How is property damage calculated in a car accident?

Hey, there folks. Welcome back to Hammer TV. I’m Jim Adler, the Texas hammer. And in today’s episode, we’re continuing on with our series all about the most frequently asked questions we get every day at our law firm. Today’s question is one that we hear pretty often, and it’s important for folks to understand the two different sides of the issue. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves now. So without further ado, here’s the answer to the question. How is property damage calculated in a car accident?

When we discuss property damage, the first determination that needs to be made is whether the vehicle is a total loss or not. That’s because the valuation process is a little bit different if your car is damaged but repairable versus if your vehicle is a total loss. Let’s take a look at the scenario where your car is damaged but fixable first. In this case, you’re entitled to recover the reasonable cost of the repair, including parts and labor at the standard market rate. You can also recover compensation for your loss of use of the car during the time it wasn’t usable. For example, you could get compensated for a rental car if you typically use your vehicle to travel to and from work. Additionally, if your vehicle is critical to your business, like if you use it to make deliveries or transport cargo, you may also be allowed to recover damages related to that if you can prove that you lost profits or that your business was otherwise damaged by the out of commission vehicle.

Alternately, if your car was damaged beyond repair, meaning that it either can’t be fixed or the cost of fixing it far exceeds the worth of the car itself, a different type of analysis is applied. For a total loss, you’ll typically only be compensated for the fair market value of the vehicle at the moment of the wreck. This value is often calculated based on the value attributed by a third party valuation database, like NADA.com. On another note, aside from damage to the vehicle itself, you can also be compensated for damage to items inside the vehicle. For example, that you had tools in the bed of your truck or some other kind of supplies in the trunk of your car that were damaged or irreparably ruined in an accident, you’re entitled to recover damages on those as well.

And that about covers it. And while everyone’s situation is different and we can’t make determinations without knowing more about your unique case, that’s a good high-level overview of how property damage is calculated in a car accident. If you have questions about this information or would like to discuss the specifics around your own case, you can get in touch with Jim Adler & Associates via the contact form at jimadler.com or by giving us a call at 1-800-567-7575.