If you’ve been in a car accident, you know how difficult it can be to protect yourself financially, especially while your heart’s still racing. Along with any emergency medical needs, police reports and dealings with insurance companies, an accident affects you in another important way, especially when you want to sell or trade your vehicle in later. The value of your car has now been permanently lowered.
How does an accident affect my car value?
When your vehicle is damaged in an accident, your car may suffer Diminishment in Value. Even after repairs, the value of your vehicle will be lower than it would have been had your vehicle never been damaged in the first place. Even if there is no remaining visible signs of damage, any insurance claim attached to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), will show up on your vehicle’s history report. If a potential buyer asks whether your vehicle has been in an accident, Arizona requires even private sellers to disclose all prior damage caused by accidents. This includes when trading in your vehicle.
What is Diminished Value?
Diminished Value is the difference between the fair market value of the property (your vehicle) immediately before the occurrence and its fair market value after it is repaired.
Can I Collect Diminished Value?
So long as another party is at fault for the damage to your vehicle, Arizona law requires the at fault party to compensate you for any proven diminished value of your vehicle.
How Do I Collect Diminished Value?
The most effective way to obtain compensation for Diminished Value is to hire an expert to prepare a Diminished Value Report. This report must include the methodology used to determine Diminished Value and a recognized authority that supports the assessment.
If you’ve been in an accident that was the other driver’s fault, you are entitled to compensation, which may include the diminished value of your vehicle. An experienced lawyer can help you recover all of your losses.