Car crashes can leave victims with serious injuries and are one of the top causes of premature death in the United States. Those who get into crashes that only cause property damage may feel quite fortunate to have avoided injury or worse. However, property damage can be very problematic for those involved in a recent crash. Their vehicle may be unsafe to drive and could require thousands of dollars in repairs. Other times, the damage to a vehicle may make it unsafe to drive even with repairs, meaning that someone will have to buy a new vehicle. Those with specialized vehicles, like wheelchair-accessible vans, may have vehicles that are worth far more than the average passenger vehicle.
Even after repairing the vehicle, it will likely have a diminished value when they choose to sell it later. As a result, people may understandably hope to recover both the repair costs and the reduction in resale value caused by a collision. Who pays to repair or replace the vehicle damaged in a crash?
The driver at fault may help cover the costs
People who break the law or do something obviously unsafe while driving theoretically have legal and financial responsibility for the crash that they cause. Drivers are responsible for the damages caused in a crash that results from their negligence or misconduct. Motorists help protect themselves from that financial risk by carrying liability insurance. Every driver gets to decide how much protection they want, so long as their policies meet the minimum standards set by the state. The average policy that complies with state law will have at least $25,000 in property damage coverage, which could be enough to repair a vehicle and pay for the diminished value it will have when we sold.
Those with additional losses can potentially pursue a lawsuit against the motorist responsible for their crash. Many people find that negotiating appropriate settlements can be a challenge, particularly when they own a high-value vehicle or want to seek reimbursement for the diminished value of their vehicle to their claims. Yet, ultimately, seeking legal guidance and better understanding who may be responsible is a good starting point for those who want to recoup the cost of damage to their property after a Missouri crash.