It’s a loud noise that sounds like a crash — you ensure everyone in your home is OK and go outside to assess what happened. You see that a vehicle has caused damage to your property.
This is one example of how property damage can occur in Arkansas. While this example may play out in various ways, there is a common factor for all considering filing a property damage claim — someone else damaged your property due to their negligence.
But what can be considered for a property damage claim, when is it best to consider filing a claim, and is there a statute of limitations? The team at Martin Attorneys, PA answers these questions below and can be reached online or by phone — (479) 888-2039 — if you are considering filing a property damage claim.
How is Property Damage Determined?
In a property damage claim, a piece of property is considered a valuable asset, for example, someone’s home, vehicle, or other items on your property, such as a mailbox. The property owner may have individual insurance coverage for the damaged property. The person responsible for causing the property damage may have insurance that is applicable in this type of situation. Suppose the person responsible for causing the damage does not have adequate insurance coverage (or even if the individual does). In that case, the person whose property was damaged could consider filing a property damage claim.
Timeline of a Property Damage Claim
If a property damage claim is filed, the next action will be an appraisal. During this process, an appraiser will evaluate the damage and if repairs can be made or if the damaged property needs to be replaced. Depending on the amount of damage, property such as vehicles or mailboxes may need to be completely replaced compared to homes or lawns that can be repaired. The type of repair or replacement will determine how long it will take to have the property is back in its proper state.
Statute of Limitations
If a property owner is considering filing a property damage claim, they must be aware that any claim must be filed within a certain period of time. Each state has a different statute of limitations, but it’s three years in Arkansas.
Missing or Extending the Deadline
If a property owner misses the filing deadline but files anyway, the defendant will most likely petition to have the case dismissed. Typically, the court would agree with the defendant’s petition unless there are highly unusual circumstances.
Rather than miss a deadline, if the property owner feels like three years isn’t enough time to file their claim, they can request an extension. Additionally, an extension may be granted if the property owner initially files the claim within three years, but the defendant can not be found or properly notified of the claim.
When Should a Property Claim Be Filed?
This may be a difficult question to answer for some property owners if the damage does not seem extremely significant, in their opinion. However, it does not hurt to evaluate all options before taking any action.
Factors that should be considered include:
- Insurance — does the negligent party have the proper insurance to cover the damage they caused? Or, is the negligent party refusing fault and trying to pass off the damage as insignificant? When working with an experienced legal team, property owners will get the answers they need to move forward with a potential claim.
- Condition of the property prior to the damage — if your vehicle was destroyed due to someone else’s actions, but the vehicle had prior damage, you may not receive as much compensation as if the vehicle was recently driven out of the car dealership. In turn, a defendant may claim the property they damaged was already in bad condition prior to the accident. One way property owners can help prove their claim is to have recent pictures of valuable property always available should an accident happen.
- Calling a professional — determining whether to file a property claim on your own can be a difficult task. When you work with Martin Attorneys, PA, we will evaluate your case and present the best course of action for your situation.
Reach out to our compassionate attorneys today for a free initial consultation — (479) 888-2039.