Can I claim the photographs and the video of the birth of my son that were destroyed in an auto accident as lost property?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Apr 11, 2013

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Insurance Question from Long Beach, CA

Asked on 04/11/2013

Can I claim the photographs and the video of the birth of my son that were destroyed in an auto accident as lost property? A man smashed into me going 60 mph while I was stopped at a red light. Both cars were totalled and the accident was immediately determined his fault. The camera exploded in the accident. The insurance will reimburse for cost of camera but they are balking at the video and photo claim. What can I do? I took the memory card in and the techs determined the photos/video were unrecoverable. And how do you value the photos?

Answer given on August 14, 2013

If you had personal property damaged or destroyed in an auto accident, the insurance company covering the responsible party will usually pay for the value of that property. However, photos and videos in the camera are difficult to determine a value on and most insurance companies will deny coverage for this damage. The value to you is much more than could be determined by the insurance company. Even you can’t determine a value of the photos.You can talk to the adjuster and see if they will offer any type of settlement for these items, but it most likely they will deny the claim and you will be hard pressed to be able to recoup anything for these. Even if you filed a claim in small claims court, you again would have to determine a value of the property and the courts may find it difficult to come to a settlement in your favor.

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