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How to File a Property Damage Claim

Being in an automobile accident is scary enough, but the process of filing a property damage claim should not be. Here are some simple tips on how to handle a property damage claim.

When you have been in an automobile accident and there is damage to your vehicle you should:

  • Exchange names and insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle;
  • Call the police as the police report is an important tool in determining liability;
  • Obtain contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident;
  • Take photos of your and the other driver's vehicle; and
  • Make a list of any damaged personal property, including property inside your car.

The insurance company with which the property damage claim is filed is dependent on which driver was at fault. If liability is unclear in an accident, you should submit the property damage claim to your own insurance company. They will review the information and determine liability. If liability is clear, then the property damage claim should be filed with the insurer of the liable party. After the accident you'll want to call your insurance company to inform them of the accident regardless of whether you are liable for the accident. 

In the event of an accident where the other driver is liable, you are entitled to the following damages:

  • If your car is repairable, you are entitled to the cost of repair, the loss of use of your vehicle during the time it takes to repair your vehicle and, depending on the severity of damage, you may also be entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle;
  • If your car is irreparable, you are entiltled to the fair market value of your vehicle plus sales tax up to the fair market value and the loss of use of your vehicle during the time it taskes to compensate you for the irreparable property damage.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact Martin Law Office for a free consultation.

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