When you have been in a motor vehicle accident, you may consider compensation for injuries and medical bills. However, you’re likely to have also suffered devastating property losses to your vehicle and other valuable property.
When property damage is due to the negligence of another driver, an experienced attorney from Nessler & Associates can help you take legal action with a property damage claim against the at-fault party. They can analyze all facts of the accident, help you understand your legal rights, and negotiate with the insurance company for fair compensation.
Costs Related to Property Damage in a Car Accident
Knowing what is covered by your policy is critical when making an insurance claim. The additional cost of repairs may include:
- Car towing
- Daily storage fees for your car while it is in repair
- Rental car costs
- Replacement of personal property in the car at the time of the accident
How to File a Property Damage Claim
Illinois is an at-fault state, meaning the party at fault for your accident is responsible for damages. However, you can choose to file with your own insurance company if the at-fault driver lacks car insurance coverage or the amount offered by the insurance company does not cover your costs.
You can submit a first-party claim with your own insurance company if you have the appropriate coverage in your auto insurance policy:
- Collision coverage: This type of physical property damage coverage pays for damage from a vehicle accident. Illinois does not require physical damage coverage, but your lender may.
- Damage/repair/replace coverage: Payment for a new car if the cost to repair your vehicle exceeds the cost to buy a new one. It is typically only available during the first three model years.
- Rental reimbursement: Coverage for up to a certain amount to use a rental car while waiting for your own to be repaired.
Towing: If you can’t drive your car, towing coverage pays part or all of the expense of towing it to a repair facility.
If your personal property was damaged in a vehicle accident, you can file a claim for property damage through a homeowner insurance or renters insurance policy. When you run into coverage issues as you file your property loss claim, an attorney can review your policies’ benefits, coverages, and limitations.
If you don’t have additional coverage for property damage in your auto policy, you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. The state of Illinois determines auto accident property damages through modified comparative negligence. Under this law, an injured party can only collect damages if they are less than 50% at fault.
If the other driver’s insurance company determines that their driver is liable for your damages, they may offer you a settlement, including compensation for property damage. The percentage of fault can reduce the settlement.
You can receive damages if the other driver is 70% at fault and you are 30% at fault. However, the other driver’s insurance provider only pays 70% of your damages.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Insurance companies may require you to sign a release of damages before settling your claim. If you sign a release, you accept the sum provided by the other driver and the insurance company, and you will be ineligible to file for future damages.
You may agree with the insurance adjuster on a valid property damage claim, but unresolved medical expenses may prevent you from settling on the bodily injury claim. An auto property damage lawyer can help with settlement negotiations with the insurance company so you can receive the compensation you need to repair your vehicle.
What if My Car is Totaled?
An insurance company has three options available to you when you make a total car insurance claim:
- Replacement of damaged property
- Repair the vehicle
- Make a cash payment to compensate for the loss
Typically, an insurance carrier determines the payment for a totaled vehicle by using a market comparison to assess its worth. Your lawyer can offer your insurance and provides extensive details regarding your vehicle’s condition, features, and mileage to help you receive the best value.
Contact an Experienced Property Damage Attorney
Whether you sustained life-threatening injuries or damage to your property following a vehicle accident, Nessler & Associates can assist you in taking the first steps toward a favorable outcome.
If necessary, they can assess the economic damage from the vehicle repair costs and help you file a personal injury lawsuit. Contact our law firm today at 800-727-8010 for a no-obligation, free consultation, and learn your options for getting the property damage compensation you are owed.