How to Litigate a Personal Property Damage Case?

posted byLA Attorneys GroupFebruary 10, 2021

No matter the case, personal property damage can be devastating. We hold sentimental value in our personal belongings, so if those things are lost damaged, they can be difficult to replace.

Personal property damage is defined in many different ways, such as damage to your home from a natural disaster or vandalism to your business.

Although some things are irreplaceable, litigating your case in court will ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your losses.

In this article, we will discuss the following:

What is a Personal Property Damage Case?

Personal property damage cases are ones in which one party sues another party whom they believe is at-fault for damage to their personal property.

These cases may be based on negligence, meaning that the party at-fault acted without the necessary care, leading to damage of property. The victim may also file a lawsuit suggesting that the actions taken by the party at-fault were intentional.

Negligence is also often defined as neglecting responsibility. The most common example of this is distracted driving. So, if someone destroys your vehicle because of irresponsible driving, this could be filed as a personal property damage claim.

However, in cases of negligence, one must prove that the party at-fault was acting negligently by ignoring a responsibility, such as a plumber who poorly installed pipping in your house that flooded and ruined the floors.

Additionally, personal property damage can be characterized as intentional, such as in cases of theft or vandalism.

Some common examples of personal property damage include:

Damage to Your Home: There are many situations in which your home could suffer damage, such as a fire, earthquakes, landslides, floods which are all out of your control. However, you can also file a personal property damage claim for vandalism and structural issues, like foundation cracks.

In most cases, these damages are covered by homeowner’s insurance, providing you the compensation you need to repair the damage.

Damaged to Your Business Structure: Similar to your home, natural disasters can harm your business structure.

For example, if the restaurant next door catches fire and ruins your business or your storefront is broken into, destroying the property, you are entitled to compensation.

In many cases, these damages are covered by your business insurance.

Damage to your Vehicle: Your vehicle is categorized as personal property. Therefore, if it is damaged by the negligence of another driver, you are entitled to compensation. Damage to your vehicle may also include instances when your car is broken into or vandalized.

Not all car insurance policies cover vandalism or theft. So, it is important to understand what you are entitled to and contact a lawyer if you are unable to recover your losses.

How to Litigate a Personal Property Damage Case

The first step to take if you are the victim of personal property damage is to file an insurance claim.

When you file an insurance claim in the state of California, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First, you must submit a “ proof of loss ,” which describes what was lost and the approximate monetary value of what was lost. However, it is important to be as accurate as possible, whether that means hiring an expert or making it clear to the insurance company that the value you are submitting on the form is not final.

Misrepresenting information either accidentally or intentionally could mean your claim is denied.

Second, California’s statute of limitations states that you must submit a claim for personal property damage within three years of its occurrence.

After three years, the other party can request a case dismissal, and the court is likely to grant this dismissal since so much time has passed.

Although it is rare, there are some for which the deadline can be extended. If you are unsure if this applies to your case or not, contact your attorney.

Negotiating with insurance companies can be complicated. Insurance companies sometimes provide settlements that do not match the compensation one would deserve for the losses they incur due to property damage.

In this case, it is beneficial to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit for personal property damage.

Whether you choose to file a lawsuit or an insurance claim, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible. Not only will evidence strengthen your case in court, but it will also increase the likelihood that your insurance company will compensate you for your losses.

Evidence can come in many forms, such as photographs or receipts for the items lost or damaged.

If you do not get the compensation you deserve from an insurance claim or the at-fault party does not have insurance, you can litigate the case in small claims court.

How an Attorney Can Help

The lawyers at LA Attorneys are experts in personal property damage cases and have a deep understanding of California’s law and regulations.

If your insurance claim is denied, you are not out of luck. An attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company, or you can choose to litigate your case in small claims court.

A lawyer will:

  • Evaluate and prepare your case professionally
  • Gather all the information to support your case
  • Inform you on your rights, and on local and state regulations that apply to your case
  • Prepare you for meetings with your insurance company
  • Negotiate proactively during these meetings with your insurer
  • Defend your case fiercely until a fair settlement is reached

Conclusion

At LA Attorneys, our team of personal property damage experts will thoroughly analyze your case, negotiate with your insurance company, and help you build a strong defense claim if needed.

Contact LA Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation with our dedicated attorneys and get the compensation you deserve.

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