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Indiana Property Damage Attorneys

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Car accident on a highway

Compensation for Accident Damage to Your Vehicle

If your motorcycle or automobile was damaged in a motor vehicle accident, you are entitled to recover compensation for required repairs or for the market value of the vehicle.

Insurance Issues in Property Damage Recovery

In Indiana, all drivers must carry liability insurance. This coverage pays for injuries to other persons when the driver was at fault for the accident. Indiana also requires a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability insurance. Many drivers also purchase collision insurance (not required in Indiana). Collision coverage pays for vehicle damage up to the limits of your policy – most policies will charge you a deductible. If another driver was at fault, you can seek compensation under their insurance or yours.

Property Damage Compensation

The insurance company will decide whether it is more cost-effective to pay for repairs or to declare the vehicle a “total loss” and pay you the fair market value of your vehicle before the crash occurred. Market value is determined from reputable sources, such as the Kelley Blue Book, or from comparisons of prices for similar used vehicles in local car ads.

Unfortunately, if you are upside down on the loan (owe more on the car loan than the market value of the vehicle), the insurance company is not obligated to pay more. You are responsible for the difference.


Your insurance company may recommend a “preferred” auto repair shop, but you are allowed to take the car to a body shop of your choice. The insurance company can challenge any repairs it deems excessive, and could refuse to pay the full bill. You can insist on original manufacturer parts, but this can include reconditioned parts (as opposed to new parts).

Other Issues

  • The at-fault driver’s insurance must pay for storage and towing.
  • Insurance will pay for the unused (prorated) portion of license and registration fees on a totaled car.
  • Some policies provide for a rental car while your car is under repair. Other policies do not provide this benefit.
  • Your own insurance should cover rental car use, so you do not need to buy extra insurance through the rental agency. Check your policy to make sure you are covered.


Toll-free Injury Hotline: 800.278.9200

Sevenish Law Firm of Indianapolis provides aggressive representation in auto accident and motorcycle accident claims for injury or property damage. Contact an Indiana property damage lawyer for a free consultation today.

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