When most people think about car accidents, they think about the physical injuries that can result. However, property damage is also a common outcome of these collisions. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 6 million police-reported crashes in the United States in 2018, and property damage was reported in nearly 70 percent of those accidents.
So, what is considered property damage after a car accident? Generally speaking, it can be any damage caused to your vehicle or any other personal property due to a collision. This could include dents and scratches to your vehicle’s body, broken glass, or even complete destruction of your vehicle.
This article will dive deeper into what is considered property damage after a car accident and who is responsible for paying for it.
Types of Property Damage after a Car Accident
There are three main types of property damage after a car accident: physical damage to the car, damage to personal belongings inside the car, and damage outside the car. Let’s take a closer look at each one:
1) Physical Damage to the Car
Physical damage to the car is perhaps the most obvious form of property damage after a car accident. This can include cosmetic damage, such as scratches, dents, and broken windows. It can also include more serious damage, such as a bent frame or engine problems.
2) Damage to Personal Belongings inside the Car
If you were carrying any personal belongings inside the car at the time of the accident, they may have been damaged as well. This could include damage to clothing, electronics, or other valuables.
3) Damages to Other Property
In some cases, the damage from a car accident may extend to other property, such as a fence or building. Other property damage can also include things like landscaping damage or mailbox damage.
Who Pays For Property Damage After A Car Accident?
In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be responsible for paying for property damage after a car accident. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
1) If You Have Collision Coverage
If you have collision coverage as part of your insurance policy, then your insurance company may be responsible for paying for some or all of the property damage, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
2) If the Other Driver Is Uninsured or Underinsured
If the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, then their insurance company may be unable to pay for all the property damage. In this case, you may need to file a claim with your own insurance company.
3) If the Other Driver Is At Fault but Does Not Have Insurance
If the other driver is at fault but does not have insurance, then you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. However, this will likely result in your rates going up.
How to File a Property Damage Claim after a Car Accident
If you need to file a property damage claim after a car accident, there are a few steps you’ll need to take.
1) Contact Your Insurance Company
The first step is to contact your insurance company and let them know that you’ve been in an accident. They will then likely send an adjuster to assess the damage to your car.
2) File a Police Report
If the damage to your car is significant, you may want to file a police report. This can help document the accident and may be helpful if you need to file a claim with your insurance company.
3) Gather Evidence
If you plan on filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you’ll need to gather Evidence to support your case. This could include photos of the damage to your car, witness statements, and other documentation.
4) Negotiate With the Insurance Company
Once you’ve gathered all of the Evidence, you’ll need to negotiate with the insurance company to get them to pay for the damage to your car. This can be difficult, so it’s important to be prepared.
5) Hire a Lawyer
If you’re having trouble getting the insurance company to pay for the damage to your car, you may need to hire a lawyer. A Bakersfield, California, car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Talk to a Bakersfield, California, Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been in a car accident, getting help from a qualified lawyer is important. At Pathway Injury Lawyers, we can help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.