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Property damage after a car accident: What covers the loss of personal belongings?

In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, bodily injury is the most critical factor to account for, both in terms of the damage to human life and the costs of medical care.

However, it’s also important to consider the scope of the property damage; along with medical bills and other expenses, damaged property can lead to steep expenses for accident victims and their loved ones.

Among the kinds of property that could have been damaged in a car accident are personal belongings that you were carrying with you in the vehicle.

Were your personal belongings lost in a car accident?

During the accident, your laptop could have been smashed up, costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars in losses – not only for the device itself, but also for the loss of any important data. Other expensive tech that could have been destroyed are mobile devices and tablets.

Your vehicle may have also had an enhanced sound system that you added to the car as an upgrade. You could be facing the loss of expensive speakers and other audio equipment.

Then there are various other items, such as luggage filled with clothes and gifts that you were taking on the way back from a trip. If you were using your vehicle to sell merchandise for work, you may have also experienced the loss of part of your inventory.

How will you cover the costs of this personal property damage?

In the aftermath of a car accident, auto insurance usually won’t extend to the personal property in the car but in terms of property damage will be limited mostly to the vehicle itself and any repairs that need to be made on it.

You can try other avenues of insurance. For example, some of the more expensive items could have been individually insured. You can also look into your homeowners or rental insurance to see if your plans cover personal property in your car.

Another possible avenue for recovering damages is in a lawsuit. In DC, Virginia and Maryland, the other driver needs to be solely responsible for the crash for you to file a civil suit; if you share any responsibility for the accident, this course of action will likely be closed to you.

When you contact us to discuss your motor vehicle accident, be sure to mention if you’ve lost any valuable personal belongings. Your attorney will be able to help you explore different options for how you can recover the money for your lost property.

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