If you have been involved in an accident – particularly a car accident – in Baltimore and your property has been damaged because someone else made a mistake or acted negligently, you are entitled to be reimbursed for the costs of the damage. However, the legal damages that you have suffered in the incident go further than that. They also include reimbursement for the loss of use of your property as well.
In some cases, the costs that come with your newfound inability to lose the property that was damaged in an accident are significant. The personal injury lawyers at the Baltimore law office of Gilman & Bedigian know this and strive to recover compensation for the loss of use of your property in a lawsuit.
Your Legal Damages After an Accident in Baltimore
Personal injury law in Maryland recognizes that there are countless ways that an accident can impact your life. From the pain and suffering to the medical expenses that it triggers to the property damage that you have to deal with, Maryland's personal injury law aims to put you back into the position you were in before the incident happened. Unable to turn back time, though, the law can only compensate you with financial help that has been deemed equal to the amount of suffering that you have been put through.
That amount is your legal damages. These legal damages aim to compensate you for all of the ways that you have suffered from someone else's negligence.
Property Damage in an Accident
A prominent part of your legal damages in a personal injury case is the property damage that you have suffered in the accident.
In the classic example of a car accident, the property damage you have suffered includes the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Of course, even if you are fully compensated for the costs associated with fixing your car, you are still left uncompensated for the hassle of going without a vehicle while your car was in the mechanic's shop, or while you were in the process of buying a new one. These expenses – along with the costs and logistical pains of living your life without a vehicle – can fall through the cracks.
You Can Recover Compensation for the Loss of Use of Property
Maryland's personal injury recognizes this dilemma and allows you to recover for the loss of the use of your property, as well.
In many cases, the losses that you have suffered from being unable to use your property are a relatively small piece of your legal damages. In a typical car accident case where your vehicle was damaged but not totaled, you can be left with a week or two without a car. In many of these cases, you are offered a “loaner” car for you to use while your vehicle is in the shop. The costs of using this loaner or rental car – from the daily price to the extra gas money you have to spend if your car was more fuel efficient – can all be recovered in a successful personal injury case as part of your damages for the loss of the use of your property. If you were not offered a temporary replacement vehicle and had to use public transit, the costs of the fares and the inconvenience that you were put through can be a part of your legal damages, as well.
In some cases, though, the damages that you have suffered from the loss of your use of your own property are actually quite significant. For example, imagine a situation where someone drives their car into your house, or into your business' building. In these cases, the damage from the driver's negligence can keep you from living in your home for an extended period of time and can shutter your business for weeks or even months. When the building was your residence, you can be forced to live in a hotel until the damage is repaired, leaving you with a huge bill for your stay, along with the serious inconvenience of suddenly having to live somewhere else for several weeks. If the building was your business, the loss of your use of the property can drastically impact the success of the business and easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
It is important to note, though, that while the lack of reliable transportation can impact your ability to get to work and lead to lost wages, those lost wages are already covered by another segment of your legal damages. Therefore, they cannot also be counted as a type of damage suffered from the loss of use of your property, or else you would be recovering the same losses twice.
An Important Limitation: Damage Mitigation
While you are allowed to recover compensation for the loss of the use of your property from an accident, you also have a legal duty to mitigate the amount of damages that you accumulate.
For example, imagine a case where you were the victim of a car crash and your car gets damaged and is in the shop for six days, so you rent a car while your car is getting fixed. You would violate your duty to mitigate your damages if you keep your rental car for ten days instead of six. Those extra four days of expenses for your rental car would not be recoverable as a loss of your use of your property because you could have avoided them by picking your car up from the mechanic.
The Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian Can Help
The personal injury lawyers at the Baltimore law office of Gilman & Bedigian know to seek recovery for all of the possible ways that you have been hurt in an accident, including the loss of your use of your property. By contacting us online, you can rest assured that your interests are being pursued as you try to overcome this difficult time.