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Personal Injury vs. Property Damage: What You Need to Know

After an accident, there are a lot of questions to answer to ensure that you, and your property, are both cared for and protected properly. The best person to answer those questions is your attorney. But what if you reach out and they tell you they don’t handle property damage claims? Or will only handle them in conjunction with a personal injury claim?

Here is what you need to know about both claim types to be prepared to ask the right questions.

Property Damage

A property damage claim typically involves physical damage to tangible property – something that can be touched or felt. This could be something as small as a computer monitor, or as large as a car or building. Property damage claims can also involve financial injury – not to be confused with personal injury – to the person making the claim. This is an additional loss incurred as a result of the damage done to the property.

Property damage claims are designed to cover the cost of the damage to your property. Damages – or compensation – typically sought include: car repair or replacement, towing expenses, rental car expenses, damage to personal items inside the car, and damage to other property caused by the accident.

Personal Injury

Personal injury is the term for injury to a person – although it is not limited to bodily injury. Personal injury lawsuits typically cover three key problems that can appear following an accident:

  • Actual bodily harm
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

While bodily harm is a fairly easy concept to understand, the others can get a bit tricky. Attorneys tend to recommend their clients work with mental health professionals to document pain and suffering or emotional distress following an accident. These claims can also cover a wide range of circumstances outside of an accident – for example, defamation or threats of harm.

In these cases, your attorney may seek damages for your current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent injuries (to name a few).

When in doubt about the type of claim you have, and what damages you may be entitled to, contact your neighborhood personal injury professionals at Kelly & West. We offer free consultations and can help get you back on track after any kind of accident.

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