If your property, such as your house or vehicle has sustained damage by someone else or a natural event such as a hailstorm, you have the right to file a property damage claim. In most cases, the offending party’s insurance company will try to pay the bare minimum. Typically, that amount will be less than enough to cover all the repairs necessary.
Every state has their own time frame and deadline when it comes to filing a civil lawsuit. In Connecticut, there is a two-year deadline for lawsuits pursuing reimbursement from damage. In other words, you have two years to get your lawsuit filed in Connecticut’s court system. Rather than go through this process alone, contact an experienced attorney that will walk you through everything, fight for you, and negotiate a better deal on your behalf.
Filing a Property Damage Claim
In the case of a car accident, regardless if you plan to file a claim through the other party’s insurance company, you should still contact your own insurance company and report any damages; preferably the sooner the better. If your accident resulted in injury or substantial damages exceeding $1000, Connecticut requires you to file a police report; the state gives you five days after the accident to file the report.
There are multiple ways to file a claim such as calling your insurance company, using their mobile app, or emailing the claim forms. After your claim is filed, the insurance company will assign an adjuster to you; this person’s role is to examine the damages and review any evidence presented in the claim. Once the assessment is complete, they will send you a settlement estimate outlining how much the insurance company will pay for the repairs.
In the case of a car accident, if the cost to repair your vehicle is greater than its market value, the insurance company will consider your car totaled. They will then determine the value of your vehicle prior to the accident by examining your car’s mileage, condition, and other components before sending you a check.
Missing the Filing Deadline
If the deadline has passed before you file your property damage lawsuit, the defendant will likely make a motion asking the court to dismiss the case. Most of the time the court will accept and grant the dismissal, unless it is a rare case that has an exemption. Once a dismissal has been granted, you have lost any right to any legal compensation for your damaged property. It is imperative that you set aside sufficient time if you plan to file a property damage lawsuit in Connecticut.
Trouble in the Process
If at any point you feel that you are not being treated fairly or if you simply have concerns during the process, there are a couple of things you can do. If you do not agree with the valued estimate given to you for your damages, most policies will allow for you to acquire an independent appraisal. Once the insurance company has made a decision on your case, you can appeal if it is not an outcome you are satisfied with. Be sure to gather all the evidence and records that you have regarding your claim for the appeal. It is important to note that there is a time limit to file an appeal; you do not want to delay starting the process.
If the appeal does not work, you do have a right to file a complaint with Conneticut’s insurance regulator. Contact us to review your claim; schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, we can assist in any negotiations and help you recover the money you deserve.