The Roch Law Firm, P.C.

What Is Considered As Property Damage In A Car Accident?

Anything that is damaged in a car wreck is considered property damage. While the damage to your vehicle is the main component of property damage, you should also look to see whether there was any personal property that was damaged in the wreck. This might include a GPS system, a phone, a GoPro camera, or even CDs. If you think you can establish the value of these items and demonstrate that they were damaged in the wreck, you are entitled to reimbursement for that damage. If you have a pet that was hurt in a car wreck, the veterinary bills would technically be filed under property damage rather than a bodily injury claim, as it would be for humans.

What Is A Property Damage Claim And How Does It Differ From A Personal Injury Claim?

In Georgia, a property damage claim is separate from any claim that you might have for injuries that you sustained in a car wreck. This is actually a really good idea, because it means that you can settle the damage on your vehicle even if you are still getting treatment for bodily injury. In a property damage claim, the first thing that will occur will be an appraisal to determine whether or not your car can be repaired. If your car has sustained substantial damage, you should begin to look into the car’s likely value as soon as you can. This includes looking at the car’s value on Kelley Blue Book, CarGurus and other similar websites.

If you owe money on the car via a car loan, you are also going to want to know the payoff value for the vehicle. In other words, you will want to know how much money you still owe on the vehicle. You’ll need this dollar amount if your car is unable to be repaired.

I’ve Been Involved In An Accident, Who Is Responsible For Paying That Property Damage?

If the wreck is somebody else’s fault, that person and that person’s insurance will be responsible for paying for the damage to your car. That being said, when you are in a car wreck and it’s not your fault, you should also check your own car insurance to see your own available coverage. This is because you may have additional benefits available to you, such as gap insurance or more favorable rental insurance. In many instances, it is easier to work with your own car insurance and have them bill the at-fault driver, rather than dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance directly yourself.

I Have Been In a Wreck. What Do I Do To Start A Property Claim?

The first and most important thing to do is seek medical attention if you or anyone else was injured in the wreck. One of the most important things to do in order to help your claim and preserve your rights is to make sure that if you’re hurt, you receive care. The second thing that you need to do is notify the at-fault driver’s insurance company as well as your own insurance company of the wreck. Both of those insurance companies should tell you the name of the adjuster that will be handling your claim, as well as the claim number to reference when you call back.

It’s important to have that information available to you. Now, right after the wreck, you’re not necessarily going to know that information. The way that you’re going to obtain the at-fault driver’s policy information is by obtaining the police report. The next step – and typically the best option – is to consult with an attorney who can walk you through the specific steps in your case involving the property claim for the car, any other property damage in the car, and your injuries. Typically, an attorney will not charge you for a consult – I don’t. In some instances, if it’s a very simple claim, there is not going to be a lot of pressure to get you to sign up with the firm, and they will just want to give you good advice.

What Can I Do If The Insurance Company Doesn’t Pay Enough To Pay Off My Loan?

Unfortunately, the at-fault driver and their insurance company are only required to give you the actual cash value for your vehicle, not necessarily what you owe. That is, if the Actual Cash Value” for the vehicle. Or, put another way, how much would the car be worth? In this situation, you can check to see if you have purchased gap insurance either from the car insurance company or from the place where you bought your car. Gap insurance is meant specifically for situations in which a car has been damaged to the point that it is worth less than the amount that is owed on it.

If you are still in a situation where the insurance company’s offer is not enough to pay off your loan, you can consider getting an independent car appraisal to determine whether or not the car insurance valuation on your vehicle is fair. There are numerous independent appraisal companies in Georgia that you can go to. They’ll look at your car and let you know whether or not the value on it is accurate.

For more information on Property Damage In Car Accidents, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (770) 345-7624 today.

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