If your property got damaged and you really want to explore the legal options available to you, you also need to learn more about suing someone for property damage. You also need to learn the right time or when it would be appropriate to sue someone for property damage.
Property is any item or thing that is of value or is tangible to you. For example, the property might be your clothes, house, car, food in your fridge, pets, or any other item that personally belongs to you. What would be the case if a person accidentally or intentionally causes that property to be damaged?
You turn out to be a victim of property damage if someone damages your property. Even though it could be accidental or intentional, that doesn’t matter to you because you are within your legal rights if you decide to seek compensation for the property that got damaged. However, the problem with suing someone for property damage is that not all cases are viable, and winning can also be a difficult race, but if you can know this part of the law, you can also win your property damage case.
How To Sue Someone For Property Damage
By definition, the term property damage refers to damages or injury either to your personal property or to you, and this damage is done either through the act of nature, willful destruction, and negligence. Property damage by law is categorized into three distinct ways;
1. Accidental Property Damage: This is the damage caused by someone but wasn’t intentional. An example is someone dropping your phone in the mud right after making a call with it, or they didn’t intend to break your device, but it just happened
2. Negligent Property Damage: The direct carelessness of someone that ends up harming you. An example of this is a tree from a neighbors house falling on your roof, and this is your neighbor’s fault because he didn’t take care of his tree.
3. Malicious Property Damage: This talks about a person wanting to harm your property as a result of rage, a desire to hurt you, or spite. This can also be referred to as an attack or vandalism.
Occasionally, nature also plays a role in property damage, including downed trees and minor storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and very harsh weather conditions. You cannot do much if property damage was caused by nature, but if others caused it, then you have the right to file a claim. In some cases, filing a claim and requesting compensation might end up in court.
You can actually take a defendant to a small claims court if the size of the claim is small. In a small claims court, you would need to show property damage and also be able to prove that it happened as a result of the defendant’s fault. You also have to prove the value of the damaged property, and they will appreciate evidence to back up your claims in court as well. This would prompt the presiding judge to ask the defendant to pay the compensation.
Hiring A Lawyer For Large Property Damage Claims
If the property damage claim involves an intentional act or lack of insurance, then you should go ahead and consult with a lawyer. It is up to the lawyer to figure out if the case is a viable one or not, and both of you would work together to ensure that you can prove your claim is based on the defendant’s negligent or intentional act.
However, negligence can be tricky because you will have to prove the defendant was aware of the situation but decided to do nothing about it. For example, you would have to prove that the neighbor knew his tree was old and needed to be trimmed, but he chose to neglect it till the tree fell and destroyed your property.
At the end of the case in court, you would only get what your property values as compensation. After that, either you get an amount to replace the property or an amount to repair the damaged property. For example, in a totaled car, you will not get enough to get a new car. You would only get enough to replace or repair what was damaged in your car.
You should know that accidents truly happen, and not all property damage are intentional acts. However, fault sometimes can be considered a factor, and this is why you need an experienced lawyer who would carefully examine your case and tell you what next to do.