My Georgia Auto Accident Injuries Claim: What About Property Damage to My Car?


January 24, 2011

If you are involved in a serious Georgia auto accident, your first priority and concern must be your physical well-being and recovery from your injuries. Eventually, if everything goes well, you will return to your pre-accident routine and will need your car. It is not uncommon to wind up with a disabled or damaged car or to suffer a total loss of your car after an accident. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, like most car accident firms, focus on car accidents that result in injuries, but we also know that getting your car repaired correctly and the diminished value of your vehicle are important to you as well.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing Atlanta auto accident victims throughout the state of Georgia for over 25 years. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a Georgia car accident we can help you obtain the legal compensation to which you are entitled, including recovery for damage to your vehicle or any other property loss that you incur.

A person who is involved in a car accident with a driver whose unsafe driving or carelessness caused the accident is entitled to damages for his/her medical expenses, pain and suffering, permanent disability or disfigurement. The unsafe driver is responsible for loss of any property or property damage as well. Most people are at least somewhat aware that if another driver is responsible for a car accident in which your vehicle is damaged that the negligent driver or his insurance can be held liable for the damage to your vehicle. This means that you have a right to have your car repaired and be compensated by the other driver or his insurance company for the cost of repairs. You also have a right to compensation for the cost of a rental car during the time that your car is being repaired. If the vehicle is a total loss, then you have a right to be compensated for the value of your vehicle.

Many people believe this is the end of the story as far as compensation for property loss during a car accident. However, your right to be compensated for property loss in a Georgia car crash extends beyond just the repair or replacement of your vehicle. You also have the right to be reimbursed for other property that was damaged or destroyed that was in your vehicle or on your person at the time of the auto collision. This may include such items as clothing or jewelry on your person or laptop computers, smart phones or other electronic devices in your vehicle or on your person.

There is one other important type of property damage resulting from a car accident for which you may seek compensation. Even after your car has been repaired, it is still worth less than before your car accident. A vehicle that has been in an accident suffers depreciation in value even if all of the damage is repaired. Your right to compensation for this loss in value after your car has been repaired is called a "diminished value claim." This compensation for damage to your car is awarded above and beyond the cost of repairs (But remember not to sign anything or accept a check in full settlement unless that is what you intend!).

Reports like a Carfax Report will reflect that your vehicle has been in a car accident which can result in depreciation in value. The amount of this depreciation is typically determined by experts who may consider such factors as the cost of repairs, the ratio of pre-accident value to cost of the repairs, frame damage, type of vehicle involved, and age of the vehicle as well as other factors. A vehicle with frame damage, for example, will typically never be the same vehicle even after it is repaired. The diminished value of the vehicle is essentially the difference between what a buyer would have paid for the vehicle before the accident when compared to what a buyer would pay knowing it was in an accident and the extent of the damage from the car crash.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we know your health and recovery following a serious Georgia car accident is the most important priority. We will help you obtain financial compensation for your medical and rehabilitative expenses and to compensate you for your pain and suffering. We also know that you will need your car when you are back on your feet and will seek the compensation to which you are entitled for car accident-related property damage. This means more than just getting your car repaired; we will seek compensation for all of your property loss including any loss of personal property and the diminished value of your car.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Georgia car accident, Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, will work hard to help you get back on your feet and to get you the compensation you deserve. Our experienced Georgia car accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.