How Do I Claim Diminished Value After a Car Accident?

A car is usually never the same after a crash. It might look and drive differently and have less resale value when the owner wants to trade it in or sell the car. It is estimated that 65 percent of potential car buyers avoid buying vehicles with an accident history, even when repairs have been completed. The same applies to dealers when sellers try to make trade-in deals.

In New Jersey, diminished value claims can be paid on top of car repair costs in third-party claims. This does not apply to all car accidents, though. You might be eligible for diminished value coverage if a collision caused the damage and you were not the at-fault party. The statute of limitations for these claims is six years.

There are some other requirements for these claims as well. Leased vehicles do not usually qualify, and newer owned cars in good condition with no previous accidents are more likely to be covered. The vehicle title must meet specific requirements, too. If the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured, the claim could be filed with your auto insurance company. It could be covered through your uninsured motorist property damage coverage.

Are There Different Types of Diminished Value Claims?

There are three main types of diminished value claims:

  • Immediate: These claims reflect a vehicle’s resale value before the crash compared to right after the collision before any repair work is completed.
  • Inherent: This is the most common category of diminished value claims initiated after repairs. The work should have restored the car as nearly as possible to its pre-accident condition.
  • Repair-related: Vehicle owners might make these claims when poor repair work affects the car’s resale value.

Insurance companies calculate diminished value claims with a mathematical calculation. It uses the vehicle’s pre-accident value, a base loss of value, and damage and mileage multipliers. This does not mean the resulting monetary amount is always fair, and many claimants successfully negotiate higher amounts. Third-party assessments from outside agencies can often help with this.

When a car accident leads to severe injuries and property damage, survivors might not know how to take advantage of a diminished value claim. A lawyer can help by gathering evidence, submitting a diminished value appraisal and demand letter, and negotiating with the insurer to get you a fair settlement.

A Mount Laurel Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Can Provide Trusted Legal Guidance With Your Diminished Value Claim

You may be entitled to a diminished value claim if you were involved in a car accident that caused vehicle damage. Contact a knowledgeable Mount Laurel car accident lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman to learn more. Complete our online form or call us at 856-751-2345 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients in Burlington County and throughout the surrounding areas.