What Is Considered Property Damage in a Car Accident?

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Posted By | December 23, 2023 | Car Accidents

Seeking treatment for injuries after a car accident is the top priority for victims. Often, the focus in car accident claims is on seeking compensation for damages like medical expenses and lost income due to injuries, with property damage as an afterthought. However, making claims for all property damage compensation available in a car accident can help car accident victims recover their financial losses so they can focus on reaching their maximum physical recovery while they move forward.

Property Damage Claims for a Damaged Vehicle

The tremendous crash force in a car accident causes extensive damage to a vehicle and the personal property inside the vehicle as well as injuries to the driver and passengers. A diligent car accident attorney can help car accident victims maximize the amount of compensation they recover by making claims for the full value of the following types of property damage:

  • Vehicle damage, including repair costs such as bodywork and paint jobs
  • Market value for a totaled vehicle
  • Transportation costs while your car is in repair or while waiting for a replacement. Transportation costs could include a rental car, bus fare, or Uber expenses.
  • Diminished vehicle value, or the difference in the value of the car before the accident and after the repairs
  • Towing expenses

Car accidents cause significant disruption to a person’s ability to get to work, transport children to school, and complete household errands. A successful car accident claim for property damage to a vehicle can help get accident victims back on the road and address the financial hardship associated with car accident damages.

What Other Kinds of Property Damage Can I Claim After a Car Accident?

Without a skilled Plano car accident attorney, many car accident victims neglect to make claims for property damage they’re entitled to after the accident. It’s important not to overlook the right to compensation for personal items damaged or destroyed in an accident. A thorough car accident claim may include compensation for the following items motorists commonly have inside their vehicles:

  • Cell phones
  • Eyeglasses
  • Tablets and laptop computers
  • Children’s car seats
  • Luggage
  • Purses or backpacks
  • Sound systems/speakers
  • Strollers
  • Cameras
  • Books
  • Tools
  • Sports equipment
  • Jewelry
  • Groceries
  • Clothing

Anything of value inside a vehicle at the time of a crash can become part of a claim for property damage after an accident.

Who Pays for Property Damage After a Car Accident?

Unlike the handful of no-fault insurance states, Texas has a fault-based insurance system that compels the insurance company of the party at fault for the accident to pay out on a claim for damages, including property damage to a vehicle and personal items. Due to the state’s comparative fault insurance system, even if a motorist is partly at fault for the accident, they can still file a claim for their damages. The amount of compensation they receive in their payout is minus their percentage of fault. For instance, if a car accident victim’s damages from medical expenses, lost income, and property damage amounts to $100,000 but they were 25% at fault for the accident, they can still recover $75,000.

An experienced Plano car accident attorney not only helps victims identify all property damage they can claim after an accident, but they also protect their client’s best interests to keep insurance companies from assigning them an unfair percentage of fault for an accident to minimize the amount they have to pay out in damages.