Do I Need an Attorney for a Property Damage Claim?

In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s never a bad idea to get a first or second opinion from a personal injury firm. With that being said, personal injury attorneys typically only focus on cases involving personal injuries — rather than solely property damage claims.

If there was property damage in addition to a personal injury, an attorney can help negotiate your claim with the insurance company. If no one was injured in the accident, however, filing a claim with your insurance company is usually a sufficient first step.

Missouri Follows Pure Comparative Negligence

Missouri follows pure comparative negligence, which means that even if you are at some sort of fault for your accident, you can receive compensation. If the injured party was at fault in some way, damages received would be deducted in relation to the injured party’s percentage of fault. So, even if the injured person is 99% at fault for the accident, the court can still award compensation for that 1% of the fault the other party contributed.

Car Accident Property Damage Claims

Obtaining reimbursement for property damage claims is generally more straightforward compared to the personal injury claims process. In cases where there is only property damage involved, the process can usually be handled directly with insurance companies without the need for legal assistance. Additionally, it is generally more cost-effective for individuals to handle property damage claims themselves or seek specialized representation from firms that specifically deal with such cases.

Comparative Fault in Missouri

In Missouri, negligence for car accidents is determined under a pure comparative negligence model, which means that even if you are 99% at fault for the accident, you may still be awarded compensation for the 1% fault of the other party.

Missouri law requires vehicle owners to maintain a certain amount of limited liability coverage for their vehicles. Depending on the extent of your coverage, you may have to pay a deductible, which is the amount you are responsible for paying before your insurance coverage kicks in.

While paying the deductible might stretch your pocketbook, working directly with your insurance company for property damage claims is usually a more convenient and cost-effective process compared to retaining a lawyer to initiate a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance.

Property Damage and Injury? Contact a Missouri Personal Injury Attorney

Personal injury claims are much more complex than property damage claims. Valuing the true costs of your injuries — to your employment, your well-being, and your life — should be done in consultation with an attorney. Do not accept an insurance company’s settlement offer without first contacting a personal injury lawyer.

If you were involved in a car accident that resulted in property damage and injury, consult with a Missouri car accident attorney to ensure that you receive a fair settlement for all of your damages.

If the accident resulted in property damage but no injuries, file a claim directly with your insurance company. Your insurance will work on your behalf to obtain compensation for damages to your vehicle or other personal property.