How to Make a Diminished Value Claim After an Accident

Diminished Value Claim After Car Accident, Toy Car With Stacks of Coins

During the evaluation of your damages, an Atlanta car accident lawyer will order technical expertise on your car. This is necessary to find out how much to ask in the diminished value claim. It is included in your claim for economic and non-economic damages, and it will provide you with money to fix your damaged car or pay an advance for a new car.

In this article, we explain who is eligible to file a diminished value claim and what it will pay.

Both Drivers in an Accident Can File Diminished Value Claims

One of the aspects few drivers know is that you can file this type of claim even if you were at fault for the accident. This will be extremely helpful, considering that you will have to pay higher premiums after your insurer pays the other driver’s claim for damages.

Moreover, the fact that you filed a diminished value claim should not trigger a hike in your insurance premiums. This is your right as a policyholder, and an experienced lawyer will help you exercise it.

Now, let us explain the main conditions that make you eligible to file this claim.

1. The Car Suffered Significant Damage

Insurance companies often deny diminished value claims if your car only suffered a few paint scratches and other minor damage. The threshold for accepting claims is generally $500.

To calculate the value of the damages, lawyers rely on the Kelly Blue Book to calculate the fair market value of your car before and after the crash.

2. You Cannot Have Very High Mileage

It is understandable that you need your car on a daily basis to commute to and from work. However, if the mileage exceeds 30,000 miles per year, insurance adjusters will state that it endures excessive wear and tear.

In this situation, your diminished value claim may be denied. But do not lose hope. An experienced lawyer may find ways to get your claim approved, by showing that the car is properly cared for and maintained. Thus, how much you use it has no impact on its inherent value.

Insurance Agent Examining Damaged Car

3. The Vehicle Must Be Newer than 10 Years

Before advising you to file a diminished value claim, your Atlanta car accident lawyer will examine the vehicle registration documents, which include the full specifications of the car.

If the vehicle is older than 10 years, your chances of filing a claim successfully are low. These old vehicles have a small residual value. Even if you manage to get your claim approved, you will get very little money.

4. The Car Must Not Be Declared a Total Loss

If your car was so badly damaged that the technical expertise deemed it a total loss, you cannot file a diminished value claim. Instead, your lawyer will evaluate the cost of purchasing a similar car and add it to your list of economic damages as property damage.

5. The Car Must Not Have a Branded Title

A branded title means that the state agency that registered your car found that it has had significant damage in the past. These issues may make the car unsafe to use or reduce its value compared to a similar vehicle with no issues.

The most common problems that will lead to a branded title assigned to your car are:

  • Rebuilt: The car that suffered significant damage in a crash and was deemed a total loss was rebuilt or reconstructed and passed the safety inspection
  • Lemon law buyback: The car had issues that could not be fixed, so the automaker bought it back, rebuilt, and resold the car
  • Odometer rollback: The previous owner of the car rolled back the odometer (which is illegal) to indicate fewer miles
  • Water damage: The car was affected by a flood or salvaged after being driven into a body of water.

Discuss Your Case with a Seasoned Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer!

The legal team at The Weinstein Firm has extensive experience in filing diminished value claims and obtaining the maximum value possible. We will check carefully if you qualify for filing this claim and represent you on a contingency fee basis if you have a valid case.

Call us today to schedule a free case review at 770-HELP-NOW!

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