Licensed in Missouri and Kansas
COVID-19 Update: We are still open for business and welcome your call. Stay safe.

Property Damage Only Cases

When you are in a wreck that involves property damage only, it usually is not economical to hire an attorney. You often would spend more money on the attorney to help you than that attorney can recover on your behalf. Further, there are many online resources that people can use to get the value of their vehicle, such as Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com). If your vehicle has been totaled, you can use these online resources to assess the fair market value of your vehicle and ask that the insurance company for the at fault driver pay that amount, up to their policy limit, and for any reasonable towing, storage, and rental car fees. The minimum policy limit for property damage in Missouri is $10,000.00, so you may not be fully compensated for your loss if the damage to your vehicle is more than the at fault driver’s policy limit.

What can be difficult is when your vehicle is not a total loss, but can be repaired. The person at fault for the collision is liable for the reasonable cost to repair your vehicle. That means they have to pay, through their insurance company, to repair your vehicle as best as possible. The at fault insurer may have a preferred mechanic that they would like you to go to, but you’re free to go to whomever you like. The issue could be that if you take your car to a repair shop that charges and unreasonable rate, the at fault insurer may not pay.

If you have comprehensive or full coverage, the easiest way to get your car fixed is to go through your own insurance company. Your insurer will pay to fix your vehicle and then go after the at fault insurer for reimbursement. Although you may have to go out of pocket for your deductible, your insurance company will try to get that deductible back from the at-fault insurer and reimburse you. Under Missouri’s insurance regulations, an auto insurer should not raise your rates for making a claim that wasn’t your fault.

Finally, if you’re having issues getting reimbursed for the damage to your vehicle and the damage is less than $5,000.00, you can sue the at fault driver (not the insurer) in small claims court. Small claims court is designed for people to get a quick determination on their case without attorney involvement. You can present the judge with evidence that the other person caused the damage along with pictures of the damage and receipts for repair bills. The judge will then determine how much the at fault driver is liable for an enter a judgment.

Categories: