When your car is damaged in a crash, you may not be able to recover the full value of your vehicle. However, some states allow you to make a diminished value claim to get back some of the loss in value. It is important to research the diminished value laws of your state and find a lawyer who specializes in diminished value claims. You can find one through a referral from friends or family, or you can search online for diminished value lawyers in your area. You should also ask for references from past clients to ensure you choose the right lawyer.
The first step in filing a diminished value claim is to determine your car’s pre-crash market value. You can use online resources like Kelley Blue Book to do this. Once you have a number, it is important to document this value as well as any damage done to your vehicle. You can then use this documentation as proof to present to the insurance company.
Once you have your proof, you can begin the negotiation process with the insurance company. They will usually offer you a settlement for the diminished value of your vehicle. It is important to keep in mind that the insurance company will not be eager to pay for this, so you will need to haggle with them.
There are several reasons why your car might lose value after an accident. Some of these reasons are repair-related and some are due to the accident itself. Repair-related diminished value is common when a repair shop uses cheaper options instead of original equipment parts during repairs. For example, using bondo to fix a dent or replacing a catalytic converter with a generic one are examples of repair-related diminished value.
Another reason for diminished value is the impact on your car’s resale or trade-in value. This can be caused by the fact that the vehicle has been damaged in an accident, and it is hard to resell or trade-in a car with damage. In some cases, the amount of damage may be so severe that it can’t be repaired or resold.
You can file a diminished value claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or you can file it with your own uninsured motorist coverage (if you have this coverage). The laws for these claims vary from state to state, so it is important to understand your state’s rules before taking action.
In addition to the state laws, there are also insurance industry standards for calculating diminished value. These are based on the damage multipliers from the NADA and Kelley Blue Book. A standard formula is 17c, which derives from a Georgia court case and is used by most insurance companies.
When you file a diminished value claim, it is critical to have the help of an experienced attorney who can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. The attorney will know the state and industry standards for determining diminished value and can work with you to ensure that your claim is settled quickly and fairly.