Loss of Value Claims in Stuart, Florida
The moment you drive your car off the lot, it starts losing value. Depreciation is a natural part of a vehicle’s lifespan, but a car accident can steepen this downward slope or make your old ride near-impossible to sell. If you were involved in a crash, our attorneys can review your case to determine if bringing a loss of value claim would be worth considering.
While your auto insurance policy may cover the cost of repairs after a collision, it likely doesn’t account for how the accident has impacted its value. Typically, a vehicle with an accident history will sell for far less than a similar car with the same features that hasn’t been involved in a crash. Fortunately, Florida’s laws allow accident victims to seek compensation for loss of value from the liable party’s insurance company.
While standard insurance claims can be relatively straight forward, seeking compensation for loss of value can quickly turn into a headache. From getting an accurate appraisal to filing your claim to negotiating a fair settlement, it’s easy to trip up and watch your chances of obtaining a financial award go down the drain. At Donaldson & Weston, our legal team can help you navigate this legal minefield and handle the logistics of your claim. To discuss your diminished value case with an attorney, contact us today at 772-266-5555.
Our Attorneys in Stuart Can Help You Prove Loss of Value
Proving a diminished value claim can be incredibly challenging. The reality is that prospective buyers will usually pay less for a car that’s been involved in an accident than one with a spotless record. There are many online tools that people can use to look up the accident history of a specific vehicle and make up their minds about how much your car is worth. However, quantifying how much less a buyer is likely to pay isn’t easy.
In Florida, you must file a loss of value claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. As such, if it emerges that you were responsible for causing the accident, your claim will likely be denied. Additionally, you will need to file your claim within four years of the date of the accident.
You must also get an accurate appraisal of your car’s value both before and after repairs have been completed. An experienced appraiser will conduct an inspection of the collision damage and repairs, and compare the value of your car to other vehicles with similar features. You may also benefit from acquiring trade-in value letters from a few car dealerships in your area. You should request that these dealerships include their reasoning for why your car is valued at the estimated trade-in price.
You may want to include additional evidence such as work orders highlighting which parts and components were replaced and how these repairs have affected the vehicle’s performance. If your vehicle looks different—for example, the new coat of paint does not match your old color scheme—you should include photographs to prove this change in appearance.
Discuss Your Loss of Value Claim with a Lawyer Today
Buying a car is more than just a once-off purchase; it’s an investment. You, like many other motorists, may be banking on one day selling your vehicle to fund other ventures. However, an accident can diminish its value in an instant, effectively taking money out of your pocket. If you think you have grounds for a loss of value claim, turn to the lawyers at Donaldson & Weston. Contact us today at 772-266-5555 to schedule a consultation.