Documenting Vehicle Property Damage Following an Accident
It is imperative to document vehicle property damage following a motor vehicle accident accurately. Failing to do so can cause you to leave money on the table that you are entitled to recover. When an accident occurs, the more thorough your documentation, the better the odds of recovering fair compensation for your loss.
Photos Are Worth a Thousand Words (And Potentially Thousands of Dollars)
Photograph every angle of your vehicle and any damaged personal property within the car. Make sure that your photographs are date/time stamped. You will also want to make sure that you have sufficient lighting to capture the extent of the damage correctly. You may also choose to video the damage and provide a narrative during the recording that explains the damage in detail.
Get Multiple Quotes for Vehicle Repairs
You are not required to go to the repair shop your insurance company sends you to. While you should receive a quote from the insurer's preferred repair company, you have the right to request quotes from any body shop you desire. When requesting quotes, verify that they have thoroughly inspected the vehicle for all forms of potential vehicle property damage caused by the collision.
Appraise Personal Property
Personal property can include computers, cell phones, clothing, GPS devices, and any item that was damaged or destroyed in the accident. While it may be possible to recover replacement value for some or all of these damaged items, in most cases, you will be able to recover actual value. For instance, the estimated value after accounting for the depreciation that occurred before the accident.
Document Your Expenses
You do not need to wait to repair vehicle property damage or replace lost personal property following an accident. Indeed, if it is your primary vehicle, or if you need a computer for courses, you won't have the luxury of waiting until a settlement arrives. Rather, you should take care of any required repairs and replace any essential property as soon as possible. Save your receipts and create a spreadsheet that clearly shows the repair and replacement costs you incurred as a direct result of the accident.
Contact Welmaker Injury Law at (800) 494-1916 to discuss the vehicle property damage you suffered in an accident. We will help you understand which damages are recoverable for the vehicle itself and any personal property that was lost in the collision.