What is Considered Property Damage in a Car Accident?

If you or somebody you care about is involved in a vehicle accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, it is very likely that you will sustain some sort of property damage. Here, we want to discuss the main types of property damage associated with vehicle accidents in Washington State. Most people think only of the damage to vehicles when it comes to property in these incidents, but there are certainly other types of problems that can be damaged as well.

Injured in a car accident? Contact a Seattle car accident attorney at Elk & Elk Co., Ltd today.

Commonly Damaged Property

When it comes to vehicle accidents, the most common type of property damage an individual will experience is damage to their vehicle. The reality is that property damage can become incredibly expensive, especially if a person owes more on their vehicle than it costs to actually repair.

Any type of property damage caused by a vehicle accident must be repaired. In fact, even if an accident does not look that serious, there could be underlying frame damage that could impact the overall functionality of the vehicle. When a person’s vehicle sustains damage in an accident, a mechanic and body shop need to give an estimate of how much it will cost to get the vehicle back to the same condition it was before the accident occurred.

However, other types of property inside of a vehicle can sustain damage when a crash occurs. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • GPS devices
  • GoPro cameras
  • Textbooks and other school equipment

Anything that has value and is damaged in a vehicle accident should be considered property damage when it comes to securing compensation for your losses. Additionally, for the purpose of vehicle accidents, pets are considered property. If you have a pet in the vehicle that sustains an injury and if you have to take the animal to the vet, the vet bills should be considered property damage expenses.

Compensation From an At-Fault Driver

If another driver causes a car accident, then their automobile insurance should be responsible for covering compensation for your losses. In the state of Washington, every individual is required to carry at least $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. Even though this is the minimum, many individuals carry more insurance than this. You should be able to recover property damage compensation up to the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage.

Collision Coverage

In the event you cause a collision or are partially responsible, you may need to turn to your own collision coverage to pay for damage to your vehicle. Not every driver in Washington state carries collision coverage, but some are required to carry this coverage, particularly if they finance their vehicle. Under Washington State law, drivers are required to carry at least $10,000 in property damage coverage to help pay for the damage in these situations.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If you are involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, securing compensation for your property damage can be difficult. Uninsured motorist property damage covered is not required under Washington state law, but we strongly recommend that you carry this coverage to pay for any expenses arising due to property damage.