Car Accidents and Property Damage

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In most car accidents, there is property damage which results from the impact of the accident.  This property damage may be slight or the automobile may be demolished.  In either event, most instances involve the filing of a property damage claim to a third party.  This party could be the driver’s insurance company, the insurance company of the person who caused the accident or the individual person who caused the accident.

Laws for Car Accidents with Property Damage

Some state laws do not require insurance companies to pay the costs to fix every single automobile, but rather the lower cost of either fixing the vehicle or the fair market value of the vehicle before the accident.  Therefore, it is important to know the law of your particular state in order to determine the particular obligation of your insurance carrier.  Frequently, insurance companies will examine the damaged vehicle in order to determine a settlement amount or actual cash value for the vehicle after the car accident deducible has been paid.  When making this determination, the companies will consider various issues, including:

  • the amount to repair the car
  • the fair market value of the car if repair costs exceed the fair market value of the car

Insurance Claims and Coverage

When working with insurance carriers, challenges frequently arise over the terms of the comprehensive collision coverage policy. These issues may include low settlement offers.  In addition, sometimes the party responsible for the accident does not have adequate insurance coverage to pay for the damage sustained to one’s property and therefore one must file a special type of claim.  This is called underinsured motorist coverage, which is a type of insurance claim.  When an underinsured motorist claim is filed, one’s insurance company will basically fill in the gap and pay one’s claim but only if it is determined that the other party was actually responsible. Frequently, this becomes a contested issue because the insurance carrier does not want to pay.

Getting Legal Help

If you have been involved in an automobile accident and have sustained property damage, it is important to obtain the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney.  An experienced attorney can assist in evaluating your claim and determining what course of action you may have with respect to the matter.