Because we are a personal injury law firm, we tend to concentrate our posts on injured victims of incidents such as falls, animal attacks, unsafe premises, and auto accidents. Injuries are not the only aspect of these types of legal claims, however. Specifically in automobile wrecks, there are a variety of facets of a legal claim.
In the event of a motor vehicle crash in which another driver is found by law enforcement officials to be at fault, injured victims have a right to sue not only for injuries and medical bills, but for property damage to their vehicle as well. Property damage is defined as the amount of damage to a motor vehicle and is measured by the change in value prior to and after a collision. If you’ve been in a car crash and your vehicle is deemed repairable, the property damage will amount to the repair costs plus the decrease in value as a result of the damage. Repair time and interest are also taken into consideration when estimating a property damage amount. In the event that your insurance company deems your automobile a “total loss”, the actual cash value of the automobile is taken into account by establishing what amount of money it would take to replace that vehicle with another similar in quality and type. A vehicle’s depreciation is taken into account when insurance companies “total” a car after a crash, so it oftentimes seems like too small a sum to victims. Regardless of the amount of property damage to a vehicle after a crash, the legal claims are typically brought against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. In the event that the driver is uninsured, a claim can then be made against your own UM (uninsured motorist) coverage, if you have such coverage.
The amount of property damage caused in a crash is affected by the severity of a crash, as well as the types of vehicles involved. Insure.com released a report detailing vehicles that typically cause the highest amount of property damage. In the report, large pickup trucks and SUVs ranked at the top for causing damage to other vehicles. In turn, these vehicles tend to have larger liability insurance coverage bill amounts. In order of greatest to least, they are:
- Ford F-250
- GMC Sierra 2500
- Ford F-350
- Ram 1500
- Infiniti QX80
- Dodge Durango
- Toyota Tundra
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Cadillac Escalade
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500
So what is the underlying cause of these vehicles causing more property damage than others? Researchers believe it is due to the bumpers on these larger vehicles not lining up with those of smaller passenger vehicles. The U.S. government regulates the bumper requirements for smaller cars, but those same requirements do not apply to trucks, sport utility vehicles, or vans. So when a smaller vehicle collides with one of these larger body styles, the property damage and injuries found in the smaller car tends to be much greater than in the large vehicles.
Regardless of why injuries and property damage occur in these types of incidents, if you were injured and your vehicle damaged in a crash that was another driver’s fault, you may be able to hold them liable. For a confidential consultation with an experienced lawyer, contact Jones & Swanson today. We specialize in the representation of injured auto accident victims.