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What is Considered Property Damage in a Car Accident?

May 16, 2022Car Accidents

DISCLAIMER: Ramsey Law Group does NOT handle property damage claims. This post is for informational purposes only.

In addition to injuries, car accidents often leave victims with extensive property damage. If your belongings were destroyed, you might be entitled to compensation for repairing or replacing those losses. In most cases, you can file a property damage claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or possibly even your own auto insurer.

Understanding Property Damage After a Car Accident

Types of Property Damage in a Car Accident

Several types of property damage can be included in a car accident claim. If you have been involved in an accident, contact our Houston car accident lawyers today.

Vehicle Damage

The primary type of property damage that occurs in a car accident is to your vehicle. Even in a minor collision, it can result in thousands of dollars in repairs, and in severe crashes, vehicles are often a total loss. Drivers in Texas are required to carry liability insurance to pay for the harm they cause in an accident. Therefore, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be responsible for the repairs or replacement of your vehicle, towing charges, and rental car expenses. Alternatively, if you carry an optional form of insurance called collision coverage, you can turn to your own auto insurer for your vehicle damage. However, you will be responsible for your deductible. Still, your insurer will attempt to get their money back from the at-fault driver’s insurer and refund your deductible if they recover compensation.

Personal Property Damage

Any personal items damaged in a car accident can also be included in your claim. For example, your phone, laptop, tablet, expensive headphones, clothing, car seat, etc. As long as you can provide evidence that they require repair or replacement due to the crash, you can recover compensation as part of your property damage claim.

Pet Injuries

If your pet was with you, veterinary treatment for their injuries caused by the accident may be covered by the at-fault driver’s property damage liability coverage. Often it will depend on the situation and severity of injuries. If you carry pet and property damage coverage on your personal auto insurance policy, you can also include these expenses if you file a claim with your insurer.

Property Damage Liability Insurance Requirements

Each state has laws regarding the minimum amount of auto insurance drivers must carry. In Texas, you must at least have:

  • $30,000 per person for bodily harm
  • $60,000 total per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

These minimums are also referred to as 30/60/25 coverage. What that means is that an insured at-fault driver will have at least $25,000 in coverage to pay for your damaged property.

How to Make a Property Damage Claim Go Smoothly

Here are a few tips to help your property damage claim go smoothly.

  • Be sure to ask the other driver for their contact information, the name of their insurance company, and policy number.
  • Ask any witnesses for their contact information and if they are willing to make a recorded statement on your phone of what they saw.
  • Notify the police for an accident report to be created.
  • Take photos and videos of the accident scene, any injuries, and property damage.
  • Report the accident to your insurer.

Lastly, but importantly, speak to a Houston Car Accident Lawyer. They will help you with every aspect of your claim and ensure you recover fair compensation for your property damage.