What’s the difference between property damage vs personal injury claims in SC?
If you have a car accident, you may have suffered damage to your vehicle and you may have suffered injuries to your person as well – property damage claims on your auto insurance policy are handled separately from personal injury claims.
In most cases, property damage claims on your homeowner’s policy are also separate from property damage claims on your auto insurance policy.
If you have suffered property damage or injuries in an accident and you are not sure whether your insurance or another person’s insurance will compensate you, contact the Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyers at Coastal Law immediately – we will review your policy, investigate your accident, and help you to determine who is liable and which insurance policies will cover your damages.
Property Damage vs Personal Injury Claims in SC – What’s the Difference?
Most auto accident attorneys focus on the personal injury portion of your insurance claims, although sometimes your attorney must get involved to help you recover for property damage as well.
What do you do when the insurance adjuster calls and wants to settle your property damage claim?
Property Damage Claims in SC
Under your auto insurance policy or the policy of another driver who caused your accident, a property damage claim may cover the cost of damages to your vehicle or other personal property, including:
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle;
- Towing and rental car expenses;
- Damage to your personal property that may have been inside the car at the time of the accident; and
- Damage to real estate or other property that was caused by the accident.
When another driver causes your accident, their insurance policy should cover any property damage. If their policy limits do not cover the damage, your own uninsured or underinsured policy may cover the difference.
In most cases, a separate insurance adjuster is assigned to the property damage vs personal injury claims in SC.
Usually, the property damage adjuster will work with you to quickly repair or replace your vehicle, and the property damage claims may be easily worked out without the assistance of an attorney (which means you do not pay any attorney fees for the recovery associated with property damage).
If the insurance company refuses to pay or if they refuse to pay the full value of your property damage, however, your attorney at Coastal Law will get involved and help you to recover full and fair compensation for any property damage that resulted from the wreck.
When talking to the property damage adjuster, remember:
- Do not sign or agree to anything that is related to your personal injury claims – property damage only;
- Do not answer questions about the accident or your injuries – only provide them with estimates for the cost of repair or replacement of your property; and
- If the adjuster presses you for a statement, repeatedly attempts to question you, or refuses to cover the full value of repair or replacement, call your attorney immediately and have them take over communicating with the adjuster.
Personal Injury Claims in SC
A separate insurance adjuster will ordinarily handle your personal injury claim after an auto accident.
Do not discuss your case, claim, or the accident with the personal injury adjuster – let your Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer handle all communications.
Your personal injury claim will cover your medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, wrongful death and survival actions, pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages, and punitive damages if a jury awards them at trial.
Insurance adjusters want to settle property damage vs personal injury claims in SC quickly and fairly because they know that you must have transportation, and they will subject themselves to potential liability for bad faith if they do not.
Personal injury claims, however, are different. They are not as straight-forward as most property damage claims:
- With property damage, you can show a receipt, invoice, or estimate to easily document the amount of damages.
- Although billing records from hospitals, ERs, and ambulances are easily proven and can be added up with a calculator, there are no receipts or billing records for personal injury damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, or punitive damages.
- With your personal injury claim, there are many categories of damages that people don’t know they are entitled to until their attorney tells them. And the insurance adjuster is not going to educate you on what full and fair compensation is after a car wreck…
- The personal injury insurance adjuster will do everything possible to minimize your recovery and to save money for the insurance company, while the property damage adjuster will often pay full and fair compensation quickly.
- Property damage is usually over and done with when you make the claim, while personal injury claims may be ongoing – there may be lifetime disability, future medical expenses, future medical equipment that must be purchased, or additional complications caused by the initial injuries.
Property Damage vs Personal Injury in SC – Homeowners’ Policies
If an accident happens at your home, does your policy pay for property damage and personal injury?
Although many homeowners’ policies cover personal injury to some extent, the personal injury limits available may be limited.
The types of property damage that your homeowner’s policy covers and when the damage is excluded from your policy can be extremely confusing for many policyholders – if you are unsure what is covered under your policy or if the insurance company is refusing to pay full and fair compensation for damage to your home, contact a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer to review the policy with you to determine whether you have a valid claim.
SC Personal Injury Lawyers in Myrtle Beach
Whether you were in a car accident or suffered damage to your home during a storm, your personal injury attorney at Coastal Law can help you to determine the extent of coverage, investigate your accident, and recover full and fair compensation from the insurance companies.
Call now at (843) 488-5000 or email us today to speak with an experienced Myrtle Beach attorney who is ready to assist you with your auto accident or homeowner’s policy claims.