Property damage is harm or destruction to real or personal property. It is one of the most common types of damage caused by car accidents.
Property damage claims seek economic damages for the financial losses caused by a car crash. Typically, a person settles the property damage claim for a car accident before they settle their personal injury case. Therefore, be cautious when signing any documents related to a property damage claim to ensure you do not release your right to pursue damages for personal injuries.
Car Insurance Requirements for Las Vegas Drivers
State law requires Nevada drivers to maintain minimum liability coverage for car accidents. Liability insurance policies compensate accident victims when the insured driver causes a car crash. The accident victim has the burden of proving the other driver caused the accident before the insurance company pays property damage or personal injury claims.
The minimum limit for liability coverage in Nevada is:
- $25,000 for bodily injury liability insurance for injury or death to one person in an accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury liability insurance for injury or death to two or more people in an accident
- $20,000 in property damage liability coverage for injury to or destruction of property in an accident
Vehicle owners may purchase optional insurance coverage to further protect their investments. They may purchase comprehensive and collision coverages. These insurance policies pay for the property damage to the person’s vehicle if they cause an accident or their vehicle is damaged by fire, theft, storm, or other causes.
Property damage includes repair or replacement for damage to the vehicle. It also includes the cost of repairing personal property damaged or destroyed in the collision.
Who Is Responsible for Paying Property Damage Claims in Las Vegas?
Nevada is an at-fault state for car accident claims. The person responsible for causing a car accident can be held financially liable for any damages caused by the car wreck. Therefore, if another driver caused the collision, that driver should be responsible for your property damage claim.
If the person has minimum insurance coverage, the insurance company is responsible for the cost of repairs to your vehicle up to the policy limits of $20,000. Things to remember when settling a property damage claim after a car accident include:
- The company assigns a claims adjuster to estimate the cost of repairs or contracts with a repair shop or other company to evaluate the damage and provide an estimate for repairs
- You may want to obtain two independent repair estimates to ensure that the insurance company’s repair estimate covers all damage to your vehicle
- The insurance company cannot force you to use a specific repair shop or collision company to make repairs
- Insurance companies routinely estimate repairs based on used or aftermarket parts to save money, so always verify that the repair estimate includes the cost of new parts
In addition to the cost of repair, you could be entitled to compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle. The resale value often decreases when a vehicle is repaired after a crash. Even though the vehicle may look and operate as if it was not in a crash, potential buyers and dealers may not be willing to pay as much for it because of the crash history.
Therefore, you should demand compensation for a decrease in value. First, however, you must prove that the vehicle decreased in value. Getting several estimates from reputable dealers can help prove the difference in value between a vehicle like yours that has not been wrecked and your vehicle.
What Happens if the Insurance Company Totals My Vehicle?
If the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the car or a specific percentage of the car’s value, the insurance company may “total” the car. The insurance company should pay you the fair market value for your vehicle. The check is payable to you and your lender if you have a car loan.
Factors that impact a car’s value include, but are not limited to:
- The year, make, and model of the vehicle
- The vehicle’s overall condition before the crash
- The mileage at the time of the collision
- The market for that type of vehicle
- The vehicle’s crash history
- Any special equipment, options, or features added to the vehicle
You can look up the value of your vehicle on websites such as Kelly Blue Book, NADA, Edmunds, and Carfax. However, suppose you have a luxury vehicle or a vehicle with special options and equipment. In that case, you might want to talk with a dealer about the vehicle’s value before accepting a property damage settlement offer from the insurance company.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Car Accident Lawyers
Personal injury claims can include different types of damages. Our legal team at Battle Born Injury Lawyers analyzes your case to identify and document all damages to maximize recovery. Call our law firm at (702) 570-9000 to schedule your free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.