Florida Loss of Value Claims
Depreciation feels like an inevitable part of owning a car. After all, the moment you drive your new ride off the lot, it starts to lose value. However, there are certain events that can cause your car’s price-tag to plunge. The biggest dollar deathblow? An accident.
While your insurance policy might reimburse you for the cost of repairing your ride, it likely won’t account for how the accident itself has put a dent in your vehicle’s value. A car with an accident in its history will tend to sell for less than a similar car with the same features that has a clean record. Fortunately, in Florida, accident victims can seek compensation for such loss of value by filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer.
While a typical auto insurance claim is relatively simple to resolve, seeking reimbursement for loss of value can turn an open-and-shut case into a never-ending back-and-forth. From organizing an appraisal to negotiating a favorable settlement, there are many stages where you could slip up and watch your chances of obtaining a financial award disappear into thin air.
At Donaldson & Weston, our attorneys can guide you through this process and handle the logistics of your claim. If you would like to discuss your loss of value case with a member of our legal team, call us today at 772-266-5555.
Proving Loss of Value
If your vehicle was involved in an accident but subsequent repairs helped restore your old ride to its former condition, you may not think your car has lost value. However, there are many online tools prospective buyers can use to check the accident history of a specific car. If these searches turn up collisions, no matter how minor, they’re unlikely to pay what they may have if your car had a spotless record. However, calculating exactly how much less a buyer is likely to pay is no simple formula.
In Florida, if you are seeking damages for loss of value, you will need to file a claim with the at-fault motorist’s insurer. As a result, if it’s revealed that you played a role in causing the accident, it’s likely your claim will be denied. Additionally, you will also be required to file your diminished value claim within four years of the day of the collision.
Before filing your claim, you will need to get an accurate appraisal of your vehicle’s value both before and after repairs were conducted. An appraiser will inspect the damage caused by the collision and compare your vehicle’s value with others that have similar features. It may be useful to visit dealerships in your area to get trade-in letters detailing how much these dealers would offer for your car and their reasoning for why your car is valued at this approximated trade-in price.
Including additional evidence, such as work orders noting which components and parts were replaced and how this may have affected your car’s performance, could also help you improve your chances of obtaining a settlement. If the accident has irreparably altered the appearance of your vehicle—for instance, the new paint does not match the old paintjob—you should include pictures of these changes as part of your claim.
Discuss Your Florida Loss of Value Claim with a Lawyer Today
If you believe you may have grounds for a diminished value claim, turn to the legal team at Donaldson & Weston. Contact us today at 772-266-5555 to discuss your case with one of our dedicated loss of value attorneys.