If you are injured in a car accident, filing an insurance claim may be the best means of acquiring compensation for any personal injuries or property damage that are incurred due to the accident. Since the insurance companies’ primary goal is to turn a profit, they will make their best efforts to offer you the smallest settlement allowable, based on the terms of your policy.
Get Help From a Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident lawyer from an injury law firm can help you navigate the claims process and, if necessary, litigate on your behalf to ensure the best possible settlement from your insurer. There is important information which your insurance company may not tell you about, but a good auto accident lawyer will. This blog aims to arm you with the knowledge you need to ensure you receive your rightful compensation.
The Difference Between Personal Injury and Property Damage
Legally speaking, there is a major difference between what qualifies as personal injury and what qualifies as property damage. In many cases, the distinction between the two can complicate auto claims or litigation processes. These are the core differences between both personal injury and property damage claims:
Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims allow you to seek damages, or compensation, for permanent injuries or scarring, lost wages, and medical expenses. In most cases, your insurance company will work with car accident lawyers to ensure that the at-fault party is held accountable, and that you or your passengers are compensated for any physical injuries caused by the accident.
Property Damage Claims
Property damage claims will cover the cost of any damage to your vehicle or personal property. This includes any cost related to repairing or replacing your car, towing expenses if your car is rendered inoperable, and rental car expenses if your car cannot be driven. A property damage claim can also help you pay for other related expenses, like damage to personal property inside your vehicle or damage to other property caused by the accident.
The Property Damage Rights Your Insurance Company Won’t Tell You About
Your insurer may not have your best interests in mind, as profit is likely their primary business objective. They may not tell you helpful information that could help you protect yourself or access your benefits. For example, In Louisiana, beneficiaries have an entire year to file a property damage claim which is the quickest turnaround requirement of any U.S. state. Without knowledge of this rule, you may miss the proper filing window.
Other rights you may not know about include:
Your credit score likely has a significant impact on your insurance rates. Before applying for an auto insurance policy, it can be a good idea to acquire a copy of your credit report, which is available for free once every 12 months.
Maintenance and Repairs
Once insured, you may also benefit from knowing that your insurer doesn’t have the right to force you into using their preferred body shop for repairs; you have the choice to seek service wherever you like, unless otherwise stated in your policy.
Similarly, you may not be aware of the subrogation process, which reimburses you for deductible costs and removes an accident from your driving record. This occurs when the other driver is deemed at-fault and your insurance company successfully collects from their insurer. The subrogation process allows drivers to face minimal consequences for auto accidents that were not their fault.
Your Vehicle’s Value
The value of your car can also come into question when dealing with property damage claims. By understanding your car’s real worth and diminished value, you can prepare yourself to claim the maximum amount of compensation possible. Be sure to keep track of receipts related to the purchase of any additions made to your vehicle, as these can often be included in your property damage claim.
Blaine Barrilleaux is an Injury Lawyer That Takes His Client’s Property Damage Claims Seriously
It may seem strange, but many injury law firms and car accident lawyers refuse to take on property damage claims, especially in cases where they are not accompanied by instances of serious physical injury. This is because claims that involve personal injury are more likely to invite large settlements that are financially feasible for larger law firms. While this may seem understandable, it doesn’t help those who have legitimate property damage claims without personal injury claims.
If you were recently injured in a car accident and need assistance claiming fair compensation, work with a lawyer who will take on your full case. The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux isn’t like those other firms: we take a personalized approach to the law. Regardless of how small your personal injury claim, we will accept your property damage claim as well.
In pain? Call Blaine now to schedule a free legal consultation.