Your vehicle is relatively new and still carries a lot of value on the market. But a negligent driver crashes into your vehicle, not only injuring you but damaging your vehicle and diminishing its value in the process.
While you may not have been planning to sell your car any time soon, you can file a claim with the insurance company to recover some of the lost value of your vehicle. An attorney from our firm can help you file a diminished value claim in Florida.
What is Diminished Value?
Let’s say your vehicle had a value of $10,000 before the accident. Your vehicle now requires extensive repairs, but even after the repairs are complete, the value of your vehicle is not the same as before the damage. The diminished value of your vehicle is the difference between the market value of your vehicle before the accident and after the accident.
You might be asking why your vehicle isn’t worth as much. After all, repairs were made. Your vehicle looks like it was never in a collision at all. But it was still in an accident. There was still damage. The vehicle may not be as safe or reliable. It may not last as long either. An accident can have serious and lasting impacts on a vehicle. And it certainly affects the resale value.
Types of Diminished Value
There are three types of diminished value claims you can make after an accident.
- Inherent diminished value: The most common type of diminished value claim, an inherent diminished value claim deals with lost value due to a damage report on your vehicle’s history, which is available to any prospective buyer.
- Immediate diminished value: You may not choose to repair damage to your vehicle immediately after an accident, which will decrease its value. Your insurance policy or the liable party’s insurance policy typically covers this type of diminished value claim.
- Repair-related diminished value: This type of diminished value happens due to improper repairs such as the use of low-quality parts or paint that doesn’t match the original color.
Can You File a Diminished Value Claim in Florida?
Florida law does not require insurance providers to pay benefits for diminished value claims, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). However, some insurance providers do offer diminished value coverage in policies, so you can file a claim if your policy includes diminished value coverage.
You may also be able to file a diminished value claim if you carry uninsured motorist coverage. To find out if you have diminished value coverage, review your policy or contact your insurance provider.
How Can You Make a Diminished Value Claim in Florida?
If you were in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to file a diminished value claim for compensation to cover your losses. But maybe you’re not sure how you should proceed. Taking the following steps after an accident can improve the likelihood of the insurance company approving your claim:
- Contact the liable party’s insurance provider: The other driver may have diminished value coverage in their policy. But you can also contact your insurance provider as well, although it may not pay out diminished value benefits if you were at fault for the accident. If the other driver does not carry insurance, your uninsured motorist insurance may cover the damages.
- Original Value: Find out the original value of your vehicle by consulting the Kelley Blue Book or another reputable source. The value of your vehicle will depend on several factors such as condition, mileage, and vehicle type. Note the original value for your records so you can use it for your claim.
- Appraisal: Contact a professional appraiser to determine the value of your vehicle after an accident and how much the value of your value has diminished from its original value. This is more information you can present in your claim.
- Consult an attorney: You should consult a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. A lawyer can provide you with options, investigate the accident to determine liability, collect evidence to back up your claim, review your insurance policy, negotiate with your insurer to reach a settlement, and file a lawsuit if necessary.
Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay us unless we win your case. We also offer free consultations so we can evaluate your case and answer your questions, including questions about diminished value.
Do You Have Grounds to File a Diminished Value Claim?
An attorney will be able to help you determine if you have grounds to file a diminished value claim. Grounds to file a diminished value claim include:
- Negligence: If the diminished value of your vehicle is the result of negligence by another driver, you can seek compensation by filing a claim. Examples of negligence include drunk driving, ignoring traffic laws, and driver error.
- Significant damage: If your vehicle has so much damage because of the accident or shoddy repair work that it diminishes its value, you can file a claim.
- Original value: If you are unable to return your vehicle to its original value and you have evidence of this loss, you have grounds to file a claim.
- Policy coverage: You can also file a claim if your insurance policy includes coverage for diminished value.
Learn More About How to Make a Diminished Value Claim in Florida Today
Your vehicle is important to you. Maybe you don’t plan on driving it forever, but you want fair value for it if you decide to sell. A car accident can seriously damage your vehicle and diminish its value, therefore depriving you of the opportunity to get fair resale value.
A diminished value claim lawyer from GED Lawyers can determine if you have a claim and we will work to secure the compensation you deserve to cover your losses. To learn more about how to file a diminished value claim, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us today.