Calculating Property Damage
It is typically assumed that when personal property is damaged that the responsible party must replace that damaged item. The truth is, in most cases the negligent party is only required to pay for repairs or pay the fair market value of the item to have it replaced.
For example, if you are involved in an accident driving your 1972 Plymouth Duster that has seen its fair share of wear and is valued at about $1,000 and the car is totaled, the responsible party is only required to reimburse you for $1,000, not the cost of a brand new $20,000 car.
While this seems very simple and fair, the insurance companies covering these types of accidents are only concerned about paying out the lowest amount possible. So, it would not be unheard of for them to make a “final replacement offer” of $100 on the vehicle. Of course, this is simply wrong.
Whether you are driving a 40-year-old well-used car or a brand new high dollar sports car, you are entitled to receive full and fair compensation for your losses.
Know the Value of Your Property
When you are filing a claim for compensation for personal property damages, it is important that you have an accurate idea of the value of your property. If you have receipts from the original purchase, this can help. You may also want to research any similar or same products for their current value and price. All of this information will be helpful in your case.
It is also essential that you remember to include all of the property damaged during an accident. This type of compensation covers more than just your vehicle. Were your glasses damaged during the accident? Did you have to replace your dentures or hearing aids? Did you have your cell phone connected to the car computer to use for GPS and it was ruined? Did you have personal belongings in the back seat or trunk that were destroyed in the wreck? All of this is your personal property and should be a part of your claim.
Protect Your Rights and Speak With an Attorney About Your Case
There are many attorneys that overlook the personal property aspects of a case or just accept what the insurance companies offer. These attorneys are more concerned with the other losses their clients have suffered as a result of the accident.
Attorney Donald S. Fair believes that you should receive all of the compensation that you are entitled to under the law, regardless of how minor of a loss it was. As the victim of the accident, you should be able to make a full and complete recovery and never “just settle” for what the insurance company offers. Insurance companies always lowball their offers.
If you have been involved in an accident and are seeking compensation, you are encouraged to speak with one of the knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Donald S. Fair. Call (909) 344-3011 to schedule your free case evaluation. We promise that when we create your compensation package, it will include all of your losses, including personal property damages.