight the claim too hard.
In other words, you don’t necessarily need a personal injury attorney if your property was the only thing damaged.
However, it’s important to make absolutely sure that you’re physically unharmed. If you were in or around the property that was damaged, it’s possible you may have sustained injuries not immediately visible to the naked eye. It’s extremely important to have a thorough exam after any type of accident, whether major or minor, as some injuries—whiplash, concussions, internal bleeding, and many others—can go unnoticed or take a few days to manifest symptoms.
In a standard auto accident that was caused by another driver, there are several things you need to know about how coverage is determined.
For Vehicle Damage
These insurance policies may provide a way for you to recoup your property losses:
- The driver’s collision coverage. The liable driver’s collision coverage should cover the damage up to her policy coverage.
- Your personal coverage. Any expenses the liable driver’s insurance doesn’t cover should be covered by your own vehicle or property insurance. You won’t be able to overlap coverage, however, meaning that you must exhaust the other driver’s policy before calling on your own policy to fix your damages.
For Other Property Damage
When other property is damaged in a collision—such as your house, fence, barns, or garages—the matter gets a bit more complex.
- Driver coverage. The responsible driver’s auto policy should cover property damage up to a certain amount. For minor repairs, this could be more than enough.
- Your own personal coverage. Serious property damage exceeding the driver’s coverage limits may require you to seek coverage (beyond what the driver’s property damage policy covered) from your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
Unraveling the Complexities of Property Damage
Property cases can be very convoluted, especially when the other driver’s insurance company does not cooperate. In these cases—especially in high-value property damage—it is best to involve an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Luckily, Steve Lee can handle all of your concerns.
People who own homes in older neighborhoods may have structures that are closer to the road than in newer developments, and are susceptible to car accidents significantly damaging their homes, vehicles in their driveways, or other property. If this happens to you and you require sound legal advice about your options, feel free to call us at 713-921-4171 or 1-800-232-3711. Our vast experience and eagerness to help you get the compensation you need to repair all damages makes us a great asset to your claim. Contact us today and see how we can help you unravel the complexities of your property damage.