If your property got damaged and you really want to explore the legal options available to you then you also need to learn more about how to sue 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. 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 and 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 some compensation for the property that got damaged. However, the problem with suing someone for property damage is not all cases are viable and winning can also be a difficult race but if you are able to know this part of law then you can as well 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 act of nature, willful destruction and negligence. Property damage by law is categorized into three distinct ways;
- Accidental Property Damage – This is the damage caused by someone but wasn’t intentional. An example is someone dropping your phone in mud right after making a call with it or they didn’t intend breaking your device but it just happened
- Negligent Property Damage – The direct carelessness of someone that ends up harming you. An example of this is a tree from neighbors house falling on your roof and this is your neighbors fault because he didn’t take care of his tree.
- 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 when it comes to property damage and this also include 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 it was caused by others then you have the rights 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 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 evidence to backup your claims in court would be appreciated 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 is one that 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 are able to prove your claim is based on the defendants negligent or intentional act. However, negligence can be a bit 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 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. It is either you get an amount to replace the property or an amount to repair the damaged property. In the case of a totaled car, you are not going to get an amount 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. Fault sometimes can be considered as a factor and this is why you need an experienced lawyer that would carefully examine your case and tell you what next to do.