Property damage (from car accidents) and getting paid

Can I get paid for damage to my vehicle?

Every car accident, even a collision with a parked car, causes some property damage. Auto body shop repairs are expensive, and whether you are injured or not, you are entitled to receive compensation for those damages. Millions of people have seen these examples.

The driver liable (legally responsible for) a motor vehicle accident is responsible for paying for both damage to your person (bodily injury) and your property (your car, truck, bike, motorcycle, boat or plane) that was damaged in the accident. While an insurance company may ultimately pay for the damages to your property, the driver is liable. Regardless of the insurance issues, this type of damage is called “property damage” and property damages are a part of every car accident.

Factors in the calculating property damage

  • Repair cost of vehicle at a local autobody shop – or – value of vehicle if “totaled” or determined not worth repair by the insurance company responsible;
  • Cost of replacement vehicle (i.e. a rental car) while yours is being repaired;
  • Diminution of value (meaning a measure of value lost due to the accident, a circumstance or set of circumstances that caused the loss). This is the case in most every accident where a vehicle is repaired because the owner, if selling the vehicle, can no longer state that the vehicle has never been in an accident;
  • Interest and costs associated with any lawsuit;
  • A percentage of attorney’s fees in the State of Alaska under Alaska Civil Rule of Procedure 82.

Representation and demanding property damages

While the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and make it easy to get a comparable rental vehicle — they may not. Sometimes, you have to demand property damages. An attorney can help. A letter or phone call from an attorney stating that you are represented can force an insurance company to act and get you a rental car.

These situations may seem simple, but can involve complicated insurance issues and questions that can cause delays in you receiving payment for property damages. That said, there is no need to drive your damaged vehicle around all winter or all year (as is sometimes an Alaska badge of honor). First off, it is unsafe particularly when there is damage to the front-end or rear-end of your vehicle which are designed to protect the driver and passengers if in a collision. Second, an experienced attorney can represent you, help get your vehicle repairs paid for and get you back on the road.

Hoke Law can help with property damage to your vehicle, small or large. Contact Hoke Law at (907)308-8380 or chris@hoke-law.com