Can I Sue Someone For Damaging My Property?
Whether you can sue someone for damaging your property depends upon the circumstances. In North Carolina, If the property damage is to a vehicle– from a Car Accident— there are well established processes for starting a property damage claim and recovering damages. If you were injured in an auto accident, you may have both a property damage claim and a personal injury claim.
In most cases, even if you can sue someone for damaging your property, you will be able to get the dispute settled at the claims level which does not require filing a lawsuit. This saves money for both sides and relieves the courts of the burden of officiating over the property damage claim.
How Much Is My Property Damage Claim Worth?
The value of your property damage claim can be established by several components and approaches to damages. If the vehicle is determined to be totaled, the value will be whatever the car was worth at the time of the accident. There are standard formulas for determining the value, and the NADA Blue Book Value is often used as a benchmark. This value takes into account the make, model, mileage, and wear and tear on a vehicle at the time of the accident.
If your car is not totaled in the accident, you will either strive to have your car repaired at the expense of the other driver’s insurance company, or receive a check for an amount representing the cost of the repair. Then, you can choose whether to have the repair done, and where to have the repair work done.
You may also be entitled to the loss of use of the vehicle in the interim. Your actual out of pocket expenses will be your best source of evidence of these damages and would include rental vehicle costs, Uber or Lyft costs, or the cost of other forms of public transportation incurred when you were without a vehicle.
Your recovery may also include a component for sentimental value. While most vehicles will not fall into this category, there are exceptions. If your grandfather lovingly restored the vehicle and gave it to you as a graduation present, your argument for sentimental value increases.
Will I Pay A Deductible?
If someone damages your property, you should not have to pay a deductible. That expense should be taken on by the other driver’s insurance company; however, if the accident was your fault and you engage your own insurance company to fix the car, then yes, you will pay your contracted deductible.
Pursuing The Personal Injury Claim
Property damage claims are fairly straight-forward, once you are able to establish a claim with the insurance company. Our office assists with property damage claims but we generally do not charge clients to do so. In most cases, we represent the individual in their personal injury claim. If your vehicle was damaged in a car accident, and if you sustained bodily injury from that accident, we can help with the personal injury claim. The aspects of a personal injury claim are quite different from those involved in a property damage claim, and the expertise of a personal injury law firm can make all the difference in the outcome. This is true especially if the claim needs to be escalated and filed as a lawsuit.
Statute Of Limitations On Both Claims
You generally have three years from the date of the accident to make a property damage claim and a personal injury claim. By the three year mark, you will need to either settle your claim or file a lawsuit to keep your legal action alive. Missing the statute of limitations is just one of the pitfalls of handling the personal injury claim on your own. There are also personal injury medical bills and medical liens which must be addressed in a North Carolina personal injury claim. Your North Carolina personal injury lawyer will address these for you as part of the legal representation.
If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.
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