The repercussions of an accident in Philadelphia can be widespread and unexpected. Whether you were involved in a car accident or were the victim of someone else's negligence in some other way that implicated your property, chances are that some of your belongings were damaged or destroyed in the incident. While you can recover the costs of repairing or replacing what you have lost, you may also be entitled to compensation for the loss of the use of your property, as well.
In some cases, the loss of use of your property can be significant, particularly when you used it for a business purpose. The personal injury lawyers at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian know to not overlook this potential source of loss and strive to represent accident victims who have had to make do without their property while it was being repaired or replaced.
Legal Damages After an Accident in Philadelphia
If you have been hurt or suffered a loss in an accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your losses up to the point you were at before the incident occurred. The amount of compensation that you deserve is called your legal damages. Personal injury law in Philadelphia recognizes lots of different types of damages that you can suffer in an accident.
Property Damages are a Part of Your Legal Damages
Perhaps the most commonly suffered legal damage after an accident in Philadelphia is property damage. Even if a car accident or other incident did not result in a physical injury, chances are that it impacted some of your belongings. Whether your property was damaged or destroyed, you deserve to be compensated for your loss when you were not the ultimate cause of the accident. Expecting you to pay for your own property damage when you were not the one being negligent would be unfair.
Unfortunately, reimbursing you for the costs of repairing or replacing your property does not fully rectify the situation. You still need reimbursement for the inconvenience and expense you have been put through while you dealt with life without your property.
In many cases, this is not much of a problem. Car accident victims, for example, can lose the use of their property while their car is being repaired and have to pay for the costs of a rental car in the meantime. While an inconvenience, these expenses are far from life-shattering.
However, if the affected property is something that you use for your business – like if your brick-and-mortar business was run into by a car, or if you use your vehicle to make money through a ridesharing company like Uber or Lyft – the loss of use of that property can skyrocket and can even become the bulk of a personal injury lawsuit.
Recovering Compensation for the Loss of Use of Your Property
Because there is the potential for accident victims to suffer significant financial losses when they are not able to use their property, the personal injury law in Philadelphia allows them to recover for the loss of use of their property.
Proving that your finances were impacted by your loss of use of your property can be difficult, particularly if you do not keep tight documentation of your income. Uber drivers who do not know how much they usually make in a given week, for example, can struggle to prove how much income they lost because of a car accident that took their car away from them.
Loss of use of property is not just a business-related loss, though. If your home was damaged because of someone else's negligence and you had to stay in a hotel, recovering the costs associated with the hotel stay and the inconvenience of living somewhere else can fall under the guise of the loss of the use of your property.
However, not all financial repercussions of losing access to your property will technically fall into this portion of your legal damages. There is already a segment of your legal damages that compensates you for lost wages or lost business opportunities. If you are compensated on either of those fronts, then you will not also be able to recover compensation for the same loss through the loss of the use of your property.
The Damage Mitigation Requirement
There is one important limitation to your ability to recover compensation for the loss of the use of your property: you have to take reasonable steps to mitigate the damages that you lose as a result of the accident. If you allow the costs to escalate, you may have to foot the bill for the escalation and find yourself paying out of your own pocket for the results associated with the accident.
For example, if you are involved in a car accident and your car gets damaged, you can recover compensation for the costs of renting a vehicle while your car gets repaired. If the mechanic takes five days to fix your car, but you decide to keep the rental vehicle for the whole week instead of picking your car up as soon as it is done, you may have to pay for the rental car for the additional three days. Further, the costs of renting a Lamborghini rather than a car that is comparable to your own can go uncompensated because they would be above and beyond what was actually lost in the accident.
Gilman & Bedigian: Personal Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia that Can Help
The personal injury lawyers at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian in Philadelphia know to look for signs that you lost the use of your property in an accident and will seek reimbursement to ensure you can make a full recovery. With their help and legal representation, you can return as close as possible to where you were before the incident occurred.
Contact us online to set up a consultation and discuss your case, determine your legal options, and ascertain the extent of your losses from the accident.