Property damage is a consequence of many accidents. If your property was damaged or destroyed in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you might qualify for compensation. You might be able to receive compensation from an individual, a company, and/or an insurance company, depending on the circumstances of your case.
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What is Property Damage?
No matter how careful you may be, your property can be damaged or destroyed in a variety of ways. When it is, you should determine if the cost of the repair or replacement of the property will be your responsibility or someone else’s.
New York law divides property into two types: real property and personal property. Real property is land and things attached to the land, like a house or shed. Personal property are movable items that are not real property, including cars, phones, jewelry, etc.
Understanding who is liable for your property damage is critical to your claim. Auto insurance or property insurance are common forms of coverage for property damage.
If your property was damaged or destroyed because you were involved in a car accident, then your claim will likely need to be made with an auto insurance company. If your property was damaged or destroyed while on your or someone else’s land, then your claim will likely need to be made with a property insurance company. You might also have a claim against a business’s liability insurance.
Common Examples of Property Damage
Some of the most common ways that property is damaged include:
- House flood damage
- Damage from acts of God such as weather
- Car damage from an accident
- Intentional damage from vandalism
These are just a few of the ways that property can be damaged or destroyed in an accident. The amount of compensation you might be eligible for is generally based on how much it will cost to fix or replace your property.
How You Can Qualify for Compensation for Property Damage
The first step towards compensation for your property damage is to determine if someone else should be held responsible for your property damage. It is important to assess how an insurance policy can limit or negate your ability to recover money from a property damage claim.
Important Information You Will Need for Property Damage Claims
Proving ownership of property is the first step towards getting compensated. You cannot be compensated for someone else’s property loss unless you have a legal right to use the property that was damaged. This rule can apply to either vehicles or homes. For instance, if you rent your home, you will likely need to make a claim with your renter’s insurance company.
The value of your property is an important factor in any property damage case. To ensure that you are properly compensated, you will need to get repair estimates or determine the fair market value of your property. This will help you demonstrate the value of your property to an insurance company or court.
What is the Statute of Limitations in New York for Property Damage Claims?
A statute of limitations refers to how long the state will give you to file a claim for damages. Each state has different time limits for different types of claims.
In New York, you have up to three years from the date of your property damage to file your lawsuit in the appropriate court. If your property damage claim isn’t filed within that time limit, then you will likely lose your right to compensation.
There are a few situations where the three-year timeframe can be extended, including:
- The defendant is out of state when the property damage occurs,
- The defendant leaves New York for longer than four months,
- If the defendant is using a false name to conceal their identity, and
- If the property owner is under the age of 18 or has been declared legally incompetent.
If any of the above situations occur, then the court can put the three-year timeframe on hold. Still, if you have a potential claim, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute. Acting on your claim quickly will help you preserve evidence of your claim and avoid a statute of limitations issues.
Contact a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
If your property has been damaged or destroyed because of someone else’s actions, then it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. At Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, we are proud to offer free consultations. To schedule your consultation, call us or contact us online today.