If you’re hurt in an accident, then it is common for property to be damaged as well. If this happens, you can typically recover compensation for the property damage from an insurance company, an organization, or a private individual.
If you have suffered property damage, then it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney right away.
What is Property Damage?
There are two types of property under Florida law: real property and personal property. Real property is land and things permanently attached to it, such as a house or shed. Personal property is all other movable property (car, phone, etc.). Each can be damaged or destroyed in various ways. Additionally, multiple people can sometimes be held responsible for your property damage.
Common targets for property damage cases are homeowner’s insurance policies and car insurance policies. If you were involved in a car accident, then a car insurance policy is your best bet to claim property damage.
If your home or property was damaged on your land or another’s, then a homeowner’s insurance policy would be your best bet to claim property damage. The facts of your case will help you determine who the best target is for your property damage claim.
How is Property Damage Calculated?
If you are trying to recover compensation for property damage, you must first determine the value of the damaged property.
In Florida, property has a value that is the lesser of:
- The property’s repair or replacement cost; or
- The property’s reduction in market value
For example, say you bought a new car for $20,000. A speeding driver collides with your car causing damage. The cost to repair the damage is $2,000. The reduction in market value is $3,000. In this case, the speeding driver would owe you $2,000 for repair damage, the lesser of the two values.
You will need this information before you file your property damage insurance claim or lawsuit. You will generally obtain information about the property value through quotes from professionals who can evaluate the damage.
Other Important Information You Will Need for a Property Damage Claim
The first step in a property damage case is to prove that you own the property. This proof will need to be submitted with your claim. You can prove that you own the property through a title, a purchase receipt, or an insurance policy.
The next step involves proving how and where your property was damaged or destroyed. You will need to prove the facts and circumstances that led to the property damage. Be prepared to answer where and when the accident happened, as well as who was involved.
One of the final steps in a property damage claim is proving the value to repair or replace your property. You will need to make a determination if your property can be repaired, or if it requires replacement. Make sure to speak to an experienced attorney if you have legal questions.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for Property Damage Claims?
A statute of limitations is a time limit set by law to bring a claim. If the statute of limitations has passed, then you will not be able to file a claim. You can find statutes of limitations in all kinds of cases, from civil claims to criminal cases.
In Florida, state law allows a four-year statute of limitations for property damage claims. If you don’t properly file your claim within that time period, you will likely never be able to file one.
In Florida, there are some specific situations that exist that allow the statute of limitations to be extended, they include:
- The potential defendant leaves the state of Florida for any part of the four-year period,
- The potential defendant is concealing themselves or otherwise hiding to prevent service, and
- If the person seeking to file a lawsuit is a minor or declared legally incompetent by a court.
If any of these situations occurs, then the statute of limitations can be put on hold until the issues are resolved. If you suffered property damage or destruction, then make sure you act quickly.
Contact a Tampa Property Damage lawyer for Help
If another’s negligence has damaged your property, then it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney. Understanding what kinds of claims are available to you can help you recover the maximum compensation.