Property Damage 

If you were hurt in a car accident, bicycle accident, or other type of personal injury incident, you may have the right to be compensated for the value of your property damage.

While this might seem like a straightforward concept, it can easily become complicated. 

Knowing the fair value of your property damage claim and how it is determined can help ensure that you are properly compensated for your losses.

Property Damage In Car Accident Cases 

Property Damage In Car Accident Cases

Florida is a no-fault state for bodily injuries that occur in car accidents. This means that each driver turns to their own insurance policy for coverage, regardless of who is at fault. However, PIP insurance does not apply to property damage.

Florida law requires all registered drivers to maintain at least $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. This policy pays for the damages to another person’s vehicle caused by their negligence. 

Suppose you are stopped at a red light when a distracted driver runs into the back of your vehicle. You take your car to a body shop and are quoted $5,000 for your repairs. You could claim property damage against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance to cover your repairs. 

Often, property damage claims are treated differently and separately from bodily injury claims. Therefore, the insurance company might pay for your car to be repaired but might be refusing to pay you fairly for your injuries. 

Property That Might Be Damaged In a Personal Injury Accident

There are many different types of property that might be damaged in a personal injury accident, such as:

  • Cars or trucks
  • Bikes or motorcycles
  • Cell phones or tablets that a victim was carrying at the time of the accident
  • Parcels a bike accident victim was carrying at the time of the accident
  • Items on a person during a slip and fall and their shoes and clothing
  • Personal items, tools, and other belongings thrown about during a car accident
  • Houses, fences, and land when an accident occurs on real property
  • Car seats that are damaged during an accident 

Florida law allows accident victims to seek compensation for the value of their damaged property when someone else’s negligence is responsible for it. Negligence applies when someone has a legal duty to act to prevent accidents, breaches that duty, and causes someone else to suffer injuries. 

Different Ways To Value Property 

There are many different ways to value property and property damage claims, including:

Repair Costs 

If the property was damaged but can be repaired to its former state, the repair cost may be the value of a property damage claim. 

Fair Market Value 

If it costs more to repair the property than it does to purchase comparable property, the value that may be assigned to the damaged property is its fair market value. For example, there are books that show the estimated value of a vehicle based on its year, make, model, mileage, and condition. You can receive payment from the insurance company equal to the fair market value. 

Note, that the fair market value may be less than what you paid for the vehicle. You might still owe a car loan on the vehicle, for which you would still be responsible unless you have gap insurance.

Diminished Value 

In addition to the cost to repair damaged property, you may also have a claim for its diminished value. Vehicles that have been involved in accidents are inherently less valuable than those that have not. You can seek compensation for this diminished value.

Expert Valuation 

In some cases, it may be difficult to determine the value of property damage, and an expert may need to assess the value. They may base the valuation on the current market, similar sales of similar property, and characteristics specific to the damaged property. 

Sentimental Value 

In some cases, there can be a monetary value assigned to property in which the owner has a sentimental attachment to the damaged property. For example, a person may have been involved in a car accident while wearing a wedding ring passed down from their deceased grandmother. 

The fair market value may only be concerned with the value of the gold and stones in the piece of jewelry.  However, the injured victim may be able to recover more than this amount if they can show the item had sentimental value. In this case, limiting the financial recovery only to the market value would be manifestly unfair.

Other Damages Available In Personal Injury Cases

Property damage makes up only a small portion of the damage claim in a personal injury case. 

Accident victims may also be able to obtain compensation for the following damages:

  • Past, future, and current medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation and therapy expenses
  • Lost wages and income
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish 
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 

A lawyer can ensure that you know the full value of all of your losses before you accept a settlement offer. 

Contact an Experienced Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer for Help

If you would like to learn more about how much your property damage is worth, Payer Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Contact us today at (407) 648-1510 for a free evaluation with our Orlando personal injury lawyer.