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I have a question regarding an auto insurance claim consisting of property damage. What do I need to do?

Niagara Falls, NY |

We had property damgage from a drunk driver, BAC 1.56. Driver totaled his 2013 truck. Damage to our property was substantial (we think). The truck dug tracks into our lawn about 3 inches deep which is estimated at 150 ft (the full length of the property). He also struck a very old and large tree that may need to be cut down. Should we contact "his" auto insurance directly? Do we need to obtain a police report first before we contact the insurance company? What would be a fair amount to request given the fact his NYS minimum property liability is $50,000.00? We would like to avoid any type of estimates, we prefer to repair on our own. There are no skid marks, driver passed out behind wheel. We do not want to go through Small Claims Court. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Attorney Answers 4


  1. You should contact his carrier as soon as possible to report the incident. You need to have a qualified person determine the value of the damages. It is likely that the carrier will send someone out to review the damages.


  2. Wow, that sounds awful! Sometimes property damage claims as involved as this would benefit from the advice of an attorney who practices in personal injury (even if no injuries were involved), simply because they are more familiar with tort law and automobile coverage questions. I would try to find a qualified auto accident attorney in your area and see if you can discuss this claim with them. Good luck!


  3. Contact his insurance company, and they will send out an adjuster to assess the damage.

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  4. It's going to be difficult to avoid estimates and the insurance company is not going to let you set the price. Get a police report a d report it to all applicable carriers. If you're going through your carrier, let them discuss things with the vehicles carrier. Good luck.

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