Did you know that in accidents where your car’s repairable, you’re likely entitled to money for “diminished value?” Learn more about it in this post.

Think car accident claims are relatively easy to understand? They can be.

But “diminished value” is one of those ideas that complicates everything.

In theory, “diminished value” refers to the idea that the resale value of your car falls after an accident simply because it has been in a wreck. For example, a local auto dealer won’t be able to get as much money for a car if they have to disclose that it was previously involved in an accident. Consumers simply don’t like those cars as much, and won’t pay top dollar for one, even if it is in perfect operating and aesthetic condition.

If someone else causes damage to your car, you can recover money for the resulting “diminished value.”

Sounds pretty fair, doesn’t it?

But, Diminished Value Gets Complicated when Insurance Companies Get Involved

Whenever you have repairs made to your car because of an accident caused by another driver, diminished value is a possibility. And in fact, you should be able to recover it.

However, insurance companies don’t want to pay for diminished value for obvious reasons. With an accurate appraisal created by a diminished value expert you may be able to change the insurance company’s mind about what they should really pay.

3 Kinds of Diminished Value

Okay, now it’s time to get your mind spinning a little. There’s more than just a single type of “diminished value:”

  1. Immediate Diminished Value: In the rare event that your case goes to court, this standard gets used. It’s simply the difference in resale value of your car immediately before and after damage has occurred.
  2. Inherent Diminished Value: This is the most widely used standard. With inherent diminished value, it’s assumed your car has been repaired in the best way possible. In practical terms, it’s the amount of money your car’s value has been reduced by now that it has been repaired.
  3. Repair Related Diminished Value: Some repairs aren’t optimal. For example, your car may have some scratches on it, even after repair. This diminished value accounts for the amount of your car’s value lost to those less-than-optimal repairs.

What to Do if You Have a “Diminished Value” Claim

Getting fair compensation for diminished value is easier when you have a personal injury lawyer on your side. Most personal injury lawyers frequently utilize the services of a diminished value expert to help clients recover these damages.

Consider talking with one if you have concerns about the way you’re being treated by the insurance company.