When you get into a car accident, the damages you suffer can be substantial, whether in the form of personal injuries, incurred expenses, or damage to your personal property. If your car’s value is diminished after your accident, you may be able to obtain compensation by filing a diminished value claim.
What is meant by diminished value?
A claim for diminished value generally arises after a car accident, when your car is no longer worth the same amount as it was prior to your crash. Diminished car value after an accident looks at whether if you were to sell your vehicle, you would receive less for it than you would have before the accident happened.
Think of it this way: if you were a consumer in the process of buying the car, would you expect to pay full market value for it, or rather only pay a diminished amount because of the damages incurred in the accident? For most reasonable consumers, the latter is true—and that difference between market value and the lesser value is the subject of a diminished value claim.
What kinds of diminished value claims are there, and how are they typically calculated?
Most diminished value claims can be placed into one of two categories:
- Inherent diminished value, which occurs simply due to the fact that your car was in an accident. Your car crash will be indicated in reports when you go to resell the vehicle, which can affect its value
- Repair-related diminished value, which looks at the specific values whenever the vehicle is unable to be restored to its previous condition, or whenever the repairs that are made leave a loss in value
Most insurance companies determine diminished value after a car accident by using a calculation called the 17c Diminished Value Formula. Of course, it is important to note that different insurance companies address the issue of diminished value in different ways, so it is essential that you learn about your own insurer’s requirements, factors, and treatment of your claim. The typical 17c formula takes into account several different steps and factors, including the approximate market value of the vehicle, multiplied by both a mileage multiplier (based upon your vehicle’s mileage) and a damage multiplier (based upon the severity of the damages incurred).
How do you file a diminished value claim in Texas?
To recover for your damages, you will need to file a full personal injury claim. Essentially, your diminished value claim will be only a portion of the personal injury case you file against the party responsible for your accident. A personal injury claim, usually involving a claim for negligence, can help you recover for the damage to your personal property, as well as your other damages and injuries you have suffered as a result of the crash.
In Texas, personal injury claims, including those for diminished value of a vehicle after an accident, must be filed within two years; otherwise, you risk being dismissed due to the statute of limitations. To qualify for this type of claim, you will need to prove that your car lost value, and that the insurance company policy covers diminished value claims. You will also need to prove liability by the party responsible for the accident.
An experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney can be of great benefit to you in file a diminished value claim in Texas, advising you of your legal rights, options, and potential next steps. They can accurately assess your damages, including the diminished value of your vehicle; investigate the facts and preserve important evidence; put together a strong case; and handle all negotiations with the insurance company.
How can getting assistance from the Francis Firm help you get the most out of your diminished value claim?
If you’ve incurred diminished value damages in an accident, you don’t have to fight with the insurance company alone. The goal of the insurance company is to minimize payouts, and they will use any tactic necessary to reduce your damages as much as possible, including by negating your evidence of diminished value. If you’ve incurred diminished value damages, having the assistance of a knowledgeable motor vehicle accident attorney can help ensure you receive a fair and reasonable offer of settlement. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company, preparing a strong diminished value claim on your behalf.
Michael Francis is a board-certified personal injury trial attorney. He and his firm are the experienced Texas counsel who can help you seek the medical care you need and the maximum possible compensation for your injuries and diminished value damages. The Francis Firm handles personal injury cases, especially those involving trucking and auto accidents, and has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Contact The Francis Firm today to schedule your consultation.