Car accidents are stressful both emotionally and financially. Even if you are not injured, the same cannot be said about your car. Vehicle repair is expensive and if the accident was not your fault, you should be fully compensated by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But when it comes to car repair, there are problems that prevent you from being paid in full. Even after your car is repaired, the value of your car decreases. At the same time, insurance companies will avoid paying you what you are owed.
What is Diminished Value?
Diminished value means the decrease in your car’s value after an accident, even after repairs are made. There will always be diminished value, if your car is in an accident. This means you will get significantly less money if you decide to sell your car or even trade it in. The insurance company should compensate you for the cost of repair and the diminished value of your car.
There are three types of diminished value:
Immediate: The difference in your car’s value from before the accident to after repairs have been made.
Inherent: The car has been restored to its original condition as closely as possible but is still worth less because it was in an accident.
Repair-Related: The decrease in value due to poor repair work.
From watching TV commercials and interactions with your insurance agent, you may think the insurance company is on your side and wants to help you. This is false. Insurance companies want to make money. The more money they pay you, the less money they make. Not only will an insurance company offer you payment amounts that are far below what you deserve, they will not even tell you about your car’s diminished value. Even if you ask them to pay for diminish value, they will do their best to avoid paying you and they have armies of lawyers to help them do that. You need an experienced diminished value attorney to help you with your claim.
Why You Need a Diminished Value Lawyer
A diminished value lawyer is crucial to getting you the money you are owed. Different states have different laws on how diminished value is calculated and these laws are constantly being updated. An experienced diminished value lawyer can use the law to help you figure out how much money you can get for diminished value, collect evidence for your claim, and determine the best way to get your money from the insurance company. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies are more willing to pay when you have a diminished value lawyer because of the lawyer’s knowledge and the company wants to avoid litigation. If a fair payout cannot be obtained from negotiation, your lawyer can take your claim to court and force the insurance company to properly compensate you.