5 Tips to Resolve a Car Accident Property Damage Claim
If you or somebody you care about has sustained property damage in a vehicle accident caused by another driver, you should be able to recover compensation for your losses. Often, these claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, which may not always happen quickly. It may even be necessary to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver to recover the compensation you need. Here, we want to offer five tips that may help you resolve a car accident property damage claim in Chicago and throughout Illinois.
Property Damage Claims Have To Be Reported
Even though it can be tempting to simply leave the scene of an accident without filing any claim if there is only property damage, this is most likely illegal. Information from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows us that vehicle accidents involving only property damage, and where every driver is insured, have to be reported if any driver sustains damage worth $1,500 or more. If there are any uninsured drivers involved in the collision, the crash has to be reported if any one driver sustains $500 or more in property damage.
It can be very difficult to properly judge how much property damage a person has sustained, particularly while standing on the roadside. That is why it is recommended that all vehicle accidents be reported to the police.
Resolving a property damage claim can be challenging, but the process is a little easier for those who follow some simple steps:
- Report the incident to the police. You need to make sure that your claim is reported to the police. Having a police report, one that may include an initial determination of fault, can go a long way in helping ensure that your claim is handled properly.
- Get an estimate. If your car is able to be repaired after a vehicle accident, then you should take it to the repair shop of your choice to get an estimate of how much it will cost. Even if the insurance carrier insists that you use their own repair shop, you have the right to get a second opinion from an independent repair shop.
- Obtain the fair market value for your car. You are entitled to the fair market value of your car if the insurance carrier says that your vehicle is a total loss. The vehicle will be considered “totaled” if the cost of repair is higher than the vehicle’s value.
- File your claim on time. It is crucial that you abide by the filing deadlines of the insurance carriers involved. In most cases, auto insurance carriers have deadlines of a day or two after a crash occurs. Please make sure to file your claim as promptly as possible.
- Do not let the insurance company use your property damage as leverage. If you have a property damage and injury claim, you need to understand that the insurance company is prohibited from delaying the settlement of your property damage claim in order to influence you to settle your injury claim.
If you are having trouble obtaining compensation for your property damage expenses after a vehicle accident, you should contact a skilled car accident lawyer in Chicago. An attorney will be able to gather the evidence needed to prove liability and help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries and property damage.