How Do I Pursue a Claim for Damage to My Vehicle?
Aside from suffering injuries in a motor vehicle crash, your vehicle and your belongings inside it were also probably damaged. Facing costly repairs or a replacement, along with the inconvenience of not having a vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired or while you’re waiting for a replacement, can be incredibly frustrating.
Fortunately, you may be able to bring a property damage claim against your insurance coverage or the party that caused the crash to cover all the costs associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle. While the circumstances of each car accident and property damage claim vary from one case to another, here’s what pursuing a claim for vehicle damage in Florida would look like.
Notify The Insurer of The At-Fault Driver
All motor vehicle owners in Florida must carry property damage liability (PDL) coverage of at least $10,000. You should contact the at-fault driver’s insurer to file your claim. In your claim, you should specify the following:
- The costs to repair the damage to your vehicle
- Your vehicle’s fair market value if it is a complete loss
- Car rental costs
- Replacement costs for any vehicle upgrades
- Repair or replacement costs for personal belongings damaged or lost in the crash, including smartphones, laptops, electronic devices, jewelry, prescription glasses, etc.
The insurer will assign an insurance claims adjuster to your case. However friendly and helpful the claims adjuster might be, you should know that they work for the insurer, which means that they’re not on your side. Ideally, you should relay all discussions with the adjuster to your Florida car accident lawyer or at least discuss your case with a lawyer first to learn how to interact with the adjuster and protect your claim.
Notify Your Insurer
If you have collision coverage, your insurer will handle your claim and seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurer. If the at-fault driver was underinsured or uninsured, your uninsured motorist insurance coverage (if you have one) might cover your vehicle damage.
Prove You Sustained Vehicle Damage Due to The Crash
You must prove in your claim or in court that your vehicle was damaged because of the other party’s negligence. To do this, you can use these pieces of evidence:
- The police report
- Photos and videos of the damage and the accident scene
- Appraisals, receipts, and bills from your auto repair shop
- Witness statements
- Expert opinions
You have the burden of proof when filing a property damage claim, which means it is up to you to prove that what you are claiming and seeking compensation for is true. To help increase your chances of recovering fair compensation for your vehicle damage, it’s best to consult with a Florida car accident lawyer to learn more about your case. If your lawyer believes that you have a solid claim against the liable parties, they will prove the extent of your vehicle damage, establish fault and liability for it, and fight to secure fair compensation for you.
Talk to a Seasoned Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
For more information about pursuing a claim for vehicle damage after a crash, contact the Florida car accident lawyers at Matthews Injury Law. Reach us online or call 813-530-1000 to schedule your complimentary consultation.