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After a car accident in Denver, your car may have been damaged or even destroyed. Although our Denver car accident attorneys focus on bodily injuries, you also deserve to be made whole for the property damage caused to your car. Loss of your motor vehicle can result in stress dealing with the insurance company as well as obtaining a rental vehicle, coordinating finding other ways to get around Denver and problems for your family.
What is classified as property damage after a car accident?
Property damage after a car accident relates to the damage to physical possessions rather than bodily injury to your person or your passengers. The most obvious possession damaged in most car accidents is your car. Cars can sustain cosmetic damage as well as mechanical damage that affects the operation and safety of your car.
Additionally, you may have other possessions in your car damaged in the collision. A property damage claim is not limited to your car.
How long after a Denver, Colorado car accident do you have to file a property damage claim?
You can file a property damage claim after a traffic collision under Colorado law any time before the statute of limitations expires. The statute of limitations is the legal deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit or settle your claim before that date, the court can dismiss your lawsuit without awarding any compensation for your damages. In Colorado the statute of limitations is located in C.R.S. 13-80-101.
Most people want their car property damage claim resolved as quickly as possible. The sooner your car is repaired or you receive a check for a total loss, the sooner you can get back to a functional car for transportation.
Who pays for property damage after a car accident?
The party causing an auto accident bears responsibility for the damages of those injuries, either through personal injury or property harm. If your negligence caused a car accident, you’re responsible for damage to any cars you hit. Generally, insurance policies pay for property claims through property damage coverage.
What does a property damage policy cover?
There are several types of property damage coverage on insurance policies in Colorado. Third party coverage includes liability coverage for damage caused to another person’s vehicle. Liability coverage pays for the actual damage to the car to either repair or replace the car. It also pays for loss of use, diminished value and damage to possessions inside the car. Usually this coverage will pay for rental cars for accident victims.
You may carry first party property damage coverage on your policy. This coverage is a contractual right to pay you for damage to your vehicle under conditions explained in your policy. You may have collision coverage which pays for your car damage regardless of fault. You may choose to use your collision coverage to pay for a claim if you cannot find coverage for the negligent driver or that driver’s insurance company refuses to pay on the claim. Collision coverage typically only pays for the car itself and not for internal possessions. Your rental or homeowner insurance may cover that damage. If you go through your collision coverage, you also may only receive a rental car from your policy if you also pay for rental car insurance.
You may instead have uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage which pays if the negligent motorist lacks coverage or sufficient coverage. This coverage typically pays for anything the negligent driver’s policy should have paid.
How do I file a property damage claim following a motor vehicle collision in Colorado?
After a car accident you can file a property damage claim from a motor vehicle collision by:
- Call the police
- Get medical care if injured
- Report the accident to each insurance company and report a claim
- Speak to the claims adjuster
- Agree to a resolution of the property damage claim
Can I hire a Denver car accident attorney for a property damage claim?
Although some car accident lawyers handle property damage claims, many do not, including our Denver car accident attorneys. Most property damage claims can reach a resolution without significant dispute. Paying legal fees for property damage will make it difficult for you to complete repairs or purchase another car. It is ultimately your choice to hire a Denver car accident attorney for your claim.