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Bucks County Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Car Accidents > Car Accidents and Already Damaged Vehicles

Car Accidents and Already Damaged Vehicles


After a car collision, it is common for an insurance company to cover the expenses involved to repair damage. This, of course, assumes the damages were incurred in the accident. If a car has damages that existed prior to the collision, the claim can become more complex. In these situations, an insurance adjuster will likely want to settle the claim for a lower amount.

If you need guidance after a car accident, connect with an attorney. There are many details to consider. For example, in Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations  is two years. But if you were traveling in another state, statute of limitations can vary from state to state. To protect your rights, connect with a Bucks County car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Questions About Pre-Existing Damage

Existing damage is any damage sustained by a vehicle prior to the when a car accident occurred. The vehicle owner may honestly share this damage or a repair expert may notice some of the dents and paint scrapes are older than the time of the collision.

Compensation issues can arise when existing damage and damage from the accident are in the same area of a vehicle. An insurance adjuster could say the car was in the damaged state prior to the event and compensation for the repairs is not necessary. But, the vehicle owner may feel the dents and scrapes are deeper or more severe because of the event.

A property damage claim could include one or more of the following:

  • Collision repair, a claim to pay for car repairs.
  • Diminished value, a claim for a vehicle now worth less.
  • A claim of total loss.

When a car is damaged and already has issues, there is a likelihood the compensation amount will need to be negotiated. Filing a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company is one of the initial steps. The driver who caused the crash may be responsible for paying for repairs. Each situation is unique and needs to be assessed.

Medical Bills Can Also Be Part of a Claim

Of course, vehicle and property damages are not the only car collision expenses. When individuals are hurt in a collision, there can also be medical fees and doctor bills to settle. Hiring a Bucks County car accident lawyer is common because with high claim amounts, an individual wants to be sure they are able to access a fair settlement.

There are many details to consider when filing a claim. There can be further complications when vehicles involved in the crash already had damage, prior to the event. But, even if a car had damage, there are still opportunities for high settlements. Working with a seasoned lawyer can make a complex situation simpler.

Were you in an accident with a vehicle that was already damaged? Discuss your situation with the attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Our attorneys know how to secure the maximum settlement amount possible. Car crashes happen every day. When they happen to you, it is essential you have a lawyer fighting for your rights. Reach out today, call 215-968-6602.


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