Should I save damaged personal property in a car accident?

Free Case Evaluation

Yes. You might be able to recover compensation for certain damaged personal items, depending on how the accident occurred. Saving your damaged personal property will allow you to recover more compensation for your accident-related damages and can also help you prove fault.

What damaged property can I recover compensation for?

You might be able to recover compensation for any personal property that sustains damage. This might include:

  • Cell phones
  • Clothing
  • MP3 players
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Any other electronic devices
  • Jewelry
  • Work equipment (e.g., power tools, cameras, etc.)
  • Anything else of value

What will I have to prove?

You must be able to prove the other driver was at fault, that your property sustained damage, and that the accident in question damaged the property.

To prove the damage, you will need to be able to show the condition of the property before and after the accident.

You will also need to establish the value of the property at the time of the accident.

Note: Even if you are able to prove the property’s actual value, the insurer will likely try to pay you as little as possible.

How can I prove the value of my damaged property?

If you have taken photos of your valuable personal property, you will want to include them with your claim as proof of the condition of your property before the accident.

If you took photos of where the items ended up in the crash, this can be very helpful in proving that you did not damage the property yourself (e.g., dropping your phone walking to your car and cracking the screen).   

This will help counter an argument from the insurance company that the property was already damaged or in substandard condition prior to the accident.

How you establish its value depends on what the property is.

Purchase receipts can be useful in establishing both ownership and original value. It is possible to find previous model years of some items for sale online. This can help you establish the current market value of your items if it is not brand new.

Laptop computers, tablets, cell phones, and other portable electronics depreciate quickly (you will likely recover much less than you paid); however, if you registered them with the manufacturer, this can help determine the item’s value before the damage.

Many insurers will refuse to grant compensation for damaged personal property. For more information on what policies might pay to repair or replace your property, read our blog post here.

Where can I get help recovering compensation for my damaged personal property?

Recovering compensation for damaged personal property in a car accident will not be easy. But that does not mean it is impossible. With the help of a determined car accident attorney, you might be able to recover compensation for your damaged property and other accident-related expenses. For more information on how to recover compensation, call Max Meyers Law today at 425-399-7000 to schedule your free consultation.

Max Meyers
Connect with me
Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.