What Is a Loss of Value Claim?
If your car was damaged in a collision, having your auto insurance carrier cover the cost of fixing it probably seems reasonable enough. What if your vehicle’s value isn’t totally restored, however, even after making the necessary repairs? Unfortunately, this is a common conundrum that many accident victims face, though few account for the drop in resale value when negotiating with their insurance adjuster.
Should you be wondering how much damage your car actually incurred in the wake of the wreck—or how to secure enough compensation to make up for the associated loss of value—a strategic personal injury attorney can help. To prepare for your initial consultation, here’s what you should know about these kinds of claims:
1. Immediate Loss of Value
Immediate loss of value refers to the drop in resale value that occurs immediately after a collision but before any repairs have been made. Since most auto insurance policies cover the cost of restoring the vehicle to its original condition, this type of loss isn’t likely to play a role in diminished value claims.
2. Inherent Loss of Value
Inherent loss of value refers to the drop in resale value that remains after the vehicle has been repaired. Once a car, truck, or SUV has been compromised in a crash, it’s almost always worth less than vehicles of the same year, make, and model that don’t have a history of collision damage.
This is especially true if the vehicle was considered a total loss after the crash and therefore has a salvage title. Sometimes called a rebuilt title, a salvage title can reduce the resale value of a car by as much as 40 percent.
3. Repair-Related Loss of Value
Sometimes, damaged vehicles cannot be repaired using the optimal equipment. If certain paint colors or parts are incredibly rare, for example, the mechanic may have to resort to using cheaper alternatives. Naturally, this will have an affect on the resale value of the vehicle once it’s been fully restored. It’s important to note, however, that you cannot include repair-related loss of value in your claim unless it was virtually impossible for the mechanic to restore the car to its original condition.
How Can I Strengthen My Loss of Value Claim?
Every successful loss of value claim is supported by lots of documentation. In order to determine an accurate figure for the diminished value, the insurance adjuster is going to have to compare the value of the car before the collision to its resale value after all repairs have been completed.
As such, you’ll be asked to supply the documentation that was used to finalize the original sale, all the maintenance records you acquired over the life of the vehicle, and the invoices for all accident-related repairs.
Call 561-299-3999 to Discuss Your Case with a West Palm Beach Loss of Value Attorney
At Donaldson & Weston, we know all too well the kinds of financial losses that car accident victims face. While we cannot erase the trauma they’ve experienced, we are committed to helping them recover the compensation they need to pick up the pieces in the aftermath. Call 561-299-3999 or fill out our Online Contact Form to schedule a free case review with a loss of value lawyer in West Palm B