Over 36,000 people die each year from car crashes. If you made it through a collision and survived, you probably feel fortunate. Living through an auto accident is good, but car accidents can leave you with injuries, losses, and financial issues. One problem you might encounter is a loss of value to your car, even if you repair every problem. Lawyers and insurance companies call this diminished value, and some people can file a diminished value claim after an accident occurs.
If you had an auto accident in Florida, you might wonder if you can file a diminished value claim. Read this guide to find out the answer to this question.
The Definition of Diminished Value
After going through an accident, you might have a lot of questions about settling the claim. For example, as you read this guide, you might be asking, “what is a diminished value claim?”
To understand what this is, you’ll need to learn the definition of diminished value. You need to main details to understand it:
- The value of the car before the accident
- The car’s value after the accident and all repairs are complete
You’ll likely see a difference if you subtract the car’s value after making the repairs from the value before the accident. The main difference you’ll notice is that the car is worth less after the accident, even after making the repairs.
It’s quite common for vehicles to suffer from a diminished value after a collision, but you can’t always file a claim for this loss.
When you understand what diminished value is, you’ll understand what a diminished value claim is after an auto accident. A claim is asking for compensation from the insurance company to cover this loss.
Why It Happens
The next question you might have is, “why do cars lose value after accidents?” What would cause a car to lose value after an accident even if you complete every necessary repair?
Cars might be worthless money after collisions for several reasons. Here are some of the reasons:
- The vehicle might have damage that the repair shop didn’t see or fix
- The car’s alignment might be messed up
- The repair shop might not have used the correct parts to make the repairs
- The vehicle might have a salvage title if the insurance company labeled it as totaled
- The vehicle history report will show the collision
- People are hesitant to purchase cars that were involved in major accidents
As you can see, there are many reasons that explain why cars lose value after accidents. As a result, you should consider filing a diminished value auto claim if you suspect that your car is not worth as much anymore.
If the insurance company approves your claim, you can receive compensation for this inherent loss of value to your car from the accident.
A Diminished Value Claim Depends on the Fault Status
The big question is whether you can file a diminished value claim after your car accident. To answer this question, you’ll need to know two things:
- Proof that your car is not worth as much now
- The person that is at fault for the accident
First, you can’t file a claim for diminished value if your car didn’t lose value from the car accident. The hardest part of this is proving that your car lost some of its value.
Secondly, you can’t file a claim for diminished value if you are at fault for the accident. You can only file a claim if the other party caused the accident and it labeled the at-fault driver.
If the paperwork shows that you caused the accident, you may want to fight this if you have evidence that proves otherwise.
The at-fault status of a car accident claim affects the entire claim, so you’ll need to make sure this is correct.
How to File a Diminished Value Claim
As you read through this guide, you might have questions about filing the claim. If you believe you are entitled to compensation for diminished value, how do you file the claim?
You might want to begin by speaking with a car accident lawyer about your case. Your lawyer can guide and advise you through the process. One thing the lawyer might recommend is getting an appraisal of the vehicle.
You can hire trained appraisers to tell you a car’s value. If you decide to do this, you’ll need to look for one with diminished value experience. Appraisers with this type of experience can provide the proof you need to win the case.
In some cases, lawyers use diminished value claim calculators to determine the loss of value in a car after an accident. In either case, the goal is to determine the diminished value and prove that it’s real.
If you can do these things, you can file a claim with the insurance company, and they’ll most likely pay it.
Ways to Maximize Your Claim
Requesting compensation for a car’s diminished value is one of many ways to maximize a car accident claim. Maximizing a claim is something that car accident lawyers are good at doing.
If you want to maximize your claim, you’ll probably want to hire a lawyer for help. They will work on this in several ways.
One thing they’ll do is to make sure you receive enough compensation for all your medical bills, including every potential future medical bill.
Secondly, they’ll make sure that you receive enough compensation to have your car repaired the proper way. This might mean asking for OEM parts instead of aftermarket parts and choosing the mechanic you want to hire.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for Help
After reading this guide, you might know whether you can file a diminished value claim. If you want to file one or ask questions about your claim options, contact a car accident lawyer.
We offer car accident legal services in Florida. If you would like to learn more about our services and what we offer, contact us today.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.