Diminished Value After a Car Crash: Will I Be Reimbursed For Lost Value?
In the aftermath of a car wreck, the value of your vehicle becomes immediately lower. This is called diminished value, and it is something individuals do not often consider when an accident occurs.
Diminished value is the perceived loss in value of a vehicle following a car crash. This ultimately means that if your car is damaged in an accident, even if it is fully restored, the fact that it has a damage history, or is considered a vehicle that has been involved in an accident, will make its resale value lower in the eyes of prospective buyers. Even vehicles repaired at a dealership with authorized original parts will suffer from diminished value.
In most cases, insurance companies try to avoid paying for loss due to diminished value. This becomes a problem if, say, you go to trade in your vehicle or sell it. The diminished value will negatively impact this transaction, and it is something that the driver responsible for the accident should have to pay for.
If you are involved in an auto accident and are not at fault, it is best to file a liability claim, which means you are making a claim against someone else’s insurance. If you are making a diminished value claim in Maryland, it’s important to know that Maryland is in fact a diminished value state, which means you may actually be entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle. The statute of limitation on diminished value claims in Maryland is 3 years. You can’t submit a Maryland diminished value claim if you were the at-fault party, or if the damage was caused by something other than a collision.
If you are making a diminished value claim in Washington, DC, you are also entitled to recover the value that your vehicle has lost from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. In addition, if the at-fault party has no insurance, you can make a claim for your car’s diminished value from your own insurance provider.
Keep in mind the insurance company normally will not voluntarily solicit a diminished value claim. However, often times when confronted with the proper documentation, the insurer will consider it. Proper documentation is considered photographs of any damages as a result of the crash, photographs after the repairs have been made, and a written appraisal performed after the repairs that documents the condition of the vehicle and the loss of value.
If you are involved in a car crash in Maryland or Washington, DC, make sure to contact Potter Burnett Law. Our personal injury attorneys have built a strong reputation for winning claims against large insurance companies. The team will make sure to listen carefully to your description of the accident, clearly explain your legal rights, evaluate any vehicle accident claims, and work their hardest to make this difficult time as easy as possible for you.