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Car Accident Property Damage Claim: What You Need To Know

A car accident property damage claim in Michigan applies when a car accident results in accidental damage to another person’s tangible property. The property owner files the claim with the driver’s auto insurance under his or her No-Fault property protection insurance coverage.

What is covered by a car accident property damage claim?

The damage to tangible property that is covered by a claim consists of “physical injury to or destruction of the property and loss of use of the property so injured or destroyed.” (MCL 500.3121(3))

Does this type of claim depend on fault?

No. This claim may be filed under a driver’s auto insurance policy regardless of who was at-fault in causing the property. (MCL 500.3121(2))

This means that, even if the person who is filing the property damage claim caused the motor vehicle accident because he was careless or irresponsible, as long as the damage was not done intentionally, he is still entitled to recover.

Who do I file a car accident property damage claim against?

First, the owner of the damaged property will file his or her claim against the auto insurance company for the owner of the car that caused the damage. Second, if recovery cannot be made with the former, the claim will be filed with the driver’s auto insurance company. (MCL 500.3125)

How much will this type of claim pay?

The driver’s insurance company will pay “the lesser of reasonable repair costs or replacement costs less depreciation and, if applicable, the value of loss of use.” But the payout on the property damage claim will not exceed $1 million. (MCL 500.3121(5))

Importantly, if the driver was at-fault in causing the property damage, then the property owner may be able to sue the driver for “tort liability” for damages in “excess” of the $1 million limit up to $4 million when “liability insurance required by federal statute or regulation is in effect.” (MCL 500.3136(1) and (2)

Time limits for filing this type of claim?

A property owner cannot sue on a car accident property damage claim “later than 1 year after the accident.” (MCL 500.3145(5))

Injured and need a lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law

If you have been injured in a car accident and you have questions about your legal rights, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.