Property Damage Car Accident Claims
Most car accident injury attorneys are laser-focused on injuries, but there is an important issue that needs to be addressed for many clients – financial restitution for the property damage caused by a serious car accident. While injuries occur in almost every car accident, so does damage to the car itself. Even small accidents with no injuries such as fender benders often involve property damage. While some instances of property damage may be quite small, damage can be as high as the value of the car if it was totaled in the accident.
There are many different ways to recover property damage after a car accident. Insurance claims make up a large portion of property damage recovery; however, the Texas court system may be utilized in certain cases. It is important for victims of auto accidents to quickly receive compensation for vehicle property damage. Understanding the process of filing a claim can help speed up the claims recovery process.
Filing Insurance Claims: The First Step
Vehicle property damage is most routinely resolved through the insurance claims process. This is particularly true for automobile accidents that do not result in a physical injury. All auto insurance policies cover property damage. In general, an insurance deductible is applied to the extent of damage. The insured will pay the deductible and insurance will cover the rest, assuming the damage claim is covered. Keep in mind that certain policy exceptions may work to bar coverage.
When filing an insurance claim, fault is important. The driver at fault is generally responsible for paying any damages claims. Therefore, the at-fault driver’s insurer will resolve the insurance claims. Where neither driver was at fault or both drivers equally caused the accident, each driver and his or her insurer will bear their own damages.
Most insured drivers attempt to resolve insurance claims on their own without the assistance of an attorney. Few believe that hiring an attorney to assist in recovering a couple hundred dollars worth of damages is economically efficient. That is generally true. However, it is dangerous to attempt to settle higher value property damage claims with an insurance company without the assistance of an attorney. Insurance companies routinely undervalue claims, and hiring an attorney can help ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Uninsured Motorists and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In many cases, drivers may not have auto insurance coverage or their coverage may not fully cover the damages sustained. In those cases, the driver’s insurance will be responsible for making up the difference. Uninsured motorist coverage also applies to hit-and-run accidents. In a hit-and-run accident, uninsured motorist coverage will act to protect the insurance claimant.
Going to Court as the Last Resort
In more expensive accidents, particularly those that involve injuries, property damage claims will often be resolved alongside the personal injury claims. Such damage claims will move through the court process and may either settle out of court or be resolved by a judge or jury. When going to court, hiring an attorney to assist with settling the claim is often essential.
Contact a Houston Attorney Today
If your car was badly damaged in a collision with another vehicle or was deemed a “total loss” by the insurance company, you deserve quality legal representation to pursue the proper compensation for this damage. Contact the law firm of Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. today to schedule a free case review 713-221-6800.