How To Deal With

How to Deal with Property Damage After a Crash

People that have been injured in a car accident in South Florida tend to have many questions about the different types of laws and regulations that may affect their personal injury claim. One of the first questions that many of my clients ask when they come in for an initial consultation is “how do I deal with property damage to my vehicle?” Legally, this is referred to as a property damage claim. In this blog post, we will discuss how to deal with a property damage claim after an accident.

Your Property Damage Claim

Typically, prior to making a decision on how to get your vehicle repaired or replaced, the insurance companies will determine who is at fault for the accident. If you were responsible for causing the crash, you will likely have to go through your own insurance provider in order to get your vehicle repaired or replaced. However, if you were not at-fault for the accident, you have two main options available to you. The first option is to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and wait it out. Keep in mind that in the state of Florida, drivers are only required to purchase a minimum of $10,000.00 of property damage insurance. If you decide to make a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, you will have to constantly be following up with an insurance adjuster and you will be subject to the policy conditions imposes on you by the insurance provider. For example, some providers require you to bring your vehicle in to have it inspected or will require you to take your car to one of their preferred vendors to obtain an estimate. The second and better option applies to you if you purchased collision insurance when you signed up for your auto insurance policy. You may want to request a copy of your policy or go online to check out your insurance policy to make sure you did in fact purchase collision insurance. If you purchased collision insurance, you can simply submit a claim to your insurance company and have them take care of repairing and/or replacing your vehicle. However, it is important to note that you will likely have to pay a deductible in order to take this route. In most instances, your insurance policy will likely have a deductible that is anywhere between $400-$1200. As for the cost of repairs, the insurer will pay for the agreed upon estimate price minus the deductible, which you will have to pay to the mechanic or repair shop.

What Are the Benefits of Making a Property Damage Claim with Your Own Insurer?

Saves You Time: In most instances, it is simply faster to file a claim with your own insurance company. This is due to the fact that the other driver’s insurance company must first investigate the claim before it agrees to accept responsibility for any repairs to your vehicle.

Insurance Rates Generally Wont Increase: Your insurance company will likely not raise your insurance premium rates as long as the accident was not your fault.

What Are the Disadvantages of Making a Property Damage Claim with Your Own Insurer?

Deductible: As discussed above, in order to repair or replace your car, you will have to pay $500 or more out of pocket. Of course, you can attempt to recover this cost from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Additionally, in some cases, your insurance company will try and seek reimbursement from the at-fault party’s provider.

Car Rental Costs: In the event you have car rental coverage in your policy, you will be reimbursed for car rentals. However, if you did not elect car rental coverage in your policy, you will have to add these to other out of pocket expenses you are likely to incur in the event you decide to make a claim directly with your own insurance company.

Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney Today!

If your vehicle was recently damaged in a car accident in South Florida and you are seeking some information on your rights and responsibilities with respect to property damage repairs, give us a call! At Suarez & Montero, our car accident attorneys understand how the property damage process works in car accident claims and can help obtain the best possible outcome for your claim. Our team of car accident lawyers have over 19 years of experience providing affordable representation to injury victims facing a wide range of injuries and damage to their property. If you have concerns that your insurance company is not acting fairly with you as it pertains to your property damage claim, If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, or if you have questions about your car accident claim, contact us today for a free consultation!

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.