Who is responsible for property damage in a motor vehicle accident? What are the most common types of damages vehicles sustain when a collision occurs? When a collision occurs, it is usually the responsible party's insurance provider who is responsible for covering property damage. However, in instances where the other driver does not have insurance, individuals may be able to recover compensation through their own insurance provider if they have a property damage add-on to their insurance policy. When a motor vehicle accident causes property damage, front bumpers, headlights, fenders, and wheels are the most commonly damaged components.
Insurance and Physical Damages
In 2017, automobile insurance providers paid more than $57 million dollars in claims for physical damages in accidents involving privately owned passenger vehicles. As cars become more advanced, the data shows that the amount insurers are paying for physical damages is rising significantly. In 2016, insurers paid $55.7 million for physical damage claims, while they paid $48.5 million in 2015. For each property damage crash with non-disabling injuries, the average compensation for property damage is $7,500.
Common Collision Damages
Front bumpers and rear bumpers are designed to collapse and absorb the impact of a collision. This action absorbs the forces of the crash and minimizes the stresses within the passenger compartment. Further, because headlights and taillights are typically located just above the bumper, these can suffer significant damage when a collision occurs.
Wheels are damaged in about 15% of collisions. These can occur when drivers traverse over nails or potholes, strike road debris, or the tires are punctured, which is common in side-impact accidents or those that cause severe damage to the engine or trunk. Regardless of the quality of tire, all tires are susceptible to puncture damage in a motor vehicle accident.
Addressing hidden damages is also vital when pursuing property damage claims in a motor vehicle accident. Many vehicles look just fine at first glance, but the reality is that frames can be bent, electrical circuits cut, and computers fried. These hidden damages highlight the importance of a full and thorough examination of the vehicle following any motor vehicle accident.
Choosing a "Body Shop"
Most people choose a body shop that is approved by their insurance provider. This can save time and effort. It can also expedite the speed of repairs. However, individuals also have the right to choose their own body shop to perform the work and pursue reimbursement from their insurance provider. While more effort is required when going this route, it can be beneficial if it means getting a higher standard of completed repairs.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a Wichita law firm that represents clients in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois following a motor vehicle collision. Contact us today to learn more about your rights following an accident and the types of property damage you can recover compensation for in these states.