Property damage is harm caused to real or personal property. Property damage claims are separate from claims for damages caused by a personal injury, but both claims are often brought at the same time against the at-fault party. Car accidents are a common cause of property damage claims in Jacksonville.
Keep reading for more information on property damage so that you can
Florida’s Requirement for Property Damage Insurance Coverage
Florida is a no-fault state for car insurance; the state requires drivers to purchase and maintain a minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance coverage. PDL insurance pays for the damage to another person’s vehicle when you cause a car accident.
Florida does not require drivers to purchase other types of auto insurance. However, many drivers purchase bodily injury liability insurance, collision insurance, and comprehensive insurance to protect themselves and their property if they cause a car wreck.
Liability insurance companies accident victims when you are responsible for causing a car crash. Therefore, if you have liability coverage, your insurance company would pay the other driver for damages when you were at fault.
Collision car insurance might cover the repair or replacement cost of your vehicle if you cause a traffic accident.
Comprehensive insurance is similar to collision coverages. If your vehicle is damaged by an act of nature, vandalism, or covered incidents other than a collision, your insurance company may pay the cost to repair or replace your vehicle under a comprehensive policy.
Who Pays for the Damage To My Car After a Car Accident in Jacksonville, FL?
The party responsible for your property damage claim depends on the facts of your case. Potential scenarios include:
You Cause the Car Accident
Your PDL insurance should cover property damage to your vehicle, even if you caused the car accident. However, if you have collision coverage, you could file an insurance claim with your insurance provider under your collision policy. Your insurance company should pay to repair or place your vehicle up to the policy limits.
The Other Driver Caused the Car Accident
If the other driver is at fault for the cause of the car crash, you can file a claim for property damages with the at-fault driver’s PDL insurance provider. However, the insurance company would only be liable for up to $10,000 for property damage if the person has minimum coverage.
You can also file a claim with your PDL provider. However, you would be responsible for paying the deductible for the claim.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you could file a claim for property damage for a crash caused by an uninsured driver. Uninsured motorist coverage is another optional insurance coverage you can purchase to help cover the cost of a car crash that is not your fault.
What Types of Damages Are Included in a Property Damage Claim?
The amount you recover for a property damage claim depends on the severity of the damage to your vehicle. If you are partially to blame for the cause of the crash, your fault could decrease the amount you are entitled to receive under Florida’s contributory fault law.
Generally, property damage claims for car accidents include:
Repairing Your Vehicle
The insurance company pays for the cost of repairing the damage to your vehicle. However, you have the right to choose the repair shop and demand the company cover new parts to make the repairs.
Replacing Your Vehicle
If the cost to repair your vehicle exceeds a percentage of the car’s value, the insurance company may choose to total the car. When your car is a total loss, you are entitled to receive payment for the vehicle’s fair market value. If you owe money for a car loan, the lender is paid first before you receive any money for the vehicle.
Other Personal Property Damaged in the Collision
You may also file a property damage claim for personal property damaged in the car crash. For example, if your cell phone, tablet, or other items in the vehicle sustained damage, you can file a claim for reimbursement of the loss.
Diminished Value Claims
Insurance adjusters are unlikely to mention diminished value claims because many people are unaware they could be entitled to additional compensation. Therefore, you must demand compensation for diminished value when settling a property damage claim.
Even though your vehicle has been repaired and may look brand new, it does not mean it is worth as much as it was before the accident. Car crashes decrease the value of a vehicle.
Diminished value is the difference between what your car is worth after repairs and the value of your car before the accident. Be prepared to provide evidence of the different values from reputable sources, such as vehicle appraisers, car dealers, and licensed repair shops.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Jacksonville Car Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in an accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your bodily injuries, financial losses, and property damage. Contact our law office or call (904) 396-1100 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Jacksonville car wreck attorneys.