A car crash often leaves survivors not only with bodily injuries and emotional distress but also with tangible property damage.
In Florida, drivers must have at least a $10,000 property damage liability insurance for crashes they cause. This rule means they must pay if the damage to the other party’s vehicle exceeds their policy’s limit. On the other hand, if drivers want reimbursement for damages to their vehicle, collision insurance is an option to pay for repairs regardless of who is to blame or when the at-fault party flees the scene.
However, crash scenarios significantly differ based on the extent of damage, terms of insurance policies and out-of-pocket losses incurred. Thus, establishing these considerations can help claimants recover the compensation they deserve.
What damages can a claimant seek?
After an accident, drivers must assess whether it is still possible to repair their car or if salvaging it will be more costly. So, if the total loss threshold exceeds 80% of the vehicle’s actual cash value, then repairing it is not worth it.
The following are common damages to watch out for:
- Minimal repairs for scrapes or dents
- Rental car, towing, towing or fuel fees while the damaged vehicle is in a repair shop
- Lost personal items inside the car that need replacement, such as shattered eyeglasses or broken gadgets
- Total loss or when a “totaled” car is beyond repair, which means repair costs outweigh the car’s value before the crash happened
- Diminished value or when a car is fixable, but it reduces the vehicle’s pre-crash value
This list is not exhaustive and can expand when there are numerous vehicles involved or disputes arise. When the at-fault party has insufficient or lacks coverage to pay for all parties’ damages, drivers must ensure they have enough coverage to pay for their expenses.
Why does professional counsel matter before making a claim?
Filing for a property damage claim can quickly become complex, especially when it comes to physical injuries, deaths and multiple parties – drivers, passengers, vehicle owners and insurance companies. Initial low settlement offers are typical when everyone’s trying to save time and money. Thus, dependable counsel is crucial to prevent unjust offers and to ensure maximized claims. Doing so can also aid survivors to focus on healing while their legal team works on their compensation.