When you are minding your own business and a car suddenly careens off the road and crashes into your house, it’s easy to find yourself confused, in shock, and frightened. Though it is a relatively rare occurrence, it can happen. And it can cause extensive damage to property and people.
Most people don’t have any experience with finding a car in the middle of their front room, so it’s difficult to know what to do in such a shocking situation. Once you have determined that everyone is safe, you might begin to wonder who will pay for fixing your home.
Much like a car accident, the driver who caused the accident will be liable for the damages. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover damages above and beyond the other driver’s policy amount, or you may be able to file a lawsuit. The Zanes Law accident attorneys may be able to help and provide you with legal options.
Steps to Take After a Car Hits Your House
Here is what to do immediately after the crash:
- If anything is on fire, call 911. Turn the gas main off at your home if it is safe to do so. Get everyone out of the house.
- Check to make sure everyone is safe.
- Contact the police to report the accident and request help if needed. Answer their questions and wait at the scene.
- Get the insurance information, contact info for the driver, the license plate, and make and model of the car.
- Take pictures or video of the accident scene and the damage to your home, and ask any bystanders if they witnessed the crash. Get their contact information if possible.
- Contact a lawyer to find out the best way to proceed. An attorney can help you to protect your claim and may help you to avoid costly mistakes during a confusing and emotionally charged situation.
- Take steps to secure your home and call a restoration company to temporarily board up walls or broken windows if needed.
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Who Pays for the Damage When a Car Hits My House?
Every accident has different variables, and the circumstances of the crash can dictate who pays for the accident. Just like a car crash, it may seem obvious that the driver is at fault, but there may be underlying factors at play. A personal injury lawyer can help to determine the liable parties.
It’s important to identify the sources of liability if your home is hit by a car to determine who is at fault and who may be responsible for paying for the damages. For example, if a faulty traffic signal forced a driver to be pushed off the road and into your home, a municipal entity could be held liable.
This is crucial information to have when the limits of the driver’s policy do not cover all the damages to your house. While your homeowner’s insurance will pick up the difference, you are likely to face a high deductible, increased premiums, or pushback from the insurance adjuster.
The Driver’s Insurance Policy
In most instances, the driver’s policy should cover any damages to your home up to the limit of their policy. However, things begin to get complicated when the repairs will cost more than their limits will allow.
If your house will cost $42,000 to repair, but the driver’s policy limit is set to cover $30,000, you will have to rely on your homeowner’s insurance to pick up the balance.
Your Homeowner’s Policy
Homeowner’s insurance policies cover damage to your home caused by fires, vandalism, theft, and damage from vehicles. It should also cover any damage caused by uninsured drivers. However, this can leave you stuck with the deductible and higher premiums, as previously mentioned.
If you believe there could be other causes that led to the crash, you can contact a lawyer to dig into the underlying factors of the crash to find out if other sources of liability exist. You may have grounds for a lawsuit to recover the remaining costs of the damage to your home.
Why do Cars Hit Houses?
While uncommon, cars do collide with houses, land in pools, or take out the landscaping and mailboxes of homes. Some of the causes for these accidents are the same as auto collisions:
- Fatigued drivers
- Medical emergencies and events
- Defective parts on the vehicle
- Poor weather conditions
- Hazards on the roadway
- Poor road design
- Drunk or impaired driving
- Distracted driver
Insurance companies are notorious for lowballing settlement offers, and you may not get the amount you need to cover the damages without a fight. No matter the cause of your accident, you should consult with an attorney to ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process.
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Learn About Your Legal Options After a Car Hits Your House
If your house was damaged by a car crash, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for all the damages you have incurred. A car accident attorney with Zanes Law will help you to understand your rights and provide you with all your legal options.
When another party’s negligence results in property damage to your house, your life is disrupted, and it’s important to take the right steps to protect your interests. After an accident happens, contact Zanes Law immediately to find out how we can help.