When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Chicago, you can sustain different types of damages. Damages are typically monetary awards or settlements that compensate you for losses and harm.
Property damage is harm caused to real or personal property.
What Types of Property Damages Are Included in a Chicago Car Accident Claim?
A car accident claim can include different losses or damage to property. A property damage claim for a car crash can include reimbursement for losses related to:
- Towing charges
- Vehicle storage fees
- The cost of repairs to your vehicle
- Damage to personal property inside the vehicle
- The cost of replacement of a totaled vehicle
Illinois is an at-fault state for auto accident claims. Drivers must have a minimum amount of liability car insurance. The minimum amount of property damage insurance a driver must carry is $20,000.
In most cases, you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company for property damage. However, there could be situations where you might file a property damage claim with your insurance provider.
First-Party Property Damage Claims for Chicago Car Accidents
Your insurance policy might cover the property damage to your vehicle. A first-party property damage claim is filed with your insurance company. Examples of first-party claims for property damage include:
- Rental reimbursement coverage – You can receive reimbursement for the cost of renting a car if you have this coverage on your auto policy.
- Towing – Some insurance policies include towing coverage to pay for towing fees if your car is inoperable after a car accident.
- Collision coverage – Collision insurance pays to repair your car if you are involved in a car accident. The terms and conditions of policies vary. The state does not require this coverage, but most lenders require collision insurance until the loan is paid in full.
- Gap insurance coverage – If your vehicle is totaled, you might not receive enough money to pay the loan in full. Gap insurance pays the difference between the loan payoff and your property damage settlement amount.
Your insurance policy might also cover property damage to personal property, such as computers and cell phones that were damaged in the car accident. If you file a first-party claim and another driver is at-fault for the car crash, your insurance company might pursue a claim against the at-fault driver to reimburse it for the money paid to you under a first-party property damage claim.
Third-Party Property Damage Claims for Chicago Car Accidents
In most cases, accident victims file third-party claims with the at-fault party’s insurance company. By filing a third-party claim, they avoid paying deductibles required by their insurance company.
If your car is damaged, the insurance company should pay for repairs. You have the right to choose the mechanic or body shop to make repairs.
It is wise to obtain an independent appraisal of the damage to compare to the insurance adjuster’s appraisal to ensure all damage is included in the claim. Also, you should demand that the insurance company pay for new parts specifically designed for your vehicle when making repairs.
If your car is totaled, the insurance company should pay you an amount equal to the fair market value for the vehicle. Fair market value is based on several factors, including:
- The year, make, and model of the vehicle
- The current mileage
- The condition of the vehicle before the car accident
- Special equipment installed
- The current market for vehicles similar to your vehicle
If you have an expensive or specialty vehicle, it is wise to obtain at least two independent appraisals for the car’s value. The insurance company might undervalue the vehicle to avoid paying the total value of your property damage claim.
A Chicago car accident lawyer can answer questions about a property damage claim and help you sue the at-fault driver for property and other damages caused by the accident.
Does Contributory Fault Apply to Property Damage Claims in Illinois?
Illinois uses a modified comparative fault standard for car accident claims. If you are 51% or more at fault for the cause of the car crash, you cannot recover compensation for your damages. Therefore, you would be responsible for the damages to your vehicle.
However, if you are less than 51% to blame, you could recover some compensation for property damages. Your compensation would be reduced by your percentage of fault. Therefore, if you were 10% to blame for causing the car wreck, you could receive 90% of the value of your property damage claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers
Our Chicago car accident lawyers fight to recover the maximum value for your personal injury case based on all the damages you’ve sustained. Contact our law firm Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers at (312) 929-2884 to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your legal rights and how much you could receive for a personal injury claim.