What Is Injury To Personal Property?
Posted on Saturday, September 25th, 2021 at 4:51 pm
If you were involved in an incident that was caused by someone else, and you suffered property damage as a result of the event, then you could be entitled to recover compensation for your losses.
Whether your personal property was damaged in a car accident, a slip and fall, a workplace accident, or your property was intentionally damaged, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party.
At Portner Bond, PLLC, we have experience dealing with property damage claims. Call us at (409) 838-4444 to set up a consultation.
What Is Personal Property?
Personal property is any asset you own that doesn’t include real estate. Your money, pets, vehicles, furniture—anything of value that you own other than your house is considered “personal property.”
Injury to personal property occurs when your property is damaged in some way. If the damage was caused by another person’s negligence or misconduct, you might be entitled to seek compensation so that you can repair or replace the damaged property.
Vandalism is also included in personal property damage. Vandalism can prove very costly for the victim, but you should not have to shoulder the cost of repairing the damage. That burden should fall on the vandal.
If the property damage you suffered was the result of an intentional act, it might be treated as malicious mischief, which is a crime in Texas. In such a case, criminal charges may be filed, but to seek compensation, you would still need to file a civil lawsuit against the person who caused the damage.
How Do I Sue Someone For Property Damage?
Taking legal action against someone for property damage in Texas requires the following steps:
- Determine where to file – If the property damage was under $10,000, you would file in small claims court. If the property damage was more than $10,000, a Justice Court or District Court might need to hear your case.
- Prepare documents – You will initiate legal action using a summons and complaint, which outlines the details of the claim and who the plaintiff and defendant are.
- File documents – Once your documents are ready for submission, file them with the appropriate court and pay your filing fee.
- Serve the defendant – Once you initiate legal action, you will need to alert the defendant that they are being sued.
- Gather evidence – Work with an attorney to gather evidence to support your case. You will need to be able to demonstrate that your property was damaged, that the defendant was responsible for damaging it, and the value of the property that was damaged.
- Seek a resolution – Many lawsuits don’t actually make it all the way to trial. There will be multiple opportunities to resolve your case before it goes before a judge. You and your attorney may be able to reach a settlement with the defendant’s team during a process called mediation, which is where the two opposing sides try to reach an agreement on a settlement amount.
- Go to trial – If you are unable to reach a fair settlement with the at-fault party, then your case will go to trial. A judge or jury will decide your case and determine how much the defendant must pay you, if they decide in your favor.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Property Damage Cases?
Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for damage to personal property in Texas is two years, with some exceptions. This means that you will have two years from the date the property was damaged to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you fail to initiate legal action within this time frame, you will likely forfeit your ability to pursue compensation through the legal system.
Contact Us Today
If you suffered property damage as a result of someone else’s negligence, misconduct, or malice, then you have the right to pursue compensation. The team at Portner Bond, PLLC has the knowledge and resources to thoroughly investigate the incident, gather evidence to support your case, document damages you are owed, and aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf.
Call us today at (409) 838-4444 to set up a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you soon.