What Type of Damage Can I Sue for After a Non-Injury Car Accident?
If you get involved in an accident in Texas, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and may not know what to do next. That’s especially the case if there are no visible bodily injuries, and legal matters may be the last thing you want to handle. However, significant damage to your car can be a huge burden you want to avoid dealing with on your own or out of your pocket.
While you may not have to file a personal injury lawsuit, you may have a strong property damage lawsuit for the loss incurred. Personal injury lawsuits require a victim to have suffered an injury for there to be a case, but property damage is also a loss that deserves compensation. Consult a skilled San Antonio personal injury lawyer on your options and what you can do.
What is the Difference Between Personal Injury Claims and Property Damage Claims?
It’s important to clarify that personal injury and property damage claims differ. However, a personal injury attorney will often take a property damage claim in conjunction with a personal injury claim. Differences between the two types of claims arise in the following ways:
- Liability: A personal injury claim revolves around determining the at-fault party’s liability, while a property damage claim revolves around the value of the loss. Insurance companies don’t argue over your entitlement to compensation in a property damage claim but the amount you request.
- Value: Property damage claims are often less valuable than personal injury claims, and insurance companies are more likely to pay them out. They are often valued at around $2,000 and rarely exceed $5,000. Having an experienced San Antonio auto accident lawyer represent you can ensure you get the maximum compensation value you deserve.
- Time: Large personal injury claims take time to investigate, with accident reconstruction often taking place to get to the bottom of the events leading to the accident. There is also a period of discovery and possible dispositions, events that can take up to one year to expedite. All these are unnecessary with a property damage claim.
Can I Settle a Property Damage Claim Out of Court?
In most cases, it is possible to settle a property damage claim out of court with the liable driver’s insurance company with the help of an experienced San Antonio auto accident lawyer. Your attorney will initiate a claim with the insurance company and handle the claim’s specifics with the insurance adjuster.
Depending on how well your lawyer handles the claim, you can get property damage compensation directly from the negligent driver’s insurance company without going to court. The settlement offer you get at the first instance will likely be higher if an attorney represents you than when you try to handle the claim by yourself.
What Happens if I Disagree With the Settlement Offer?
Insurance companies know that you’re in a position to sue for property damage and take the matter to court. They also know that it is more cost-effective for them to offer a higher settlement upfront to save on litigation costs. If you don’t agree with the settlement amount, your auto accident attorney in San Antonio may appeal the settlement amount.
In other cases, and depending on the case specifics, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in court. Insurance companies can be challenging to deal with and may try to shortchange you. An aggressive auto accident attorney in San Antonio can help you handle negotiations out of court or in court, depending on how complex the case is.
What is the Best Way to Handle a Property Damage Claim?
Personal injury and property damage claims are often complex, and insurance companies won’t make it any easier. The best way to work around the claims is to hire an aggressive personal injury attorney in San Antonio to work out the claim on your behalf.
Based on their skills and experience, they can help you negotiate the total amount you are entitled to receive by doing the following:
1. Getting an Estimate for Your Property Damage Claim
Experienced auto accident attorneys know everything that goes into determining the value of a property damage claim. They also know you have the right to seek a second opinion if the insurance company requires you to use their repair shop for an estimate. Your lawyer works in your best interest and will therefore fight to ensure you get the figures right when valuing the claim.
2. Determining a Fair Market Value for Your Vehicle
Depending on the damage to your vehicle, the insurance company may decide it’s better to replace the vehicle than repair it. When that’s the case, you must know the fair market value of your car.
Most of the time, insurance companies will compare the cost of repairing the car with the value of the car and determine if it’s worth replacing it.
3. Claiming the Loss
You’re entitled to claim the loss if you can’t use your vehicle after an accident that was not your fault. Your auto accident lawyer in San Antonio will advise you not to accept the first offer, as there is always room for negotiation for a better offer. They can help you negotiate the most favorable compensation amount.
Aggressive Auto Accident Attorney Maximizing the Value of Your Claim
Many factors come into play when determining the compensation amount you’re entitled to in a non-injury car accident claim. Hiring an experienced auto accident attorney in San Antonio can enhance the chances of recovering the total compensation amount the property damage is worth. They can study your case, negotiate a fair settlement, and fight to protect your rights.
If another driver is responsible for your property damage after a car accident, our law firm can help. We provide legal counsel and aggressive representation to help car accident victims recover compensation for their loss. Call the Law Office of Matthew S. Norris at (210) 549-7633 to get the money you deserve.