Imagine this. After years of saving, you can finally afford to upgrade your car. You find a dealer who has the car that you were looking for. However, he has two of the same vehicle. The vehicles are identical; they have the same year, make, and model number, and even have similar mileage and options. They both appear to be in perfect condition, and the price tag on both of them is the same, $15,000. You ask the dealer if either vehicle has ever been in a car accident, and they tell you that one of the vehicles sustained $5,000 in collision damage but that the repairs were complete and you cannot tell that the car was ever involved in an accident. Now you should ask yourself,
Would you give each vehicle equal consideration?
If not, how much of a discount would you expect to be offered?
This is where diminished value comes in. Florida is a diminished value state, which means that if you are in a car accident, then you should be entitled to the decrease in the value of your vehicle. This means that you should be compensated for the market value loss of your vehicle following a car accident.
If you were involved in a car accident in Florida, then car accident attorneys at The Law Place can help you to fight for the compensation you deserve. They will help you to make a diminished value claim and ensure that the amount your receive is sufficient for your personal injury and financial losses. You can make a claim up to four years after your accident. Therefore, it might not be too late to receive compensation for your vehicle that was involved in an accident. Contact us today on (888) 224-6114 to book a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.
What Is Diminished Value?
Diminished value is the reduction in a vehicle’s market value because the vehicle has been in a car accident. Even if you can repair your vehicle so that it looks as good as new, it won’t be worth as much as it was before the collision. The difference between how much your vehicle is worth before and after the crash is your vehicle’s diminished value.
For a free legal consultation, call 941-444-4444
Property Damage Liability Insurance and Diminished Value
In accordance with Florida Statute 627.736, all drivers in Florida are legally required to carry two types of insurance – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance. PIP pays you and your family directly following a car accident and is designed to cover medical expenses and lost wages whether or not you were at fault for the accident.
PDL insurance works a bit differently. If you were at fault for the crash, then PDL pays the other party for their property damage. It will not pay you for your own property damages.
If your in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you should look to the other party’s insurance company to pay for any property damage. PDL should cover vehicle repairs, or the market value of your vehicle before the crash if it was totaled. If your vehicle wasn’t totaled, then your claim against the insurance company should include the diminished value of your vehicle.
How You Are Compensated for Diminished Value in Florida
Florida Statues 95.11, states that you have four years to make a diminished value claim. However, you can not submit a claim if you were at- fault for the accident or the damage of your vehicle was caused by something other then a collision.
Inherent diminished value. The most accepted and widely used form of diminished value. It will ensure the best quality repair and is valued at the amount at which your vehicle has reduced in worth after it has been repaired. It is also the basis for any supplemental form of diminished value that could be added.
Immediate diminished value. The difference between the resale value of your car following the accident and what it was worth before it occurred.
The immediate diminished value also covers the loss of value because of the insurer’s involvement in the claim adjustment. Meaning that if the insurer has control of the repairs and leaves them incomplete or insufficient, then you could be compensated for this.
Repair-related diminished value. This covers the loss of the value of your car if you are unable to perfectly repair it, meaning your vehicle is now worth less then it was before the crash.
Florida Diminished Value Claims Information
Diminished value for the at-fault party – No, despite Florida being a no-fault state, if you were at fault for the accident, then you cannot claim diminished value.
Uninsured motorist coverage – No, uninsured motorists cannot claim diminished value.
Florida statute of limitations – You have up to four years to file a diminished value claim. Therefore, even if your accident was a long time ago, contact us today and see how we can help.
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How Do Diminished Value Claims Work?
If your vehicle is damaged in a car accident in Florida, then the diminished value of your vehicle is a genuine loss. If the other driver is at fault for the car accident, then you can claim with their insurance company. You can fight for the insurance company to compensate you up to the original market value of your automobile before the accident.
To make your claim against the other party’s insurance company, you need to justify the amount you claim in diminished value. To do this, you need evidence of the value of your automobile both before and after the collision. For this reason, it is crucial to have your vehicle inspected as soon as possible after an accident. You can obtain a Diminished Value Assessment for about $50.00 this will calculate and do an assessment to find out how much your car has decreased in worth.
You collect a diminished value claim by providing the insurance company with a professionally prepared report. Getting the proper help will enable you to settle the claim quickly and sufficiently. Insurance companies are always looking for loopholes or mistakes so that they can pay out as little money as possible. By having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side, you will ensure that you cannot be taken advantage of.
Recovering From Your Own Insurance Policy
If the other driver doesn’t have car insurance, you may be able to claim for diminished value from your own insurance company. If you have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, it may cover your losses. However, even this does not always include compensation for your vehicle.
Furthermore, if you’re at fault for the accident, it’s unlikely that your insurance policy will compensate you for diminished value. However, it depends on the wording of your policy, carefully read your policy to determine what’s covered.
What Happens If You’re Partially at Fault for the Crash?
Florida law operates under a comparative negligence standard. This means that if you were partially at fault for the collision, then your claim will be reduced by your share of the fault.
For example, if the diminished value of your car is $10,000 and you were found to be 20% at fault, then your claim would be reduced by 20%, and you would receive $8000.
This is another reason why it is important to work with an attorney. They will ensure that all the facts are taken into consideration and that you are not unfairly put at fault.
The Law Place
You deserve compensation for your damaged vehicle following a collision that wasn’t your fault. Yet, despite this, insurance companies are notorious for attempting to pay out as little as possible. That is why you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side.
At The Law Place, we will work with you every step of the way to ensure that you are compensated for all of the losses you have occurred because of an accident. It may not be until you come to sell your vehicle that you consider the diminished value of your car. Luckily, you have up to four years to file a claim. So contact us today on (888) 224-6114 for a free consultation.