Property is loosely defined as anything tangible that belongs to you. This includes your car, your house, your clothing, and even your pets and the food in your refrigerator. By definition, property damage is “injury to real or personal property through another’s negligence, willful destruction, or by some act of nature.” But what happens if someone else intentionally or accidentally causes damage to that property, especially when it is considered valuable? The law categorizes property damage in three distinct ways:
Negligent: When someone’s carelessness directly results in harm. For example, if a neighbor’s tree falls onto your roof and causes damage, it may be considered negligent because they didn’t take proper care of it.
Accidental: When someone causes harm that wasn’t intentional. If someone drops your phone in a puddle after borrowing it to make a call, he didn’t mean to break the device, but it still happened.
Malicious: When someone means to harm your property out of rage, spite or a desire to hurt you. This includes vandalism and/or attacks (like slashing your vehicle tires after an argument).
When someone else harms your property, you become a victim of property damage. It doesn’t matter if it was unintentional; you still have the right to seek compensation for repair or replacement of your goods. If your property was damaged, you should explore your legal options. Our lawyers know this subject inside and out, and we understand what you are going through. Count on Lau & Nicolello to guide you every step of the way, from start to finish. Our goal is to offer a clear picture of all the options available to you and deliver the results you expect.