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What Is Considered Property Damage in a Car Accident?

Crashes don’t just dent your fender. They dent your wallet as well! The average cost of a car accident that results in property damage only is $4,700 per vehicle. That may be a few months of rent where you live.

You need to take property damage in a car accident seriously. One tricky thing about property damage is that it can mean a few different things.

What exactly is vehicle damage and personal belongings damage? How does damage to public property impact compensation claims? Can you get money for injuries to your pet?

Answer these questions and you can get the compensation you deserve after any car accident. Here is your quick guide.

Vehicle Damage

As you might imagine, the most substantial property damage from a car accident is usually the vehicle. A fender bender can damage your bumper as well as your suspension and tires. It may cost you hundreds of dollars to get repairs, and you may not be able to drive your car for a few hours.

A more serious collision can cost you thousands of dollars. You may need to take your car to a repair shop and use a rental for several days.

Even if your car seems fine, you may have damaged bolts or parts inside your engine. You should always evaluate your car after any collision and determine if everything is okay.

Florida is a comparative fault state. This means that compensation is tied to degrees of fault for the accident. If you sustained $10,000 worth of damage but you were at 30% fault for the accident, you can only receive $7,000 in compensation.

If your vehicle got totaled, you can receive money equivalent to the fair market value for your car. This lets you buy a new car, as the cost of repairs may exceed the cost of a new vehicle.

Personal Property

You can get money for anything that requires repairs or replacements after an accident. This includes electronics, clothes, audio equipment, and other personal effects.

The key is that you have evidence to back your claim up. You should have papers detailing how much each item costs and what the damage to each item was like.

It is okay if your property did not cost very much. You can go to a small claims court and file a lawsuit against the other driver to claim money back.

In a small claims court, you must prove that the other driver was negligent. You can point out that they caused the accident and did not act with appropriate care. They may have been speeding or using their phone while driving.

You can represent yourself in a small claims court, or you can ask a car accident property damage attorney to help you out. They can use their legal expertise to build a case for you, or you can ask them questions about how you can build your own case.

You can receive compensation for the damage that occurred on your property. If a driver knocked a fence or a tree on your property over, you can get money to fix the damage.

Public Property

Public property includes roadways, road signs, sidewalks, and other pieces of land regularly used by the public. Many car accidents result in damage to public property.

The at-fault driver will need to pay for these damages. They may also be charged with damages to public property, which can lead to significant fines.

Damage to public property does not affect your property damage claims. Even if a judge determines that the driver damaged public land, they may not determine that the driver is responsible for damaging your property.

Both drivers in a collision can be held accountable for damaging public property. You may have swerved onto a sidewalk, causing a tile to chip. Even if you were not at fault for the accident, you may need to pay for the damage to the sidewalk.

You should contact a car accident lawyer for property damage if you are accused of damaging public property. If you can show that the damage was an unintentional outcome of the accident, you may not need to pay. The force of the collision may have pushed your car onto the sidewalk.

Pet Injuries

Injuries to your pet count as property damage. You can receive compensation from the other driver’s liability coverage. If you have pet insurance, you may also get money to cover the cost of surgeries and medical treatment.

You should take steps to protect your pet while you are driving. You should restrain your pet with a seatbelt or put it in a cage so it cannot escape.

Some car accident insurance policies do not cover injuries to reptiles, fish, birds, and other pets. Take a look at your policy to see what it covers and try to buy another insurance package that protects your pet.

The signs of injuries for a pet may not be apparent. Some pets hit their heads. Which can cause internal bleeding that takes a few hours to become fatal. You should always take your pet to the veterinarian to have them checked out.

The Essentials of Property Damage in a Car Accident

Property damage in a car accident can cost thousands of dollars. That’s because it includes damage to your vehicle, your personal belongings, and your pet.

You can receive money for any of these damages, but you need to have proof to back yourself up. Plus, you need to show you were not at fault for the accident, and you must have paperwork regarding the damages. You also need to defend yourself against claims that you damaged public property.

The best way to build a case is to get a lawyer. RHINO Lawyers serves Florida residents. Contact us today.


In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.

Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.