There are personal injury attorneys advertisements everywhere, from television to radio to internet ads to billboards. And while they may annoy you, when you have a claim for personal injuries or Car Accident Property Damage, those jingles may seem a little more in tune with your needs.
While the most common claims are for personal injuries, many people forget about bringing a claim for Car Accident Property Damage, which could yield many thousands of dollars.
So what is the difference? A “personal injury” claim involves some sort of damage to your person. For example, if you are in an automobile collision and break your arm, there is value to that claim. And to recover monies for such an injury, you will have to show (i) that the collision was caused by the other person, (ii) you actually sustained injuries and (iii) your injuries were caused by the collision and not some other reason. Proof of your damages is shown through medical records, work records (for lost wages) and your own testimony.
When it comes to property damage claims, there are some differences. At the heart of it, you must still show that the collision was caused by someone else. But here, you must show all car accident property damage, which not only includes the damage to the vehicle itself, but also to any personal property damaged in the collision.
If you were transporting a Ming vase in your car which was shattered during the accident, you are entitled to recovery for the vase. If a resulting fire to your car damages clothes, jewelry and other items of personalty in your car, you are entitled to recovery for the value of these items.
The process may also work differently. If you have insurance for these items, you will likely file claim with your own insurance company, which will pay you for the value of these items. Your own insurance company will then likely bring a “subrogation claim” to be recouped for monies paid to you. However, even in this seemingly easy subrogation context, retaining an attorney is vital. Indeed, your own insurance company is a business that wants to pay as little as possible. As a result, they are likely to offer the lowest value for your lost items. Attorneys know how to work with these adjusters to make you’re your recovery is more fair.
If your items were not insured, you may bring these property damage claims in the same lawsuit as yours for personal injuries, something else where it is recommended that you retain an experienced attorney to do so.