How to Sue Someone for Property Damage and Win
Did someone damage your property? The person responsible for the damage should also be responsible for repairs and/or compensation. However, if they fail to compensate, you are legally entitled to take legal action against them.
If your claim for damages is below $10,000, it is recommended that you sue the perpetrator in small claims court for compensation. This article will discuss what constitutes property damage, the types of claims you may be entitled to, and a step-by-step guide to suing for property damage. We’ll also share a hassle-free way of suing with DoNotPay!
What is Property Damage?
Property damage is defined as any actions of a person that negatively impacts the condition of your property, directly or indirectly. There are three major types of property damage:
- Damage to Commercial Vehicle or Automobile: Vehicle in this case covers all forms of automobiles from power bikes to trucks. Most states require vehicle owners to own special insurance to cover any form of damages.
- Damages to Commercial Residence: This includes damages caused by fire, riot, break-in theft, and any other careless or intentionally perpetrated acts that destroy the economic value of a commercial residence or business premise.
- Damages to Tangible Personal or Business Assets: This includes damages to all machines and appliances, furniture, fixtures, and fittings, home appliances, light, and heavy equipment.
What are Property Damage Claims?
There are two basic types of property damage claims you may be entitled to:
Tangible Property Damage Claim
This is the direct cost of losses incurred because of property damage. You may calculate your tangible property damage claim using the following methods:
- Calculate the present value of a replacement: this is suitable if someone damaged your property beyond repair. However, you’d have to use the current value after depreciation costs have been deducted.
- Calculate the cost of repair at the current market value: For properties damaged in parts, you can do a market survey of the cost and make it a part of your compensation claim.
- Original price of purchase: This is recommended for relatively new properties.
Intangible Property Damage Claim
This is the dollar value of additional losses you may have experienced because of the damage to your property. An example would be your loss of daily revenue and profit due to damaged business property.
Types of Property Damage Lawsuit
Here are some of the most common lawsuits you can bring as a charge when your property gets damaged.
Sue for Compensatory Damages
This is a plea for the court to mandate the defendant to restore you fully to your condition before the damage.
Sue for Consequential Damages
This is a plea for the court to factor in whatever economic costs you must have incurred since the damage happened.
Sue for Incidental Damages
This covers all the costs of the damage.
Sue for Punitive Damages
Besides compensatory damage claims, the court may decide to punish the defendant if it proved they acted with preventable negligence or malice.
How to Sue for Property Damage (Step-by-Step)?
|Approach the person responsible for the damage||The first step involves approaching the person responsible for the damage to inform them of the damage and look for ways to work out a compensation plan.|
|Gather evidence||Depending on the type of damage, your evidence may include:
|Serve a demand letter to the party responsible for your damage||A proper demand letter typically includes:
You may wait 7-14 days for a response before you proceed to the next step.
|Sue for property damages||Small claims court is the best option for claims under $10,000. It also helps you save up on exorbitant attorney and legal process costs. To sue and win, you would need to:
Sue For Property Damage With DoNotPay
Filing a lawsuit by yourself can be time-consuming and complicated. Let DoNotPay handle the hassle for you! You can file a small claims suit with DoNotPay at the comfort of your home in 4 simple steps:
- Log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Quantify your damages in monetary terms
- Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable evidence
That’s it! DoNotPay will generate a demand letter or court filing forms for you. We’ll also mail a copy of your demand letter to the person who damaged your property!
DoNotPay – The AI Lawyer You Can Trust
DoNotPay doesn’t stop at helping you sue for property damage. As the world’s first robot lawyer, we’ve helped thousands of users sue anyone, from their next door neighbors to big corporations such as: