Most property damage claims are settled based on, among other factors, market value of the repaired vehicle. However, as you’d suppose, if your vehicle is repaired, it’s worth considerably less than before the accident. The difference between what your vehicle was worth before the accident, and what it was worth after the accident, is called diminished value.
Insurance companies will often deny that diminished value claims exist at all, but it is the law. There are several factors that go into a diminished value claim:
- The age of the vehicle
- Its condition before the accident
- Prior accidents and repairs
- Extent of damage
- Market value before and after repairs
If you have questions about a diminished value claim, call an attorney. Since diminished value claims require a certain amount of expertise, and you’ll likely encounter resistance from the insurance company, your best bet is to call a qualified attorney who has experience handling diminished value claims.
Don’t sign anything the insurance adjuster sends you!
An auto accident can be tricky. In the first hours after an accident, you may think that you only have to worry about property damage. You may think your health is fine. When the insurance adjuster sends you a document asking you to clear them of their responsibility to pay for any medical care that results from the accident, you may sign it. This would be a terrible mistake. Pain from injuries can take days to manifest, and you won’t know the full extent of your injuries until you’re done treating. If you’ve been in an accident, your safest bet is that you were probably injured, so don’t sign anything the insurance company sends you without first speaking to a qualified personal injury attorney. Questions? Call us at 206-285-1743.