What About Claims for My Car or Property Damage?


Can my Car or Property Damage claim be safely resolved after an accident without infringing on my rights and limiting my personal injury claim?

Typically, yes. Claims for property damage are subject to very few defenses, and responsible insurance adjusters have few options to avoid payment. Property claims are usually paid fairly and promptly. Injured victims who also happen to own the vehicle should avoid any and all discussion about the nature and extent of their injuries or related medical care before consulting an experienced attorney. Also, any conversations concerning accidentfacts should take place only after careful discussion with independent counsel; however, it is typically safe to resolve property damage claims as soon as possible after the accident occurs.

Property damage claims are paid by:

  • The other driver’s insurance company (if the other driver was at fault)
  • Your insurance company (if you were at fault)
  • Your insurance company (if you were involved in a hit-and-run or hit by an uninsured driver)

Before accepting a property damage settlement, make sure that the amount is enough to cover the full cost of repairs or replacement (unless you were partially at fault, in which case your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault). For an accurate estimate on the total cost of repairs or replacement, you can take your vehicle to multiple auto body shops. Most offer free damage estimates. It is rare, but if the insurance company is offering you an amount that is lower than what the damage estimate indicated is appropriate, then you can contest the claim by asking for a reconsideration.

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