If you or somebody you love is involved in a vehicle accident, it is absolutely crucial to file an insurance claim, even if you were not hurt. In some cases, you may even need to file a lawsuit against the other driver in these situations. Here, we want to discuss another type of claim that is crucial after an accident occurs – property damage claims.
If you or somebody you love has been involved in a vehicle accident, we strongly encourage you to go to the doctor as soon as possible, even if you do not feel much pain. Often, individuals neglect to seek medical attention because they think they could either not afford it or that they absolutely did not sustain an injury. In some cases, individuals find out later, in the days or weeks following the crash, they get indeed sustained injury.
If you did not sustain any injuries in a vehicle accident, it may still be necessary to file a lawsuit against another driver involved, particularly if you sustained property damage.
It is important to understand that there is a statute of limitations, or time limit, in place for filing property damage claims in California. You have three years from when a crash occurs to seek compensation for any property damage sustained due to the negligence of another individual. This is different from the injury statute of limitations in California, which is two years.
However, please know that any insurance carriers involved are going to have deadlines far shorter than this three-year time frame. The three-year property damage statute of limitations revolves around how long you have to file a lawsuit in civil court against the other driver for property damage. However, insurance carriers involved are going to have much quicker deadlines than this, and they often deny claims if you delay filing.
The most likely scenario for property damage after an accident is that the insurance carrier of the at-fault party will pay. Every driver in California is required to carry at least $5,000 worth of property damage liability. However, this often is not sufficient to cover vehicle accident damage.
If your insurance policy, through collision coverage or underinsured motorist coverage, does not pay for the rest of your expenses, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to go after their assets for additional compensation.
You should know that the insurance recovery process typically takes a few weeks to a few months before property damage claims. However, if you have to file a lawsuit to recover compensation, this will likely draw out the time frame, possibly to even more than a year.
Most personal injury lawyers will help you recover property damage expenses if they also handle your injury claim. We strongly encourage you to reach out to an attorney so they can point you in the right direction for recovering compensation for any property damage expenses you incur as a result of a vehicle accident.