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What's Considered Property Damage in a Car Accident?

cracked iPhone sitting on leather seat

If a motorist causes a car accident resulting in property damage in Midland, TX, their insurance coverage required by Texas law goes, in part, to cover the other driver’s property damage. But “property damage” is a vague term. Most people associate the idea of property damage in a car accident with fixing a vehicle. But it includes more than just that. What is considered property damage in a car accident?

After learning more about what is considered property damage in a car accident in Texas, please reach out to Buckingham & Vega Law Firm with questions about an accident you or a loved one were involved in. Our Midland car crash attorneys have broad and in-depth expertise related to all legal matters surrounding motor vehicle collisions and Texas auto insurance requirements. We can answer your questions during a free consultation at our Midland office.

Expenses That May Be Considered Property Damage in an Auto Collision

Property damage is primarily related to the cost of repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle. These are financial losses the vehicle owner incurred as a direct result of the at-fault motorist’s negligence.

Expenses related to property damage typically come with bills detailing the exact cost. If you were involved in an accident that caused you to suffer any kind of property damage, be sure to hold on to these bills and receipts. These will be important when you go to file your car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. The insurer will demand proof of the costs associated with your property damage.

Property damage related to fixing or replacing your car after an accident usually includes:

  • Auto mechanic bills for fixing your vehicle
  • The assessed value of your vehicle if it was totaled in the accident
  • Bills from a towing company if you were not able to drive your vehicle away from the crash site
  • Rental car costs incurred while your vehicle was being repaired

Personal Items Lost in a Crash May Be Considered Property Damage

If you lost personal items of value in the accident, the financial losses can be included as property damage in a car accident claim. Most auto owners use their vehicles to transport important and expensive objects every day. Many of these objects are work-related, but some may simply be personal items. If any of these valuables are damaged or lost in an accident caused by another motorist, you may be able to recover the cost by listing the lost items as property damage in your car accident claim.

Some of the most common personal items that may be considered property damage in a car accident are:

  • Laptops, keyboards, speakers, and other computer equipment
  • Cell phones
  • iPads or tablets
  • Speakers
  • Headphones
  • A child’s car seat
  • Jewelry
  • Luggage, briefcases, or handbags
  • Prescription glasses
  • Tools
  • Books
  • Cameras
  • Groceries and food products
  • Customizations made to the vehicle

How Much Insurance Coverage Do Drivers Need for Property Damage in Texas?

The state of Texas requires that all motorists purchase and carry proof of auto liability insurance coverage. This type of insurance covers the other driver’s damages if the policyholder causes an accident. This is a way to make sure a vehicle owner can be financially responsible if they are liable for an accident that results in physical injury or property damage to another person.

Texas requires drivers to carry what is known as “30/60/25 coverage.” These numbers refer to the minimum dollar amounts mandatory under Texas law. They are:

  • $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person,
  • Up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and
  • $25,000 of coverage for property damage.

Remember, these are simply the minimum amounts required by law. A driver is required to have proof of at least this much insurance coverage.

Many motorists in Midland, TX make the smart choice to carry insurance above the bare minimums mandated by state law. Carrying higher amounts of coverage and different types of auto insurance is a good way to protect yourself and others from financial devastation in the case of a car accident. If a person causes an accident and their insurance coverage is not sufficient to pay the total amount of property and other damages, they may be forced to pay out of pocket.

Other types of auto insurance a motorist may opt to purchase in Texas include:

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – protects you if the at-fault driver has no insurance, insufficient insurance, or leaves the scene without leaving their insurance information (a hit-and-run accident)
  • Collision Coverage – covers the costs of repairing or replacing your own vehicle after a car accident
  • Comprehensive Coverage – protects against vehicle damage that happens because of something other than a car accident, like a flood, fire, break-in, or vandalism
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage – included in all Texas insurance policies unless you opt out in writing; pays for medical bills, lost wages, and related expenses for driver and passengers in your own vehicle

Get Help After Property Damage in a Car Accident in Midland

There is no doubt about it—auto insurance policies are complicated. If you incurred property damage in a Texas auto collision, it can be challenging to figure out the best way to recover your losses. It is never fair for you to be stuck with the financial injuries of someone else’s mistake. But determining what is considered property damage in a car accident, and figuring out how to file for compensation, can be an overwhelming task.

At Buckingham & Vega Law Firm, we use our legal knowledge to ease your burden. While you are focusing on your recovery and return to normal life, we take care of the legal matters for you. We can communicate with insurance companies, file the necessary documentation, assess the full value of your property damage, and negotiate to ensure a fair settlement on your behalf.

Call (505) 388-0066 or contact us online today to set up a free case evaluation with an attorney on our team.

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