If you’ve gotten into an accident with your motor vehicle, then, just by virtue of having been involved in an accident, your vehicle has almost certainly suffered an inherent loss to its overall value. This value loss is otherwise known as diminished value, and as a Florida plaintiff, you are entitled to assert a diminished value claim to recover the difference.
Diminished value come in several flavors, though all diminished value is founded on a common principle: that, following an accident, a vehicle’s market value diminishes as a result.
Inherent Diminished Value
Inherent diminished value is based on the market reality that – even with perfect repair work – a vehicle loses some of its value by virtue of the fact that it was involved in an accident. Even if a vehicle is in perfect condition, the existence of an accident history will diminish its resale value on the market. Further, in today’s digital world, accident histories cannot be hidden from potential buyers. The ubiquity of vehicle report services like Carfax have made inherent diminished value that much more certain.
Repair-Related Diminished Value
Repair-related diminished value is generally a factor when repairs were not perfect. Repair-related diminished value is an additional loss of value that is tacked on to your diminished value claim. If the repairs were conducted in a manner that is less than optimal, or in some way violates expectations, then your vehicle likely diminished in value even further (above and beyond the inherent diminished value).
Your diminished value claim should generally account for all the factors influencing the value of your vehicle following an accident. If repairs were conducted in a less than optimal manner, then your diminished value claim should account for both the inherent diminished value and the repair-related diminished value. These factors will combine to make your overall diminished value claim more significant.
Repair-Related Diminished Value Concerns
You may still have reservations about repair-related diminished value. In reality, repair-related diminished value claims are quite straightforward. Let’s take a quick look at some common concerns.
Both Minor and Major Repair Issues Qualify
The less than optimal repairs need not be related to major issues (i.e., engine repair or other structural concerns). In fact, you can account for repair-related diminished value even if the repair issue involves cosmetic damage and other minor problems.
Insurance Mandates May Require Poor Replacement Parts
Depending on your auto insurance coverage, you may be required to replace your original vehicle parts with lower-quality replacement parts. The use of these replacement parts will almost certainly have a significant downward effect on the market value of your vehicle, especially if the replacement part is not likely to be as reliable, safe, or cosmetically consistent as the original part that it is replacing.
Incomplete Repairs Are Compensable
Some repairs are simply left incomplete by the repair shop. You do not have to complete the repair in order to make a diminished value claim that includes the repair-related diminished value resulting from the incomplete repair. You are entitled to claim the addition diminished value of your vehicle resulting from the incomplete repair.
Pursuing a car accident diminished value claim is easier with the support of an experienced team of attorneys. Our team at Coffey Trial Law is committed to the success of your claims. Contact us today.