Property damage (PD) refers to any damage to your personal possessions due to an accident. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, your vehicle will more than likely be the biggest portion of your property damage claim. However, you are entitled to receive additional compensation for other items that were damaged in the accident.
A lawyer with Kaine Law can help you with your property damage claims. Learn more with a free case review.
When to File a Property Damage-Only Claim
While there is usually a property damage component in every personal injury claim, there are other times when you may only want to file a property damage claim.
You should file a property damage-only claim if:
- Your car was damaged in an accident.
- There were no physical injuries, and you will not need to seek any medical treatment or physical therapy.
- Other personal items that were inside the car at the time of the accident were damaged or destroyed. E.g., your glasses, clothing, or even electronics, such as your laptop, camera, or cell phone.
Working to Secure Compensation for You and Your Family
At Kaine Law, we believe you should focus your energy on recovering from your injuries (both physical and financial). In an effort to alleviate the stress of legal work, our team will handle every aspect of your case, including:
- Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf
- Speaking with eyewitnesses from the accident
- Collecting evidence, such as photos, videos, and police reports
- Handling all communications and deadlines
- Filing any legal documents
- Explaining any legal issues
- If necessary, representing you at trial
Our personal injury attorneys can review your case’s circumstances for free and explain your legal options moving forward.
Steps to Take after an Accident Without Bodily Injury
These steps are a general guideline to follow after your accident if you were not injured:
File a Claim
If another driver caused the crash, that driver’s insurance company is responsible for reimbursing you for any damaged property as a result of their driver’s negligence.
Get a Rental Car
The length of this process depends on how quickly the other driver’s insurance company accepts liability.
If there is a liability dispute, or if the other insurance company is simply taking too long to make rental car arrangements, you may be well-served going through your own vehicle’s insurance’s collision coverage.
You will have to pay your deductible for the time being. But after the responsible driver’s insurance company completes their investigation and accepts liability, your deductible amount will be refunded to you as part of your settlement.
Have Your Vehicle Appraised for Repair
After the insurance company has appraised your vehicle, decide where to take your car for repairs. People are often under the misconception that they have to use the insurance company’s recommended repair shop. The insurance company may make it sound like this is the only option, but this is not correct.
If you choose to have it repaired somewhere with a higher cost, you must first get approval for the extra expenditure. If the insurance does not approve of the higher cost, they may be willing to write you a check for the appraisal amount.
If you’ve made additions to your vehicle or installed aftermarket parts (e.g., an expensive sound system or customized special rims), it’s always a good idea to keep receipts to prove their cost. You’ll need to include these as proof to recover these additional costs.
Include All Damaged Items in Your Claim
You have a right to be compensated for any item of value that was damaged in the collision. Remember to list these items in your property damage claim. It helps to gather photographs and receipts for these items to prove their value.
Replace Your Children’s Car Seats
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that parents replace car seats if they were in a moderate to severe car accident. NHTSA defines a minor accident as having all the following qualities:
- No one was injured.
- The airbags did not open.
- You can drive the vehicle after the accident.
- The door next to the car seat was not damaged.
- The child’s car seat shows no signs of damage.
The car insurance company should pay for a replacement car seat as part of your property damage claim. If you don’t have the receipts anymore, you may try reaching out to the retailer where you purchased the items, as the seller may be able to provide you with a copy of your receipt.
Property Damage Claim Deadlines in Georgia
If we cannot reach a fair settlement with the insurance company, we can take your case to court. According to the statute of limitations for the recovery of personal property, O.C.G.A. § 9-3-32, you have four years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. You may be unable to recover for damages if you do not file within the four-year timeframe.
Call Kaine Law for a Free Case Evaluation
While most attorneys will not handle property damage-only cases, as a courtesy, we provide assistance to our personal injury clients by handling their property damage claims.
From our offices in DeKalb, Henry, Rockdale, and Gwinnett counties, the experienced car accident attorneys at Kaine Law help our clients with every aspect of their claims throughout Atlanta and across Georgia. Call us today at (404) 214-2001 to set up a meeting. Hablamos Español.