If you have been in a crash that was not your fault, you have the right to make a claim to help cover the damages you have sustained. Your insurer will generally pay for vehicle repairs, but you may also be able to pursue compensation for the loss of your vehicle’s value by filing a diminished value claim.
In this blog, we explain diminished value in greater detail and what it takes to file a successful claim. We also discuss factors that affect the value of a vehicle after a car accident. Learn more about your rights during a risk-free, zero-obligation consultation. There are no upfront fees involved to retain our services.
Understanding Diminished Value
Once a vehicle is involved in a crash, it loses its market value. A car that is wrecked or repaired is no longer in its original condition. Attempting to sell your vehicle may prove difficult as many people are less likely to buy a damaged vehicle for the same amount as for a vehicle with no accident history.
Fortunately, Florida law allows drivers to recover the difference between the value of their vehicle pre and post-accident. Regardless of whether your vehicle suffered extensive or cosmetic damage, a diminished value claim may be pursued as long as you can prove that the other driver is at fault for your damages.
Evaluating a Diminished Value Claim
There is no set formula for calculating diminished value since every vehicle’s circumstances are different. Diminished value may be greater or less for one vehicle than another. The potential value of a claim will vary depending on a number of factors.
Getting your vehicle appraised is one way to get an estimate for the value of your vehicle prior to the crash and after repairs are made. An independent appraiser will use a variety of metrics to determine:
- The amount of value your vehicle has lost
- An analysis of the auto market in your area
- The damage your vehicle sustained after inspection
- How damage history affects auto depreciation
Factors That Affect a Vehicle’s Value After a Crash
Many people are unaware of the factors that affect their vehicle’s value after a crash. These factors include, but are not limited to the following:
Value of Vehicle Before the Accident
All vehicles are valued differently based on their make, model, year, color, style and features. If your vehicle was an antique, had special or costly features, or is otherwise harder to repair or replace, it may substantially decline in value compared to standard vehicles in the event of an accident.
Severity of Crash and Extent of Vehicle Damage
If the crash was severe and/or your vehicle suffered significant damage, the value of your vehicle will likely decline considerably. High-quality repairs often include broken axles or bent frames.
When a vehicle only sustains minor damages (i.e. broken taillight, small dent to the bumper), getting replacement parts to fix the vehicle can make it harder for someone to visually tell that it was in a crash.
Quality of Repairs Performed
Not every repair is treated equally. If the repairs to your vehicle were poorly done, it will be valued less. Even if the repairs were done well, your vehicle will still lose value.
Prior History of Accidents
Any vehicle that has been in a previous accident will be valued less. This includes well-maintained vehicles with adequate repairs. Your vehicle’s value will significantly decrease the more accidents it has been involved in. An insurance company may not want to compensate you for this type of claim.
Filing a Diminished Value Claim
An insurer may say that you are just eligible for the cost to repair your vehicle but this is not true. Insurance companies could be liable for the loss of value of your vehicle.
The statute of limitations to file a diminished value claim in Florida is four years from the date of the accident. You will be unable to pursue compensation if you were at fault for the crash or if the damage done to your vehicle was caused by anything other than the accident.
Florida drivers will generally find that their auto insurance policy prohibits them from being able to file a diminished value claim against their own insurer. However, you may be able to file a diminished value claim with the insurer of the at-fault driver whose negligence resulted in your damages.
If the insurer of the at-fault driver refuses to pay your vehicle’s loss of value, our firm is ready to go to court to prove that your vehicle is now worth considerably less after the crash due to the other driver’s negligence.
Get Help Obtaining the Compensation You Need
An experienced automotive crash lawyer in West Palm Beach at Gordon & Partners is ready to gather the supportive evidence needed to file a diminished value claim on your behalf. We have helped our clients obtain millions in compensation for their damages. This includes $13.5 million for a crash victim.
Schedule a free consultation to get started. There is no risk in calling us and no legal obligation involved. We only get paid for our services if we help you obtain compensation.