What Is Considered Property Damage in a Car Accident?
Most states require drivers to carry property damages liability coverage as part of their auto insurance. This coverage pays for property damage in an accident the driver caused. But what items are considered as property damage during a car accident?
What’s Considered Property Damage in an Accident
When another driver causes your accident, you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for your damages. Your damages will probably include property damage.
Property damage claims cover expenses for repairing or replacing your vehicle or personal property.
Examples of property damage costs in a car accident include:
- The costs of repairing or replacing your car
- Damage to personal items that were inside your car
- Towing charges if you cannot drive your vehicle from the scene
- Rental car expenses if you need to rent a car while yours is in the shop
- Any other damage to your property that the accident caused
Personal property damage can include jewelry, cell phones, iPads, laptops, and prescription glasses. You can also add any property that was lost in the accident in your claim. For example, maybe you had groceries in your trunk that the accident ruined.
If you’re unsure what the other driver’s property damage insurance can cover from your accident, talk to a car accident lawyer for help. A lawyer can let you know your options and advise you on what evidence you need to prove your damages.
Personal Injury Claim Versus Property Damage Claim
If a car accident leaves you with physical injuries, you can pursue compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. An injury claim can include costs like:
- Current and future medical costs
- Lost wages or lost earning capacity
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Mental anguish and pain and suffering
If you have property damage on top of your physical injuries, a car accident lawyer can help you file a claim for both personal injury and property damage. If you do not have any injuries but just suffered property damage, you might only need to file a property damage claim.
You’ll want to be sure that you did not suffer physical injuries before filing a claim for only property damage. Many car accident injuries are not apparent right away; they can take time to fully manifest. To be safe, see a doctor after your accident to get checked out for potential injuries.
It’s also a good idea to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Schedule a free consultation to have the lawyer look over your accident details and discuss your legal options. To get a FREE consultation today, call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online.
Property Damage Liability Coverage Is for the Other Driver’s Damages
Property damage liability coverage does not usually pay for the policyholder’s vehicle damage. This coverage pays for the other driver’s property damage if the policyholder caused the accident. However, a driver can purchase collision coverage to help pay for repairs to their vehicle after an accident.
Collision coverage is available for Texas drivers, according to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Coverage options vary by state, but most states require insurers to offer some sort of collision coverage.
Property Damage Liability Requirements
All drivers are required to carry specific amounts and types of auto insurance coverage. The minimum requirements usually include bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage.
The minimum auto insurance will depend on the state where you live. In Texas, drivers must have at least 30/60/25 coverage:
- $30,000 for injuries per person
- $60,000 total per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
If you are a Texas driver who also carries collision coverage, that coverage can help pay for your car’s repairs or replacement if the other driver’s property damage coverage is not enough.
How to Build a Property Damage Claim
There are some things you can do at the scene of your accident to have a successful property damage claim.
Report the Accident
After the crash happens, check yourself and everyone involved for injuries. Then, call 911 to report the accident to the local police. Even if you only seem to have property damage from the crash, it’s best to contact the police anyway.
When you notify the police about the accident, they should create an accident report that will be substantial evidence of the other driver’s fault in the crash.
Get Information at the Scene
Document the details of the accident as much as possible. Get the following:
- The other driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information
- The make, model, and license plate number for the other driver’s car
- The names and contact information of any eyewitnesses
- Pictures of any injuries you have, your vehicle damage, any other property damage, and the accident scene
The more you can document what happened at the scene, the better.
List Your Damaged Items
Write down everything that was damaged because of the car accident, including all evident damage to your car and other personal belongings. Be sure to get pictures of this damage, and try to find photos of the items from before they were damaged.
If you have receipts or bank statements from when you purchased the damaged items, those can help show the items’ values.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Property damage claims are much simpler than personal injury claims, but it’s still a good idea to consult with a lawyer about your legal options. If you had physical injuries on top of property damage, working with a lawyer is typically the best choice.
Get legal help as soon as possible so that you don’t miss the statute of limitations for your state. In Texas, you have two years from the crash date to file a claim for property damage in a car accident (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 16.003).
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer During a Free Consultation Today
Our car accident law firm has been helping car accident victims win the compensation they deserve for years, and we can help you too. We can match you with the best lawyer for your needs and your area. Plus, you’ll get a FREE consultation, and there is no fee unless we win you a settlement or an award.
To get started with a FREE, no-risk consultation, call us at (214) 305-8277 or contact us online today.