Motor vehicle accidents are dangerous and unfortunate events that might seem to be something you do not need to worry about off the road or sidewalk. Unfortunately, car crashes can still affect you even if you are not driving or a pedestrian on the street’s sidewalk. Sometimes the carelessness of other drivers can even impact you directly from within the comfort of your own home.
There have been recorded instances of reckless or incapacitated drivers veering off the road and crashing into a house. This incident can lead to significant property damage, bodily injury, or loss of life at the scene of the accident.
When a car drives into your house, determining the appropriate next steps can be confusing and intimidating concepts hitting your mind all at once. There will be police reports, home insurance policy and deductible concerns, and auto insurance companies getting involved.
Even though having a driver crash a car into your home is a much larger order than a mere fender bender. Still, some situations can make it even more difficult to handle than others.
For example, the car crashing into your house could be a hit-and-run accident caused or was the fault of an uninsured motorist. However, you can take some steps to best ensure that you will be able to recover from the damages incurred from the event. With this article, we hope to guide you on what steps and measures you can take to resolve an incident involving a motor vehicle collision with your house.
However, please remember that we do not intend to give you individualized legal advice in this article as we can not know the specifics of your case. Therefore, we cannot offer legal advice on the situation at your house. Instead, as always, for important legal decisions, we recommend consulting with an attorney for information directly applicable to your case for more details. The laws and regulations change depending on your state and the exact details surrounding the incident that affected you. To remain as accurate for most people as possible, we wrote this article for general informational purposes.
This article aims to prepare you with more knowledge about what it can take to reach an amicable resolution and for repayment of the damages caused to your house (and any medical costs that the car accident may have caused).
Let’s get started!
Step #1: Seek Medical Attention After the Car Crashes into Your Home.
We are aware that we have repeated this particular bit of advice; however, it warrants repetition. It is imperative to never skimp on medical treatment following accidents with motor vehicles.
When it comes to an accident from a car crashing into your home, the driver of the car is most likely to be the only person who suffers physical injuries. Yet, the odds of your not getting injured are never 0%, unless you were not home at the time of the accident.
When something as powerful as a motor vehicle collides with anything, it can send debris flying from the impact point. This debris can range from household items to the scattered parts of the wall or glass windows it came crashing in through.
Like a bomb detonating, the crash debris from your house can go flying and hit you even if you are in an adjacent room if the force is great enough and there is a clear line of sight. This is not to say you are guaranteed to be struck by accident debris crashing in on you, but the potential exists, and the potential for injury is significant.
Generally, a larger oversized vehicle like a commercial truck that crashes through the outside of your house into the home poses a more physical danger. Due to its large scale, large vehicles are more likely to crash further into your home.
In the worst-case scenarios, the vehicle could hit you directly after it bursts through your home’s outer wall, which makes the odds of you suffering a severe injury higher than if you were inside your own vehicle like in typical motor vehicle accidents.
Any impact could lead to severe complications and injuries you might not have noticed until well after the incident. For this reason, seeking out medical treatment if the vehicle or crash debris struck you at all is important. Having a medical professional evaluate your injuries will better alert you to any significant trauma and assign a treatment regimen you will need to recover fully from the injuries you just suffered.
However, this evaluation also serves a legal purpose as the injuries you sustained will factor into any settlement negotiations that arise from the incident where having a driver crashed their car into your home.
They factor in because the settlement from the personal injury component that can arise from these incidents is primarily determined by medical expenses. So, if you have high medical bills, you have a higher chance of maxing the auto insurance claim settlement. So, in an ideal world, you would do well to request updated copies of your medical records and bills to submit with your claim. However, more on that later.
Step #2: Assess the Damage to Your House and Property
Much like with standard two car accidents, when it comes to cars driving into houses, the damage to your property and subsequent repair costs are essential details.
So, when someone’s car comes crashing through your living room wall, considerable repairs must be made as the sudden collision can severely damage your home’s infrastructure. This impact can render your home not safe to live in until after the costly repair bill is complete.
Having the damage to your home assessed enables you to estimate repair costs. This estimate will not mean you can put off the repairs until after the legal proceedings but will assist you in getting the fair settlement you need to pay for or pay off the repair costs incurred once the claim is resolved.
Only the damage to your residence caused by the accident event will be considered and should change depending on your specific circumstances. In some cases, debris may fly and cause further destruction. However, that needs to be proven as a cause of the initial damage coming from the collision of the car hitting your house.
Suing for this type of damage can be time-sensitive and requires you to provide corroboration before being adequately compensated. However, it is also worth noting that the corroboration of your side of the story will not be the simplest thing in the world on your own.
So, like a personal injury attorney, you might want to consider enlisting professional assistance in the form of accident scene investigators. Insurance companies employ full-time insurance investigators for accidents such as this. This can go a long way with the help of someone versed in the law.
Step #3: Report the Car Accident to Your Home Insurance Company
One of the essential steps of a civil or criminal incident is reporting it to the appropriate channels. Reporting the incident to law enforcement officials and any applicable homeowner’s insurance policy or car insurance agents to ensure they know about your claim.
However, there is an important caveat to keep in mind when these situations arise. It is not possible to seek out remuneration for the damage to your home and physical being in the same claim as homeowner’s insurance does not cover the injuries of those who live in the house.
Specifically, every state in the country has laws and regulations about the statute of limitations for personal injury and property damage claims. For example, in Texas, you must report and file a property damage claim within two years of the incident.
The exact amount of time applies to personal injury claims being filed in Texas. Conversely, in Missouri, you must file property damage and personal injury claims within five years of the incident.
Failing to report the incident within the bounds of your state’s regulations can cost you the right to seek out a claim. Although you can easily research your state’s specific statute of limitations online, you might consider consulting with an attorney or a law firm for the detailed laws applicable to your claims process.
But, ultimately, the incident needs to be promptly reported if you not only want to be compensated but want to retain the right to hold them liable for driving a car into your home.
Two significant parts of reporting the incident involve contacting the police to report the negligent at-fault driver and finding your insurance provider’s phone number and contact information to reach out to them to get the ball rolling on your insurance claim.
You will need these done before you file the appropriate paperwork with the civil court system down the road. Some of the details that they will ask you to report:
- The make and model of the car
- A description of the driver
- The license plate number
- The driver’s license
- The driver’s insurance company
- Any vehicle damage so they can add it to the accident report.
Each step is crucial to ensure that you can best pursue your claim and earn the reparations you deserve for your damaged property, injuries, and emotional trauma.
Step #4: Consider Hiring Legal Counsel After the Car Accident
Now, we believe in our readers and clients exercising their rights as they so choose. So, we would never insist that you hire or retain the services of an attorney should you not want to. Everyone has the right to seek out legal representation as they see fit.
However, we recommend that you consider the option as you would hire the lawyer on a contingency fee basis and not have to pay by the hour, as you have a damages claim. We say this because having an initial consultation with an attorney about hiring them to represent you in your claim against the car’s driver who crashed into your house or your own home insurance policy typically should be free.
No insurance companies enjoy paying out what is owed if they can help it. They make money by not paying out insurance claims. However, the services of an accident attorney can help ensure that you have every possible resource you might need in ensuring that justice is served and you are made financially whole.
Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance adjusters on your behalf to get you a fair settlement that will help you pay for home repair costs and primarily since most insurance companies focus on minimizing the amount they offer.
Additionally, an attorney can combat potential counterarguments to the damages you claim. Say, for example, a piece of your house’s wall is sent flying after the collision that proceeds to go through a window on the opposite side of the room. Even though the vehicle that drove into your home did not directly break the window, the crash launched the debris, ultimately causing that damage.
Therefore, you should be able to attribute the damage to the accident resulting from the driver’s negligence and recover the damages from the driver’s insurance coverage.
Again, however, this does not mean the insurance will admit liability for the damage caused to your house. So by having a skilled attorney who can make the case to the adjuster and successfully reach the fair settlement you deserve from their collision coverage and motorist coverage.
Step #5: Document Evidence of the Car Crashing Into Your House.
When these situations arise, you might worry that seeking out damages and injuries from the responsible party can devolve into pointing fingers, where no one wins. However, there are ways to enhance your chances of filing a successful claim through the accumulation of documentation.
This documentation does not simply mean reporting the incident and contacting your insurance provider. Instead, you can take information from the damaged areas of your home to use as reinforcement for your claim.
Once it’s safe, you will want to consider taking photographs of your home immediately after the auto accident. You should take photos of the vehicle, the area it struck, any debris you can locate, and any damage caused by that debris. These photographs help offer tangible evidence of the level of damage caused by the at-fault driver.
This stage is similar to shows like CSI, where they document a crime scene. So it’s important not to alter the locations in your house before taking photos as much as possible. This information can give you the edge you will need to take the lead in negotiations with the defendant’s insurance adjusters.
It becomes challenging for them to deny their responsibilities to your situation if there is photo evidence of the damage caused by the car crashing into your house.
Once you have gathered the data you need, you should provide copies to your attorney if you decide to hire one. They will include the info in your case file and can be used as discovery data for your claim.
This amount and level of detail in the documentation might seem like a minor issue. Yet the opposite is true, as the reality is that it can mean the difference between a successful claim and a failed one—another vital form of documentation for injury claims is the medical assessment.
Copies of your medical bills and records help determine the personal injury settlement you receive from the defendant’s insurance company. Requesting updated copies as you go to provide your attorney or to have on hand if you do not hire one will help to ease the procedure.
Additionally, acquiring copies of any assessment personnel or repair companies will help factor into the settlement you receive for the property damage of the incident. You’ll also want to document your insurance information, both the driver’s car insurance policy and your own insurance policy.
Closing Statements: Car Crashes into a House Lawsuit
Having a motor vehicle crash into your home is far from a pleasant experience. It’s quite the opposite, as the sudden abrasiveness of it can be traumatizing. It damages your house and risks causing personal injury to the people within the home.
So, figuring out what to do next when it happens is extremely important to have an easier time seeking a injuries or damages claim.
We know that legal and insurance proceedings can be highly intimidating, but it does not have to be. The five steps we went through should give you an excellent head-start in filing claims for property damage and even personal injury.
This type of ordeal can be stressful and emotionally taxing. Not to mention financially draining. Footing the bill for repairs to your home to make it habitable again is always expensive.
But when a car crashes into your home, it can bring other unexpected expenses like paying for hotels, interim housing, and medical costs. These sudden extra bills and expenses can add up to be thousands of dollars and be a heavy financial responsibility to bear alone.
Fortunately, resources can be available to you to mitigate some of these costs and make things more manageable. Express Legal Funding offers pre-settlement funding that can allow you to pay for mandatory expenses such as rent, utility bills, or even grocery food bills while dealing with these new expenses you did not intend to have.
Pre-settlement funding is for these situations. It is a risk-free cash advance on the money you expect to recover from your claim or lawsuit. So legal funding company will only expect repayment if you successfully win or settle your claim.
The crucial parts of qualifying are having a lawyer and a claim, whether it be against the motorist or their auto insurance policy. So you can apply to start your financial recovery early™ and get the help you need. Give us a call anytime for an individualized free consultation to see how you can qualify.
About the Author
Aaron R. Winston is the Strategy Director of Express Legal Funding. As "The Legal Funding Expert," Aaron has more than ten years of experience in the consumer finance industry. Most of which was as a consultant to a top financial advisory firm, managing 400+ million USD in client wealth.
As Strategy Director of Express Legal Funding, he has devoted thousands of hours to advocating for the consumer. Aaron's "it factor" is that he is a tireless and inventive thought leader who has made great strides by conveying his legal knowledge and diverse expertise to the public. More clients and lawyers understand the facts about pre-settlement funding because of Aaron's legal and financial service SEO mastery.
Aaron has a scholarly approach to business. In early 2022, Aaron Winston gained the Search Engine Optimization and the Google Ads LinkedIn skills assessment badges. He placed in the top 5% of those who took the SEO skills test assessment.
Aaron's work has been granted copyright protection by the United States Copyright Office. He has gained positive notoriety via interviews and case studies, which are a byproduct of his successes. Aaron R. Winston was featured in a smith.ai interview (2021) and company growth case study (2022).