How Is Damaged Property Handled in a Car Accident Claim?

Published on Dec 16, 2022 at 1:22 pm in Car Accidents.
How Is Damaged Property Handled in a Car Accident Claim?

After a car accident, compensation for medical bills and other injury-related expenses is often the most pressing need. But whether you suffered injuries or walked away unharmed, property damage can also put a significant dent in both your finances and lifestyle.

Read on to learn how damaged property is handled in a car accident claim. If you have questions about a motor vehicle accident you suffered in Biloxi or surrounding areas in Mississippi, Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law has the answers you need. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a qualified auto accident lawyer.

Recovering Compensation for Property Damage After a Car Accident

Mississippi law allows you to recover compensation for an accident caused by another party’s negligence. Negligence in such a case might be actions or inactions like:

  • Texting and driving
  • Running a red light
  • Driving intoxicated
  • Failing to give the right of way
  • Not checking blind spots before merging or changing lanes
  • Driving recklessly
  • Speeding
  • Violating traffic laws

These and many other forms of carelessness or recklessness could entitle you to file a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. When you file a car accident claim, you are essentially requesting that the insurer repay you for the losses you suffered because of the accident caused by the other motorist.

The amount of financial compensation you request in your car accident claim should reflect the totality of your losses. It’s best to work with an experienced car accident lawyer to come up with an appropriate sum. Without experience, it’s easy to unintentionally undervalue your claim by failing to calculate things like pain and suffering, future medical expenses, or diminished earning capacity. Your lawyer may even need to work with accountants or medical experts. An expert witness can help you figure out exactly how much compensation you need to cover all expenses you will require to fully recover from your accident.

Compensation in a car accident claim may address financial and non-financial losses such as:

  • Medical expenses for physical injuries
  • Lost wages from time taken off work
  • Reduced future earnings if you need to change or resign from your job
  • Pain, suffering, emotional anguish, and other noneconomic losses
  • Property damage

Property damage is a broad category—it includes more than just the cost of fixing your vehicle. Without experienced legal representation, accident victims can end up with a settlement award that is lower than what they actually deserve. Your auto accident attorney can help you assess the types of property damage you incurred and how to seek full and fair compensation through a car accident claim.

What Is Considered Property Damage in a Car Accident?

Damage to a vehicle is the main type of property damage for which most accident victims seek compensation. But there are other kinds of property damage as well.

How damaged property is handled in a car accident claim will depend on the type of personal property that was harmed or destroyed in the collision and the value of that property.

Vehicle Damage

In a car accident claim, vehicle damage is handled by calculating the full cost of expenses related to repairing or replacing your car. This includes any necessary repairs to fix your vehicle, taking into account structural damage, cosmetic damage, and functional damage. An experienced auto mechanic can provide an estimate for these repairs.

If your vehicle is no longer functional or not worth the cost of repairs, an appraiser may be called in to determine the pre-collision value. Verifying the accurate value of a “totaled” vehicle can be complicated. The professional appraiser will need to weigh multiple factors, including how much money you still owe on the vehicle. It’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side if there are any disputes about the pre-crash value of your car.

Personal Property Damage

In addition to vehicle damage, you may have incurred other types of personal property damage in your car accident. Most people carry a number of valuable objects in their vehicles whenever they leave the house. Work-related items, personal electronics, and objects of emotional significance can be destroyed in a wreck. Working with your attorney to calculate these significant losses in your claim helps to ensure you aren’t forced to bear these costs yourself.

Damaged property that may be addressed in a car accident claim might include:

  • Mobile devices, including cell phones and tablets
  • Laptops or other computer equipment
  • Custom stereo equipment you installed in your vehicle
  • Car seats and strollers
  • Power tools and machinery
  • Clothing or jewelry
  • Cameras and video equipment
  • Headphones
  • Other valuable items or documents

Damaged property can only be compensated through a car accident claim if you can provide evidence of the item’s destruction and pre-crash value. You’ll need to gather things like receipts, photos, credit card transactions, and proof of value. Ask your car accident attorney how to best handle damaged property in a car accident claim if you are unsure how to calculate or prove the value of your lost items.

Get Help With Your Mississippi Car Accident Claim

Filing a car accident claim is rarely a simple process, no matter how minor your auto collision might seem. Damaged personal property can complicate matters even more.

An insurance company is unlikely to award you compensation for lost personal property or the full value of your totaled vehicle without dispute. Never forget that an insurance company is a business. Your goal of recovering your losses is not shared by a for-profit company like an auto insurer. It is your responsibility to prove to the insurance company that you are deserving and entitled by law to the damages listed in your car accident claim.

Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law has years of experience filing Mississippi car accident claims with clients. Our personal injury law firm knows how frustrating it can be to negotiate with a car insurance company. We put our experience to work for you, taking care of all insurer communications with professionalism and expertise.

Let us handle your damaged property car accident claim for you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law.



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