One of the first things a new client asks after they have suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence is “what are the damages I can recover”? I am going to assume, for the purpose of this series of blogs, that the client has been involved in an automobile accident. The first in this series will address property or collision damage.

If a person is involved in an automobile accident and they are seeking legal representation it is likely that their car was damaged in the accident. Ultimately, the person who caused the accident will be responsible for paying either the cost of repairs or the value of the car on the date of the accident, whichever is less. If the cost of repairs is greater than the value of the car then the car is referred to as a “total loss”.

Occasionally, the insurance company for the party at fault for the accident does not evaluate and pay the property damage claim in a timely manner. This could leave the owner of the damaged vehicle with a car that is not driveable due to damage, or a car that is not driveable because it is a total loss. If the owner of the damaged vehicle has collision insurance it is often wise to have their insurance company pay for the property damage. Their insurance company will then recover the amount paid from the responsible party and reimburse their insured for any required deductible payment.