What Do I Need To Know About Filing A Diminished Value Claim?
Summer is one of the most dangerous times for drivers. Kids are out of school and playing in their neighborhoods, teen drivers are on the road, motorcyclists are out enjoying the weather, and families are taking road trips.
Another motorist’s reckless driving can make you the victim of a car accident. And unfortunately for your vehicle, that accident can diminish your vehicle’s value.
Fortunately, you may be able to file a diminished value claim to help you recover compensation for the loss of your car’s value after the accident.
Doesn’t an insurance claim cover my car’s diminished value?
Victims file car accident claims or insurance claims for the damage done to their vehicles after they’ve been in a car accident. Your insurer will typically compensate you for the cost of the repairs of your vehicle.
However, your insurer doesn’t consider the diminished value of your vehicle in the amount of damage done to your car after the accident. You need to file a separate claim for that: a diminished value claim.
What does it mean when my car has diminished value?
The value of your vehicle drops when it’s been involved in a car accident. Many people, including insurance agencies, believe that your vehicle’s value will be restored when it’s been repaired and restored. But that’s not the case.
Even if a vehicle has been repaired, a car accident put a bad tally on your car’s history. In the state of Texas, your vehicle’s accident history is legally required to be disclosed when the car is sold. That bad tally can keep your vehicle from getting off the market even if the car has been repaired.
Your car’s diminished value is the difference between the vehicle’s worth prior to the car accident and its worth after the repairs have been performed on the vehicle. While buyers may not want to pay the original price for your vehicle because of the accident, their lost interest isn’t the only thing diminishing the value of your car.
Your car can also have diminished value because your insurance company doesn’t want to pay for certain parts when the vehicle is being repaired. And flawed repairs can also lower the value of your vehicle.
How can I calculate the diminished value of my vehicle?
The diminished value of your car after your vehicle has been repaired can be determined by a few factors including:
- The overall cost of the car’s repairs
- The quality of the car’s repairs
- The cost of similar makes and models that have never been involved in a car accident
- The type of damage that was sustained to the vehicle in the accident
- The extent of the damage sustained by the vehicle in the accident
- Past market trends involving the make and model of the vehicle
- Future market trends involving the make and model of the vehicle
When you’re filing car accident claims, it’s crucial that you’re not relying on your insurance company to determine a fair diminished value for your vehicle. An Odessa TX personal injury lawyer can help you determine and present an accurate diminished value of your vehicle to negotiate a settlement with your insurance company.
What are the different factors that can affect my car’s diminished value?
Aside from the factors listed above that can help you to calculate the diminished value of your car, there are a few main factors that can lower the amount you may be able to claim when filing your car accident claims. These main factors include the following:
- Your car’s make and model. Unfortunately, the make and model of your vehicle can have a major impact on its overall diminished value after an accident. A more expensive model car will have a higher value for a longer period of time, especially if it’s a luxury vehicle.
- Your car’s age. Many insurance companies will refuse to pay a diminished value on your car if it’s over seven years old. This can be a problem for many drivers considering thousands of vehicles on the road today are over 25 years old. Older vehicles are typically considered lower in value compared to newer ones. However, if you have a luxury older vehicle, the value may be higher.
- Your car’s accident history. Your car will have diminished value if this isn’t the first time the vehicle has been involved in a car accident. Vehicles that have been in more than one accident have a lower overall value and insurers may not choose to compensate you for a diminished value claim if this is the case.
- Your car’s mileage. Just like a car’s mileage affects its market value so does it affect the car’s diminished value. If two drivers file a diminished value claim on the same model vehicle, the driver with a lower mileage may receive a higher diminished value claim compared to the driver with higher mileage. An insurer is less likely to pay your diminished value claim if you have a mileage of 100,000 or higher.
How do I file a diminished value claim after my car’s been in an accident?
Once you’ve filed your car accident claims, it’s time to file for your diminished value claim. However, to file for a diminished value claim, you need to prove a few things first.
It’s important that you’re able to prove to your insurer that your vehicle has diminished value due to the car accident. You also need to prove the specific dollar amount of your vehicle’s lost value. This is where car accident lawyers come in handy.
You also need to prove that your insurance company allows diminished value claims. If your insurer doesn’t allow diminished value claims, you won’t be able to get the compensation for your lost value.
You can use evidence to help prove your vehicle’s diminished value while you’re filing your car accident claims. Your car accident lawyers may recommend providing repair estimates, repair receipts, a list of new parts, and a list of replacement parts.
Just like it’s important to get a doctor’s note and diagnosis after you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s vital that you keep all of your receipts for your vehicle’s repairs after the accident. Your receipts are your proof that you’ve paid for your vehicle repair.
Your receipts are also key evidence for your parts list. On that same list, make sure to write down whether the parts you bought for your vehicle were new, used, aftermarket parts, or parts that were made by the vehicle’s original equipment manufacturer.
If you need help filing your car accident claims or diminished value claim, a car accident attorney or personal injury attorney can help you file. Attorneys can help you gather the evidence you need to make your diminished value claim and to help you determine the exact dollar amount of your vehicle’s diminished value.
Need help filing car accident claims?
If you need to file car accident claims after being in a car accident caused by a reckless or negligent driver, you’re not alone. In fact, approximately 2.35 million people every year suffer from injuries or disabilities after a car accident on U.S. roads.
At the law offices of Heriberto Ramos, professional and experienced personal injuries lawyers can help you file your car accident claims and argue on your behalf for the compensation you deserve. To learn more about filing car accident claims and personal injury claims, or to schedule a consultation, contact the law offices of Heriberto Ramos today.