Property Damage Lawyer
Wildfires have become a serious problem to the state of California in the dry season, especially during the summers. Many homeowners don’t even have the necessary insurance. In 2020, California experienced about 10 billion in damages caused by the wildfires. This amount includes the preventative measures that need to be taken such as Cal Fire funding, along with homeowners’ claims. With the last couple years experiencing very severe wildfires, many homeowners had purchased fire insurance for property damage on to their home. However, unfortunately, many insurance companies declined to pay out the homeowners when they did experience damage on to their homes. In certain cases like these, property damage claims are filed on behalf of the homeowners. It is important to hire an experienced personal injury Los Angeles attorney to better determine your claim end strategize the maximum legal compensation you could possibly receive.
Property damage claims occur when one party brings a claim against another for damage caused to their property. Property damage claims can include various instances, such as 1) damage caused to a vehicle or a building (such as home or a commercial building), 2) damage caused to personal property such as handbags or clothing, 3) damage caused to personal medical accessories such as glasses, wheelchairs, and hearing aids.
Common Property Damage Situations in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, there are specific property damage claims that are common among plaintiffs. This includes:
- Homes: Damage could be caused by a specific person, along with other causes such as earthquakes and fires. In that case, the plaintiff would be bringing the lawsuit against their insurance company for failure to compensate them for their insurance coverage. Home property damage claims include wind damage, fire damage, water damage, earthquake damage and construction defects.
- Businesses: Not only would this include physical damage caused by defendants’ destruction, but also instances where insurance companies have declined paying the insureds for their damages.
- Cars: This is the most common type of property damage claim.
When an Attorney is Needed in a Property Damage Claim
Oftentimes, an attorney is not needed in property damage claims since it usually deals with insurance companies and the insurance. However, an attorney will most likely be needed when a defendant maliciously causes damage on to another’s property. These types of defendants or anything but insurance companies, such as other drivers.
Steps on How to File a Car Property Damage Claim
There are specific steps one must follow in order to file a claim for vehicle property damage as a result of car accidents.
- You have to fill out form SR-1 from the DMV. This form is used when there has been more than $1,000 in property damage. This form should be turned into the DMV after 10 days of the accident. It is required that the driver must have insurance in order to file this claim. This form will ask for photographs along with summaries of how the accident occurred.
- After filing a claim, you should consult the matter with your insurance company. If there has been personal injury involved in this accident, we suggest hiring a personal injury attorney to determine that half of the claim because the form will only deal with property damage claims.
- Get quotes from mechanics as to how to fix the vehicle. This is important to better determine how much damages you are seeking from the other party in the property damage form claim. When the cost to repair the car is more than the actual value of the car, the insurance company must have to pay the value of the car prior to the incident. This is considered the fair market value.
- During this time, the property damage claim could also include temporary traveling costs, such as compensation for a taxi or Uber during the time you do not have access to your car.
Steps on How to File a Property Damage Claim
A claim for property damage is somewhat different than a claim for vehicle damage. It mostly deals with the insurance company.
- Many states, such as California require filing of a police report to document exactly all the property damage that has occurred.
- After a major accident, document and take photos of all the damage that has occurred to the property.
- Contact your insurance agent to determine if your policy covers this type of property damage. The insurance adjuster will need to know the degree of damage in order to calculate the scope of payment.
- If the insurance company has declined to pay you for the damage, consult an attorney to determine if the insurance company is acting in bad faith. Insurance companies must act in good faith to pay out the policy holders. Any acts of bad faith could potentially result in a lawsuit. contact our experienced property damage attorneys today to determine if the insurance company has acted in bad faith.
Statute of Limitations for Property Damage in California
Statute of limitations is a term used to refer to the amount of time a plaintiff may have to bring a claim against a defendant. The statute of limitations time differs between states. If you have suffered any type of personal injury, there’s a specific statute of limitation you must follow in order to bring the claim. Bringing the claim after the statute of limitations time period will result in a dismissal of the lawsuit. Under California Civil Procedure Code section 338 states there is a three-year statute of limitations imposed on claims for property damage. Specifically, the statute states, “an action for trespass upon or injury to real property”, and “an action for taking, detaining, or injuring goods or chattels.” Actually, this means that when one goes on to another’s property unlawfully and causes damage to some type of personal property, the plaintiff can bring a lawsuit for property damage against the defendant. If a claim is brought after the three-year period, the defendant will most likely file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and the court will most likely agree. You will be unable to bring the same claim for property damage against the defendant again.
Statute of Limitations for Property Damage in Nevada
Nevada has a similar statute of limitations period Like California. Nevada revised Statute section 11. 190 states that any damage to real or personal property must be brought within three years of the day of the damage. However, specific rules apply when the plaintiff is under the age of 18, considered legally incompetent, or has been imprisoned. When any of these three are met, then the clock will not run against the plaintiff and the plaintiff could bring the lawsuit anytime (they are not limited to the 3 years).
If you have experienced any property damage problems with your insurance company, contact our attorneys today to determine if you have a potential lawsuit against the insurance company.
***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.