Most people think of property damage claims in terms of car accidents. The role of an attorney is to help you deal with insurance companies. However, other situations may still lead to property damage. In Los Angeles, you may need a property damage lawyer for those as well. Here is an overview of property damage claims.
Property damage can happen through negligence or intent. A drunk driver crashing into another car is an example of negligence. A driver ramming another vehicle because of road rage is an example of intent. In the first case, the insurance company of the negligent driver may pay part of the damages. In the second case, it will not. The driver that crashed into another car on purpose will have to pay for all damages.
In any type of property damage, you can claim for three kinds of damage. Compensatory damages usually depend on how much it will take to fix something. It could be the cost of repairs or replacement. It can also include the costs of loss of use. Incidental damages include the costs of towing the car to the repair shop, looking for spare parts, and other expenses. Punitive damages are there to punish the one that caused the damage in the first place. The amount depends on the compensatory damages awarded. In most cases, a jury awards punitive damages for intentional acts.
You cannot usually claim for emotional distress in a property damage claim. This includes any property to which you have a personal attachment, such as a tree or home. You can only sue for emotional distress in a personal injury case. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Your lawyer may be able to prove that the damage has caused extraordinary pain.
A property damage insurance attorney in Los Angeles can help you prove your claim. This overview gives you some idea of what to expect.