Most consumers want to know if a vehicle has been in a car accident before they decide to buy it. It just makes sense that you do not want to pay a high price for a vehicle that has some type of accident history. That is the reason many vehicle owners need to consider diminished value after they have been in a car accident. This is especially true in situations where you were in an accident caused by another person. In these cases, you may want to sue for diminished value.
That process can be complex and hard to prove in some situations. Working with our legal team at Siler & Ingber, LLP will help you to learn about all of your options. Every case is very different. We encourage you to give us a call before you file a claim or settle a claim for diminished value.
What Is Diminished Value and When Does It Apply?
Diminished value refers to the value of a car after an accident. In many situations, an accident will reduce the value of the car at resale. For example, an individual owns a vehicle that he or she could sell on the market today for $10,000. However, an accident occurs. Even if the vehicle is comprehensively repaired and is in good working order afterward, it may now only be worth $7,000 on the market. This difference is important to understand.
If someone else caused the accident and you suffered a loss of value in your vehicle, that person may be financially responsible for covering the loss. However, it is rarely easy to file a claim like this. Most auto insurance companies do not want to handle them.
How to File a Diminished Value Claim
First, realize that you can only file a diminished value claim if the damage was not your fault. Your insurer is not going to cover costs for your own mistakes here. However, when another person causes damage to your vehicle, you can file a diminished value claim with the at-fault insurer.
Your goal is to learn what the loss in value is. Then, you will need to present this information to the at-fault insurer. This is the process for filing a claim. Before you can do this, you must first prove that the diminished value occurred.
How to Prove Diminished Value Vehicle
To do so, you will need to get an appraisal of the vehicle. This must be done through a third-party organization. This happens even if you do not plan to sell the car right now. This determines the value – how much less the vehicle is worth now compared to before the incident.
It is often best to work with an attorney through this process. Here’s why. First, you’ll need to determine the pre-accident value of the car, which requires researching the value of the car both online and through other sources. You can then find a third-party vehicle appraiser or allow an attorney to do so. Handling this process is difficult.
What Is a Diminished Value Claim Letter?
A diminished value claim letter is simply a document from an appraiser showing the current value of the vehicle after the incident. It is an explanation you will send to the at-fault insurer to describe the loss. It will explain the pre-loss value of the vehicle (from the sources you obtain) as well as the after-accident value (from the current appraisal).
Once you have this letter created, you can file the claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. And, again, this is where things get complex. In nearly all situations, the insurer will refute the claims. They may state that they do not owe those funds. And, if this is a part of a larger claim against the company for the damage and other losses you’ve suffered, the process can take some time. As a result, many claims for diminished value make it to court. There, the insurer will try to prove that there is no loss of value to the car, especially if you are not selling it.
Because of these complexities, it is often wise to work closely with a skilled car accident attorney with experience filing diminished value. Doing so can give you the support you need when filing these claims. You can also learn what your claims options.
How to Get Help Now: Schedule a Free Case Review with Our Team
How do I claim diminished value? It’s a question we often hear after complicated vehicle accidents. If you suffered damage to your vehicle through no fault of your own, do not settle with the vehicle insurance company just yet. Instead, work closely with our team at Siler & Ingber LLP to find out what all of your options are including whether or not you can file a diminished value claim. For a free case review, call our team now at 877-718-6079. Our New York personal injury attorneys are happy to answer your questions. Contact us online now or call our office.