Car accidents are stressful and traumatic times for everyone involved. If you are ever involved in an accident, you should first seek medical attention for any apparent (or non-apparent) injuries. It is so important that you make sure you are treated before doing anything else.
If the accident is not your fault, and your injuries are caused by the negligent actions of others, you may be entitled to compensation. Our personal injury attorneys can help you through the process of your personal injury claim.
Though your physical health is your first priority, the damage to your vehicle is also important to assess. After an accident, your vehicle will never be the same, and you deserve to seek compensation for loss of value or function of your car. Claiming diminished value is one often overlooked way of receiving compensation.
What is diminished value?
Car dealerships and individual sellers are required by law to disclose any damage done to a vehicle. Even with the best repairs, cars that have been damaged in an accident will generally have less resale value than the same vehicle in pre-crash condition because potential buyers may be unwilling to pay as much for a car they know has been damaged. Diminished value is the difference between the vehicle’s worth pre-and-post accident repairs.
Diminished value does not always apply to every car. Older model vehicles may actually be worth more once new parts have been installed
How do you claim diminished value?
If the accident was the fault of another driver, you can receive compensation for diminished value.
If you believe you have a claim for diminished value, the first thing you should do is to get an idea of the value that was lost as a result of the accident. The best way to do this is to get your vehicle professionally appraised, and get the appraisal in writing. You will then submit the document indicating how much less your car is worth as a direct result of the accident to the insurance company as proof of your diminished value claim.
Should the insurer refuse to pay the diminished value of the vehicle, you can issue a written demand to compel the insurer to obtain their own value appraisal. If the difference between your appraisal and the insurance company’s is significant in the appraiser’s opinion, both you and the insurance company will be asked to agree on a third appraiser to review and re-appraise the vehicle. If neither party rejects the third appraiser’s evaluation, the determined loss of value becomes binding on all parties.
Because claiming diminished value is a complicated process, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney for help with your claim.
Let our team of knowledgeable personal injury attorneys represent you and help you get back the diminished value of your damaged vehicle. Contact us or give us a call at 704-512-0606.