A diminished value claim can be brought if your car is in a major accident and is worth less after repair than it was prior to the accident. In other words, if even after professional repair has been done you could not sell your car on the open market for as much as you could have before the accident, you can bring a claim for diminished value.
You cannot have caused the accident, or you will be unable to bring a diminished value claim. The claim is brought against the insurance company of the person who was responsible for the accident.
An Appraiser Establishes Value of Undamaged Vehicle and Diminished Value
A key part of a diminished value claim is establishing what the vehicle is worth now versus what it would have been had it not been damaged in an accident. To do this, you will need to contact a certified automobile appraiser. It is not sufficient to talk to a repair shop, the place you bought the car, or a dealer.
Certified automobile appraisers are experienced in establishing the value of a car. They will thoroughly inspect the car. They will thoroughly examine the available history of your car. They will drive it.
Certified appraisers base their appraisal on a comprehensive database of similar cars. You will receive an appraisal report.
Is It Worth It to File a Diminished Value Claim?
Before going to an appraiser, you need to be reasonably sure that the difference between the value of your car after repair is less than the value before it. For older cars in a more minor accident, for example, the car might be worth roughly the same after repair and pre-accident, especially given the fact that repairs may have resulted in newer parts being in the vehicle.
Diminished value is generally only worth it if your car is newer, or of significant value, such as an expensive car, a vintage car, a hot rod that is one of a kind, and the like.
When You Need an Attorney to Prove Diminished Value
If you feel that you have a diminished value claim, we are here to help. You will need an appraisal of your vehicle, but it’s prudent to get legal advice in tandem with an appraisal.
Our diminished value attorneys in Louisiana have dedicated themselves to the rights of people in Louisiana who have suffered either personal or property damage due to the negligence of another.
Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has offices in both Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana. We assist both people who are residents of our communities and out-of-state residents who need advice on Louisiana auto accident and insurance law.
Our initial consultation on your case is free. Call or contact us online today!
Additional “Diminished Value Appraisal” Resources:
- Auto Appraisal Group Inc. “Value Appraisals.” http://www.autoappraisal.com/appraisal.htm.
- Insurance Information Institute. “What Is Diminished Value?” https://www.iii.org/article/will-my-insurance-pay-loss-my-car%c2%92s-value-if-it-damaged-collision.