What type of attorney do I need if someone damaged my property or building?

A personal injury lawyer can represent you for property damage. Because personal injury lawyers take cases on contingency and you only pay if the case is successful the property damage needs to be substantial.

Many personal injury lawyers will not take a property damage case even when representing the client for personal injury.

When Will We Represent You For Property Damage?

We will represent clients for property damage when the property damage was caused by an accident in New York and is in addition to your injury.

For instance, if you were injured in a motorcycle accident in New York, your motorcycle was totaled, and you did not have collision damage coverage, we will represent you for the damage to your motorcycle when we represent you for your injury. See how our personal injury legal fee on contingency works.

Usually, in a car accident, people have collision damage coverage and you will not need a lawyer.

We may be interested in representing clients for property damage only when the amount of the damage is $150,000 or more and the case is in New York.

Personal injury lawyers frequently include property damage claims in personal injury lawsuits so a personal injury lawyer is the type of lawyer you want for a property damage case.

Tip: Before hiring a personal injury lawyer for property damage, find out if you have insurance coverage, which can pay the claim, on your own insurance policy. If you have enough insurance coverage on your own insurance policy, you can save the legal fee a lawyer will charge.

Tip: If you are claiming against your own insurance policy but you are disputing the amount of the damage, you can use a public adjuster who is not a lawyer and usually charges only 10%. If you are making a claim against someone else’s insurance policy, you will probably need a lawyer because a lawsuit will likely need to be filed.

Are There Lawyers Who Specialize In Property Damage?

Lawyers do not specialize in property damage because there are very few cases involving enough damage to property to make it worthwhile to pay for the time to litigate the case.

When Do I Need An Attorney For Property Damage?

  • You do not have insurance coverage on your own policy which can pay the claim.
  • You do not have enough insurance coverage on your own policy which can pay the claim.
  • When your insurance company doesn’t pay your claim.

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How Much Must A Property Damage Claim Be Worth For A Lawyer To Represent Me?

That depends on the personal injury lawyer if you’re looking for a lawyer on contingency. The amount of damage you would need to interest a personal injury lawyer would also depend on how it happened and if an expert would need to be hired.

We are interested in looking at claims when your property damage is at least $25,000. We will give you a free consultation.

For smaller claims, you can look for a general practice lawyer who you can pay by the hour but it will likely cost you several thousand dollars.

What Types of Property Damage Are Valuable Enough For A Personal Injury Lawyer?

  • Damage to a building
  • Damage to land
  • Damage to an expensive car

Damage To A Building

When a construction company was dynamiting and caused a crack from the foundation to the roof of a nearby building causing over $175,000 worth of damage, that was enough to take the case on contingency and pay for an expert to testify.

This photo shows the damage created when a dump truck crashed into the side of a building damaging a dental office.
dump truck crashed into the side of a building causing substantial damage

Flood Damage To A Store

We successfully represented an electronics store that had $250,000 of TVs, stereos, surround sound equipment, and other electronics in a basement that were damaged when a pipe burst and caused a flood in the basement.

Damage To An Expensive Car

We successfully represented the owner of a $90,000 BMW which had $28,000 damage in a car accident when it was parked. Since the car was parked, our client wasn’t injured. Our client owned about 10 expensive cars such as Porsche, Ferrari, and Rolls Royce so he decided to self insure and saved $25,000 a year in the cost of collision coverage. Since he didn’t have collision coverage and the insurance company of the car which hit his BMW wasn’t paying for the damage, he hired us.

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Attorney Phil FranckelPhilip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website.

Mr. Franckel is a personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York, President of 1-800-HURT-911, Inc., and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has a 10 Avvo Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews,  and Avvo Top Contributor. See Mr. Franckel’s bio.

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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

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