When your motor vehicle is damaged in an accident, the value of that vehicle will drop. This is the case even if repairs eventually return your vehicle to its previous condition. A history of accidents lowers the value of a vehicle, even if there are no visible issues. This means you could face financial losses from your accident even if the other party pays for your repairs.
A property damage lawyer could help you pursue compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle. These cases can be challenging, and calculating diminished value can be challenging. A Duluth diminished value claims lawyer from Kaine Law can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
What Qualifies as Diminished Value?
If you were involved in an accident, the diminished value of your vehicle might not be your top concern. While most people are aware they are entitled to compensation for the cost of repairing their vehicle or paying for their medical bills, not everyone understands the concept of diminished value.
These individuals often learn that the value of their vehicle has diminished the hard way. When attempting to sell or trade-in a vehicle that has been in an accident, the owner typically finds out it is worth far less than they originally thought. Dealerships have access to driving records and are usually aware when a vehicle has been in an accident. A history of accidents will greatly diminish the value of a car, even if it is in perfect working order.
Compensation for the diminished value of your car could be available. This is in addition to the damages you pursue for the cost of repairing your vehicle. With the help of a Duluth diminished value claims lawyer, you could recover a monetary award that compensates you for the loss of value in your vehicle.
For a free legal consultation with a diminished value claims lawyer serving Duluth, call 404-214-2001
How to Pursue a Diminished Value Claim
If another driver was responsible for your accident, their insurance company could be obligated to pay for the diminished value of your vehicle. There are steps to take in order for these claims to be successful.
First, you will need to establish what your vehicle was worth prior to the accident. This can be done in a number of ways. You could provide evidence of what you paid for the vehicle if it was a recent purchase. You could also use estimates from a repair shop to determine the previous and current value of your vehicle.
It is worth noting that you cannot pursue a diminished value claim in every case. There are some vehicles—typically, vehicles with values that are already low—that are barred from including a diminished value claim after an accident. To qualify, a vehicle must:
- Have a market value above $7,000
- Sustain damage that costs more than $500 to repair
- Be under ten years old
- Have a clean title
- Have average or below-average mileage
Duluth Diminished Value Claims Lawyer Near Me 404-214-2001
Can I Reject the Valuation by the Insurance Company?
Insurance companies will make their own valuation of your vehicle, both before and after the accident. They will rely on formulas that are favorable to insurance companies, and their adjusters will imply that these calculations are final. That is not the case according to the law.
According to Forbes, Insurance companies in Georgia often use a formula known as 17C to work out the diminished value of a vehicle. This formula was used once by the state supreme court, and it is unreasonably favorable to insurance companies. Even though courts have rejected its use since then, insurers often calculate diminished value claims relying on 17C. When they do, you are not obligated to accept their settlement offer.
The problem with this formula is that it includes an arbitrary cap on damages. The most your diminished value claim can be is 10 percent of the previous value of the vehicle. Even if your actual loss in value was significantly higher than that, 10 percent is the most many insurance companies will offer. An attorney could reject this evaluation and pursue litigation unless a reasonable settlement can be reached.
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Can I Seek a Diminished Value Claim for Depreciation?
Diminished value and depreciation are two very different things. Cars are generally considered depreciating assets, which means their value drops over time. This is different from the loss in value that comes with a vehicle accident.
A diminished value claim will not cover depreciation. This is because depreciation is an anticipated loss in value that is not related to the accident in any way. This loss in value would have occurred regardless of whether the accident happened or not. For that reason, the other driver is not responsible for paying for your depreciated value.
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What Does a Diminished Value Claims Lawyer Cost?
You have the right to hire legal counsel to assist with your diminished value claims, and the cost of an attorney could be more affordable than you think. Our firm handles property damage cases on a contingency basis, which gives you the opportunity to pursue a lawsuit without any upfront costs.
When we pursue a diminished value case in this way, we only get paid if we are successful. We keep a percentage of your settlement, meaning you will never have to pay our firm directly out of your own pocket. If we are not successful in your case, you will never owe us anything. You can learn more about our billing structure during a free consultation.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Diminished Value Claim
Having your vehicle damaged in an accident can be frustrating under the best of circumstances. When an insurance company refuses to provide you reasonable compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle, this process can be even more challenging.
The attorneys of Kaine Law are ready to help you pursue fair compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle. We can fight the insurance company and ensure that they do not rely on unfair calculations to limit your damages. If you are ready to have a Duluth diminished value claims lawyer handle your case, reach out as soon as possible for a free consultation.