Property Damage in Annapolis Car Accident Cases

Any element of damage caused in an Annapolis car accident is the responsibility of the at-fault party. That includes property damage, although there are some practical implications that have to be taken into consideration.

The at-fault party is responsible for the property damage, however, how that is recovered is subject to certain practicalities of process. Once an accident occurs and once the at-fault party’s insurance company is contacted, they are going to take the necessary steps to do a proper investigation. If that investigation is short and if the outcome is clear and they realize that their insuree is at-fault, then they can take over the process of satisfying the property damage. Working with an Annapolis attorney can help to clarify and smooth out the process of seeking property damages after a car accident.

Difference Between Property and Bodily Injury Claims

In an Annapolis car accident claim, property damage is separate and apart from the bodily injury claim. The injured party can interface with the at-fault party’s insurance company to come to terms with the property damage part of the claim. Still, they should not give any statements about anything having to do with the cause of the accident or the injuries, because all of that is part of the bodily injury part of the case. They should realize that the only thing they should talk about is either fixing the car or paying the value of the vehicle if it is considered a total loss, that is, that the repairs exceed 75% of the value of the vehicle.

There is usually a different adjuster for property damage than the bodily injury claim. It is reasonable and fine for them to talk to the property damage claim representative solely about obtaining the repairs, the rental vehicle, and value of the car if the value is a total loss. That can go forward fairly swiftly if, upon investigation, the at-fault party’s insurance company makes a reasonably timely decision that they are accepting liability and therefore, will be responsible for the property damage and can handle the property damage claim in a timely manner so that storage fees and other costs are not incurred over a lengthy period of time.

However, if the investigation is going to take time, immediate decision about accepting liability is not going to be made. Then, provided the victim has collision coverage, the property damage should be taken care of by the victim’s insurance company.

Recovering Damages For Property

The insurance companies for both parties will proceed to pursue recovery for any payments made against the at-fault party’s insurance company. They will take care of it from insurance company to insurance company, solely as to the property damage and that is by contract under the individual’s own insurance policy. Their insurance company has a responsibility to take care of the property damage under the circumstances that the other company is refusing to do so in a timely manner, for whatever reason, and to mitigate damages—that is lessen the damages with regards to cost incurred for storage, rental, loss of use, getting the car estimated to be repaired, and whether the value of the repairs is justified or required given the value for a total loss of the vehicle. It then involves proceeding with that process with the individual directly. Once that is taken care of, it is then the insurance company’s responsibility to seek compensation from the at-fault party. There is a whole process that insurance companies go through with intra-company arbitration to be able to settle those disputes, separate and apart from the bodily injury claim.

Ultimately, if successful, then the at-fault part is held responsible and their insurance company pays a reimbursement for any payments made. The legal and the practical ramifications of how to deal with the property damage and who pays for it after someone is involved in a collision is that ultimately it is the at fault party’s insurance company’s responsibility to take care of it.

Timeliness of Claims

The main concern regarding property damage is getting that damage resolved as soon as possible, which falls on the individual to be sure that if the at-fault party is not taking care of the property damage in a timely fashion, that their own insurance company does. If they do not pursue it in a timely manner with their own insurance company, they are prejudicing their own company from being able to recover all damages. The at-fault party can seek mitigation of damages if the individual did not handle things properly and therefore, caused prejudice or greater damage by delay in contacting their own insurance company to take care of the property damage.

Pursuing the property damage in a timely manner is important and if there is not a fairly fast decision by the at-fault company to take care of the property damage, the individual will need to have their insurance company take care of it. There is no effect on their insurance rates unless at some point in time, for some reason, they are deemed to be at fault for the accident. But just because someone’s insurance company is paying the property damage, and then seeking reimbursement from the other company, does not affect their rates, provided they are not deemed to be at-fault in the accident.

Damages for an Annapolis Car Accident