Understanding the diminished value of your car can be confusing, at first. Here we’ll break down exactly what a diminished value claim is and how you can benefit from it, so you’ll know what you may be entitled to after an auto accident.
What Is a Diminished Value Claim?
After a car accident, the value of your car will decrease – even if it’s repaired to a “like new” condition. While a new car may have a high resale value, that can quickly deplete by the thousands after an accident. Fortunately, a diminished value claim allows you to recover the difference between your car’s value before the accident and after the repairs.
There are three types of diminished value claims:
- Inherent Diminished Value. Inherent diminished value is the most widely accepted type of diminished value. This takes into consideration the value of your car before the accident versus the value of your car after repairs have been made.
- Immediate Diminished Value. Immediate diminished value is the difference in resale value immediately before the accident and immediately after the accident, before any repairs.
- Repair Related Diminished Value. Repair related diminished value takes into consideration any additional ways a vehicle’s value may have been reduced because of substandard repairs. This can range from minor cosmetic issues to major structural damage.
Keep in mind that if you are the at-fault party in an auto accident, you most likely will not be able to claim any diminished value on your vehicle.
Do You Qualify for Collecting Diminished Value on Your Car?
If your vehicle meets the qualification for diminished value, you should be able to claim compensation. There are, however, some circumstances that may disqualify your eligibility to collect any diminished value. Here are some of the reasons you may be unable to collect compensation:
- The statute of limitations passed.
- Your vehicle is ten years old or older.
- The accident caused insignificant damage.
- Your vehicle has been in worse accidents prior to this one.
- Your vehicle was deemed a complete loss.
Because every situation and eligibility status are different, contact your insurance company to find out if you qualify to receive diminished value compensation.
Diminished Value Claims in Georgia
Like most states, Georgia recognizes your right to file a diminished value on your vehicle after an accident. These may be first party, third party, or underinsured and uninsured claims. Georgia’s policy is unique in that it also allows accident victims to collect diminished value from the at-fault party’s insurance company if the at-fault party is uninsured, and from the victim’s own collision coverage.
How Do You File a Diminished Value Claim?
The first step to filing a diminished value claim is to have your vehicle appraised. This appraisal should include the value of your vehicle before the accident and after the repairs have been made.
You will then need to contact your insurance company, review your policy, and to ask to be compensated for the difference in your car’s value. This process can be difficult, as some insurers may be unwilling to compensate you your full reward.
It can be common to receive some resistance from your insurance company when filing a diminished value claim. If this is the case, you may want to consider contacting one of our knowledgeable Atlanta car accident lawyers to fight for what you are owed. We’re here to help. Contact us today.