Property damage claims are often thought of as less important than personal injury claims, because they do not have the same ‘human’ element. However, you should still seriously consider making a claim if your property has been damaged as a result of someone else’s negligence. After all, having it repaired could potentially cost you thousands. Gathering evidence is vitally important If you are planning to make a claim. If you are unsure why then keep reading; this article will spell out the different pieces of evidence you should obtain and why each one is important.
One of the most valuable types of evidence you should obtain are photographic records. Put simply, photographic evidence is important in proving that an incident really took place and that substantial damage has arisen as a result. You should take photos of the accident as soon as you can after it occurs, as the more accurate the evidence you submit is, the stronger your case will be. Ensure you get as many detailed images as possible of the area where the damage has occurred and where possible, show evidence of the responsible party. For example, if a drunk driver has driven into your garage and damaged it then photograph their number plate, as well as their car.
It is also important to try to get genuine physical witnesses, if there were any at the site of the accident. Genuine, first-hand witness testimony is an incredibly strong form of evidence, especially if there are more than one or two witnesses corroborating the same story. If anyone has stopped by to check on you following the damage to your property, ask them politely if they would mind presenting their account should the need arise. If there were multiple witnesses then ensure that you ask as many as possible to help you out. The more that are prepared to do so, the stronger your case will end up being.
Thirdly, you should ensure that you take the necessary steps to secure your property against further damage, (e.g. ask a qualified contractor to come and look at damaged walls to make sure that they are not going to deteriorate further). Not doing so can be risky, as it may lead to you being unable to define exactly what the opposing side is responsible for. On a bad day, a magistrate could also decide that you did not carry out repairs because you were planning to claim for more damage than was actually caused.
Finally, ensure you keep a solid financial record of all transactions that are carried out as a result of the incident. Doing so will not only show you to be a conscientious, thorough individual (which is never a bad impression to make), but will also mean that you will be able to claim back all of these costs through expenses when the claim is decided. Finally, it will demonstrate the fact that you have genuinely suffered financially as a result of the damage and should be compensated accordingly.
Date Published: September 30, 2013
Author: David Brown