As you may expect, when an automobile has been involved in a collision and subsequently repaired, the vehicle’s market value drops. This is what is known as Diminished Value. It sounds like a relatively simple concept, but when it comes to collision repairs, people often forget about the diminished values of their vehicles.
Most drivers are just happy to get their car fully repaired. They are happy to be compensated by insurance companies for their out of pocket repair-related expenses. As we all know, dealing with insurance companies can be a nightmare and often people walk away from a collision just happy to end up with a check for car repairs. What these drivers fail to realize is that just because their vehicle damage was fixed does not necessarily mean that the value of their vehicle is the same as it was before a collision.
You may have heard of “certified used vehicles”. If you are trying to sell or trade-in your used vehicle, it is a term of art that can help boost the figures of your car’s worth. Unfortunately, if you have been in a prior collision that involved any frame damage whatsoever, you will be unable to have your car or truck labeled as a “certified used vehicle” and therefore, your vehicle’s resale value is substantially lowered. In some cases, it can drop by as much as 40%.
Fortunately for Florida drivers, the law in the Sunshine State provides that if you were not at fault in a vehicle collision, the insurance company for the at-fault driver is liable for the diminished value of your vehicle. This is something insurance companies do not want you to know about. They will often promptly cut you a check for the cost of repairing your vehicle. Most drivers are grateful to get their car fixed again and don’t think twice about their car’s current value. Unfortunately, and often years later, the drivers try to sell their used vehicle and realize that the value has diminished significantly due to the accident years ago that was not their fault.
If you are thinking that this has probably happened to you and your car’s value dropped years ago from a prior collision: don’t get disheartened yet! Even if you were involved in a prior collision and you settled your property damage claim, you can still take steps to be compensated for the drop in your cars value that you were never compensated for. In other words: the diminished value.
Diminished value claims, like most claims, can involve lengthy discussions and negotiations with the insurance company and their adjusters. Their job is to settle their assigned claims for the lowest amount possible. With high end vehicles, the diminished value after a collision could amount to thousands of dollars. In these instances, it is worth the time to hire a qualified and experienced Diminished Value Claim attorney.
The attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have years of experience working with insurance companies and fighting to get clients the money they are owed. If you were in a prior collision and you were compensated by an insurance company for repairs, you may be entitled to additional funds. There is a good probability that you were not paid for the diminished value of your vehicle and it is not too late to recuperate the money lost. Give us a call today at (727)451-6900.