In a car accident, any personal injury to the driver or passengers is generally the first item occupying the driver’s mind. Whether a victim of an accident or at fault, injuries and the devastation they can cause are the most critical item to address first.
Yet damage to property can also be a significant financial concern and raise questions of insurance coverage and responsibility.
Types of Damage
Property damage is the term for any item that is damaged in an accident. When property is damaged through the fault of another, insurance coverage for replacement is the common question many people have.
Some common examples of property damaged in a car accident are a car, a fence, a home or business, and even trees. Some items also considered damaged property that were inside in a car at the time of an accident may include skis or a laptop computer.
Property damage in any accident can be concerning, because not all drivers carry car insurance, though it is required in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Statistics from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) show that 1 out of every 7 drivers on American roads do not have car insurance coverage, making it a significant concern for drivers taking to the road.
If a car and property are damaged, and the driver does not have insurance, the victim’s own coverage may apply, if they have uninsured motorist property damage coverage. However, this is something not all drivers carry; although it is mandatory in New Jersey.
Insurance and Liability
When property is damaged, a police report is key to documenting all known information before contacting the insurance company to report it. In the case of a vehicle collision with another car, this is straightforward. In a case where a driver returns to his or her car to find it was hit by an unknown party, a police report is still necessary.
Smartphones make it simple to take photos on the spot, showing the extent of the damage and the location of the vehicle. For property contained in a vehicle or other physical property like fencing, it is important to take photographs and collect any receipts and descriptions for the damaged items.
Deductibles and Insurance
Most car owners can quickly review the type of insurance coverage they carry, which also includes deductibles for which the owner is responsible. The insurance coverage then applies to the remaining amount. In many cases, such as hit-and-run or uninsured motorists, high deductibles can be daunting for the car owner who is not at fault, and now must be financially responsible.
In cases where the at-fault party is known, if the damages exceed any available insurance coverage, the only other recourse is to file a civil suit against the responsible party.
For issues arising out of insurance coverage, or an insurer’s denial of claims, it is important to consult with an experienced Delaware car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help with Property Damage Matters
We provide free consultations from our offices in Wilmington, Delaware. We proudly represent clients throughout Delaware, including Dover, Middletown and Newark, as well as Pennsylvania and New Jersey.