You shouldn’t suffer a financial loss because of another driver’s negligence here in Florida. If your vehicle was damaged in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a diminished value claim to receive the difference in your vehicle’s lost value, even after repairs. Buyers typically pay less for a vehicle that’s been in an accident. This claim will make you “whole” by compensating you for the lost resale value if and when you sell the vehicle.
Florida allows three approaches to these claims
- Inherent Diminished Value
This reflects the lost value because it was in an accident. If it’s repaired to near perfection, the fact it was in an accident will appear on your vehicle’s history report, lowering its market value. This is the common and accepted diminished value claim.
- Immediate Diminished Value
This is your vehicle’s worth after the accident and before it’s repaired. This calculation is rarely used because most cars are fixed after an accident. Depending on the facts of your accident, your insurance company may be obligated to pay for repairs.
- Repair-Related Diminished Value
This is based on the possibility your vehicle may not be repaired to its original condition. This is due to the common practice of using cheaper aftermarket parts, not original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, which reduces your vehicle’s lost value.
Who Can File a Diminished Value Claim?
Filing a claim may help you recoup losses from an accident if you qualify and your vehicle meets given requirements, which can include:
- You can’t file this claim if you caused the accident. If you were not at fault, you can file it against the responsible party if they have insurance coverage. If they don’t, you may make a claim on your policy if you have uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage
- You own the vehicle. It’s not leased.
- The newer the vehicle, the more you’ll get, especially if there were no prior accidents.
- You can’t make a claim if you had a rebuilt or salvage title at the time of the accident.
You have four years from the accident date to make this claim.
What Do I Need to Make a Diminished Value Claim?
Your vehicle’s value must be professionally appraised for its value before the accident and after repairs are completed. This can be done by considering your local vehicle market, inspecting the damage, and knowing how damage history impacts a vehicle’s depreciation.
Evidence that can be used depends on what’s wrong with your vehicle after repairs are done. You need evidence to support your claim if it’s not back to its pre-accident condition. This can be copies of work orders or receipts stating which parts were used and why they don’t fully restore your vehicle. If your vehicle doesn’t appear the same, photos or videos of body gaps, mismatched paint, and other aesthetic differences would be helpful.
Why Should I Retain Jeffrey R. Davis P.A. for a Diminished Value Claim?
We have filed insurance claims for accident victims since 1986. We know:
- How insurance companies work
- The information they need to approve a claim
- How to get the highest claim amount possible
- The reasons why they often reject claims
Save the time and energy you’ll need to put together a claim by having us do it for you. You can live your life while we deal with the insurance company.
Was Your Vehicle Damaged in an Accident?
Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., is a Miami personal injury law firm representing accident victims seeking the compensation they deserve, including the lost value of their vehicles. Call us today at (305) 577-3777 to schedule a free consultation.