Diminished Value in Texas
When you are involved in a car crash in Austin, many problems arise. One of those problems is what to do about the damage to your vehicle. Generally, there are two possible outcomes on a vehicle damage claim:
Your vehicle is fixable and can be repaired;
or Your vehicle is declared a total loss and cannot be repaired.
Sometimes though, you are in a newer expensive vehicle, when another driver causes a collision with you. The car may be repairable, but you have lost value, what then? In Texas, you may be able to make a diminished value claim.
Imagine you want to sell your car after the collision. You must disclose it has been in a recent collision and been repaired. This may lower the value that you can sell the vehicle for. In basic terms, diminished value is the difference between the value of your car before a collision and the value of your car after a collision.
Proving diminished value can be done in a variety of ways, the most common of which is getting a report on the lost value from an authorized dealer. This can be done by contacting the dealership you bought the car from, a certified mechanic, or an online entity like Carfax. Once you have a report on the pre-accident value and the post-accident value, you can calculate the approximate diminished value for your claim.
Diminished value claims can add extra money to your damages after a collision and are useful tools in maximizing your recovery after a crash in Austin.If you have been injured in a car accident in Austin, call the attorneys at Funk and Associates today. We can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Texas allow Diminished value claims?
Yes, in some instances Texas does allow an individual that DID NOT cause the car accident to make a diminished value claim for the loss of market value to their vehicle after it is repaired. This does not mean every vehicle will qualify. For example, a very old car may not have suffered any diminished value as the result of a collision, after it was repaired. However, a brand new vehicle, which is subsequently repaired, may lose significant value due to a collision. Therefore, diminished value claims are evaluated on a case by case basis. Another variable is the insurance company itself. Certain companies are more apt to be fair than others. A call to your injury lawyer at Funk & Associates can give you some direction as to these matters.
Do Insurance companies pay diminished value?
A variety of factors will determine whether an insurance company will pay diminished value on a property damage claim in Texas. The age and condition of the vehicle, the make, model and year of the vehicle, the damages that were repaired and the insurance company involved will all factor in to whether a diminished value claim is paid or not.
How long does it take to settle a diminished value claim?
The time it takes to settle a diminished value claim depends on numerous factors. These may include, the insurance company involved, how much evidence is needed to prove the diminished value, the extent of the repairs and/or re-repairs, etc. Sometimes a diminished value expert must be hired (usually on more expensive cars) to truly prove up the diminished value of the vehicle.
How do I claim diminished value of my car after an accident?
If your vehicle was damaged in a collision caused by another driver, and you believe it has lost market value due to being in the collision, then you may present a diminished value claim to the at fault insurance company. Whether it will be paid or not is a different story.
How is diminished value of my car calculated? How do you prove diminished value?
It is difficult to prove exact diminished value for any one vehicle because placing a value on the vehicle will be a subjective assessment made by different individuals. The most effective way to calculate diminished value is to hire an expert specializing in this field. This is usually an expert in car pricing, local market demand, auction results, and repair costs, hidden damages to your vehicle, and a history with trial testimony. A simpler way is to obtain a print out or pricing sheet from the place in which you purchased the vehicle, which would include all the features, the costs associated with each, and the sale price. You can then request that the dealership calculate a new value based on the damage and repair to your vehicle. Once you have both, you can subtract the pre-collision value from the post-collision value and that is the diminished value of the car. You may also look at comparable vehicles to your own in the geographic area you are located.