Property Damage from a Car Accident
Property Damage Claims After a Car Accident
One of the most common questions people ask after a car accident is: How can I get my vehicle fixed? Who is responsible for repairs? Do I need a lawyer?
If your vehicle sustained damage in the accident but you were not physically hurt, then, fortunately, you won’t need a personal injury lawyer. Property damage claims are usually faster and easier to resolve than personal injury claims. In fact, most property damage claims can be handled without an attorney. But we understand that getting your vehicle up and running again can be very stressful. Here’s what you can expect with a property damage-only claim.
Vehicle property damage claims may include:
- Repairs to your vehicle
- The market value of your vehicle if it is a total loss (totaled)
- Related costs such as vehicle rental and towing
In most cases, the at-fault party (and their insurance company) will be responsible for paying to repair your vehicle. If the person who hit your vehicle does not have insurance, or does not have sufficient insurance to cover the cost of your damages, you would then turn to your own insurance.
To make sure your property damage claim is successful, take the following steps:
1 Call the police to report the accident. Whether you were involved in a collision, or your vehicle was hit while parked, reporting the damage to police will ensure that an official incident report is filed. This report will be important when it comes time to make an insurance claim. The police report will contain crucial information about how the accident happened, who was at fault, whether any citations were issued, and the name and insurance information of the other driver.
2 Take photos of the damage, and the accident scene if possible. If there are witnesses nearby, take their names and contact information.
3 Report the incident to your insurance company. You may also contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company, since they should be responsible for paying the damages. This is where you will likely need to provide the police report as well as any other documentation in support of your claim. In many cases, your own insurance representative will deal with the other driver’s insurance on your behalf.
What if the other driver has no insurance?
If you’re hit by a driver who has no valid insurance, or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, you will likely have to rely on your own insurance to cover the costs of repairs. Collision coverage and uninsured motorist property damage coverage will apply to these costs. Your insurance agent can help you understand which types of coverage are available on your policy.
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