Motor Vehicle Accidents – Recover for damage to vehicle and personal property

In my experience, when a client comes in as a result of a motor vehicle accident, the attorney is concerned with two key figures – the amount of property damage and the amount of personal injury damage. In serious personal injury cases, the bulk of time and effort are focused on the costs associated with the personal injury. This is rightly so as this is where the bulk of the monetary damages usually are.

However, in less serious cases, where the primary damages are associated with property damages here’s something to consider. Most insurance policies define property damages as “physical damage to or destruction of tangible property, including loss of use of this property.” Lampert v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 85 S.W.3d 90, 92 (Mo. App. E. Dist. 2002). This could include damage to a car stereo, clothing, or jewelry (including eye glasses).
The damaged items would be valued at “Actual Cash Value” (ACV). ACV is the equivalent of fair market value for an item in a similar condition. This follows the general guiding principle of damages, to make the injured party whole.