Can I Sue for Property Damage After a Car Accident?

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If you got hurt in a car accident and you’re pursuing damages, you should not just be compensated for your medical bills and other expenses related to your injury. Your car has also been damaged, and that could mean a significant repair bill or the need to replace your car entirely. Your compensation offer should be calculated with this property damage in mind too, and a Prince George’s County car accident lawyer can help you with negotiations.

What Kind of Insurance Covers Property Damage?

There are a few types of car insurance coverage that can help pay for property damage, but not all of them are mandatory. The first is uninsured motorist coverage. This is required in all policies for Washington, D.C. drivers, and it can help you pay for property damage if you are hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver who flees the scene, making it impossible to make a claim to their insurer.

There is also collision coverage. This is optional. Many people keep it on their newer cars but eventually drop the coverage when their vehicle gets older and less valuable. If you have collision on your policy, you can submit a claim with your insurance company to get a repair.

Finally, there is liability coverage. This is mandatory, but it does not pay for damage to your own vehicle. This pays out to cover damage to someone else’s car.

When Can I Sue Someone Over Property Damage?

So if you want to sue someone over property damage, you must file a claim with their insurer and seek a payout from their liability coverage. You would have to show that the other driver was negligent and that this negligence led to the car accident and the damage to your vehicle.

Filing this kind of claim, called a third-party insurance claim, can be preferable to filing a claim with your own insurance company, a first-party insurance claim, for a few reasons. First of all, filing a claim with your own insurance can lead to an increase in your premiums. If you didn’t cause the accident, that doesn’t really seem fair. Secondly, your own policy likely has a deductible that needs to be paid before collision or uninsured motorist coverage can begin to cover property damage. You could end up paying for hundreds of dollars in repairs yourself.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Having a seasoned personal injury lawyer on your side can make it easier to win your case. An attorney from our firm can help you gather evidence and show how the other driver is responsible for damaging your property. Then they can negotiate a fair compensation offer that has been calculated with that property damage in mind.

Talk to an Attorney Today

If you need help suing for property damage after a car accident, we’re ready to assist you. Contact McCarthy, Winkelman & Mester, L.L.P. and ask to schedule a free case consultation with our team. We can tell you more about your legal options.

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