What Is Considered Property Damage In A Car Accident?
If you or somebody you care about is involved in a vehicle accident, your number one priority needs to be seeking medical care and ensuring your own well-being and the well-being of your passengers. Medical expenses incurred after a vehicle accident are often the costliest part of these incidents, so it is crucial that you are evaluated soon after a crash occurs.
However, nearly all vehicle accidents cause some sort of property damage. Anything that is damaged in a car accident is considered property damage, and this could include more than just the damage that occurs to a vehicle. This can also include items inside of a vehicle that may have sustained damage. Here, we want to discuss what constitutes property damage after an Illinois vehicle accident and what you can do to ensure that you are properly compensated. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact our Chicago car accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation.
What Counts As Property Damage After A Vehicle Accident In Illinois?
The most obvious type of property damage claim in the aftermath of a car accident will pertain to the damage to your vehicle. Even seemingly minor damage after an accident may cost several thousand dollars.
However, any property inside of your vehicle that is damaged can also be considered compensable through insurance. This can include computers, phones, school books, and anything else you may have of value that was damaged in the wreck.
Additionally, if you had a pet inside the vehicle with you at the time of the incident, any veterinary bills are going to be technically filed as property damage expenses as opposed to bodily injury claims. Bodily injury insurance is designed only to provide compensation for injuries that occur to people.
Who Is Responsible For Paying For Property Damage Expenses?
If your vehicle accident was caused by somebody else, then that driver and their insurance carrier will be responsible for paying for the damage to the vehicle and other damaged property. If the other driver does not have insurance check your own coverage to see if you carry uninsured motorist property damage insurance. This type of insurance is not required in Illinois, but it is incredibly beneficial in these situations.
If your property damage expenses exceed the insurance coverage limits of the other party, you may be able to hold them responsible for the remainder of the property damage losses through a personal injury lawsuit.
If you were responsible for the vehicle accident, then you will need to turn to your own insurance provider to cover property damage. In Illinois, all drivers are required to carry $20,000 in property damage liability coverage.
How Long Do You Have To File A Property Damage Claim After An Illinois Car Accident?
You have likely heard of the statute of limitations from personal injury claims in Illinois. Personal injury claims after a vehicle accident must be filed within two years from the date of the incident occurs in Illinois. However, the statute of limitations for property damage in Illinois is five years from the date the accident occurs. This means that any person who sustains property damage in a vehicle accident has a five-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party to recover compensation.
However, these statutes of limitation have nothing to do with the deadlines put in place by insurance carriers, which are typically much shorter.