Many accident victims suffer both bodily injuries and property damages. As such, they include damages related to both losses in their claims. However, you can pursue a property damage claim without bodily injury. Say an auto crash seriously damages your car, but you escape with only a scare; you can still pursue an auto accident claim.
Below are some tips to help you pursue a property damage claim.
File a Police Report
Many people understand the need to file police reports for auto accidents that result in injuries. However, you should always report significant accidents even if they don't cause injuries. A significant accident is any that involves injury or significant property damage. Property damage is significant if you are considering filing a claim for it, so you need a police report.
Insurance companies require police reports for all claims. The carriers use the reports to confirm the authenticity of accidents. You can also use the report to authenticate your claims or track down witnesses.
Just as you would do with an accident involving injuries, you should preserve evidence for an accident that only features property damage. Remember, you will need the evidence to prove the defendant's liability and prove your damages.
You can preserve evidence in multiple ways. Take pictures of the damaged car and take potential witnesses' contacts. You also need to preserve all the paperwork associated with the damage, including towing bills, car storage bills, and repair bills from the mechanic.
Quantify the Damage
Many people want financial compensation for their property damage claims. You must quantify your property damages and associated losses to make such a claim. For example, you can include:
- The car repair cost
- The car replacement cost
- Towing charges
- Missed opportunities (for example, if you could not get to work on time)
- Replacement car costs
An accurate quantification will help you determine where to file your claim. For example, you should opt for a small claims court if your damages are relatively low. You can also use the damages to determine whether to hire a lawyer or file the claim on your own. The higher your damages are, the more you should consider legal advice.
Hopefully, the tips above will help you get the compensation you deserve for your damaged property. Your property damage claim may resemble other injury claims in some aspects.
Consult a personal injury lawyer to learn more.