The at-fault driver, or his or her insurance company, might use your lack of property damage to make the argument that your injuries cannot be bad. Using the logic that if the crash impact was not severe enough to significantly damage your car, they may allege that it could not have been severe enough to injure you significantly.
This is bad logic. There are many ways in which a car accident with little property damage can cause severe injury or even death, one prime example being that the driver or a passenger hit their head on the steering wheel or dash in just the right spot to cause a serious head injury. Alternatively, the impact may jerk an occupant’s spine in just the right way in a rear-end collision, resulting in major whiplash or other spinal trauma.
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How Do I Win Compensation for My Injuries if There Was Little Property Damage in the Crash?
To build a case for your injuries despite minimal property damage, you and your attorney must overcome the other driver’s argument that the lack of property damage indicates that your injuries could not have been that serious.
The way you do this is with evidence. A car accident lawyer will assemble thorough and compelling evidence showing that one, you sustained severe injuries, and two, there is a link between the car accident and your injuries.
Evidence your attorney might pursue includes:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Photos and videos of the accident or accident scene
- Accident reconstruction
- Expert witness testimony
- The at-fault driver’s incriminating statements
If you are reading this after an accident and have not yet sought medical attention, you should do this right away. The sooner after a crash you get a medical exam, the easier for your attorney to establish a causal link between the accident and your injuries.
Waiting too long to see a doctor makes it easier for the other party to cast doubt on whether the crash caused your injuries.
Property Damage vs. Bodily Injury
Property damage and bodily injury represent separate damages that occur in car accidents.
Property damage refers to the damage to your vehicle and other personal property you might have had in your car or on your person at the time of the wreck. For instance, electronic equipment, jewelry, antiques, furniture, or appliances. It can also refer to items outside of the vehicle; if a driver runs off the road and strikes your home, your mailbox, or a boat in your driveway, this would count as property damage for which the at-fault driver is liable.
Bodily injury is exactly like it sounds — it refers to physical injuries from the crash. Monetary damages from bodily injuries can include medical bills and the cost of prescription medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
Who Pays for My Property Damage and Bodily Injury?
Every state has different laws governing the assignment of financial liability for different car accident damages. In Florida, the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays for your property damage, and through a policy called personal injury protection (PIP), your insurance company pays for your injury damages.
In both cases, however, the insurance company only pays up to the limits of the policy. The typical limit for a PIP policy is $10,000, and the state minimum in property damage coverage is also $10,000. If you have damages that exceed these amounts, you may be able to pursue the at-fault driver for them. Your attorney can help with this process.
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Call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine for Car Accident Help
Our legal team can help you pursue compensation for your injuries, even if you suffered little to no property damage in the crash. Call for a free consultation: 800-747-3733.