An unexpected car accident can affect victims in a number of ways. Seeking compensation for damages can be enough of a struggle without having to deal with your car losing value.
If you weren’t aware, being involved in a car accident can cause the value of your vehicle to plummet – and your insurer may attempt to take advantage of you as a result. In the case that your insurance company is giving you a hard time in recovering compensation for your vehicle, know that there are ways to seek fair compensation.
This is best done through a diminished value claim with the help of a skilled and experienced car accident attorney.
For a better estimate on your vehicle’s diminished value, and assistance towards securing compensation from these damages, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns at (713) 766-0075.
What Is Diminished Value?
If you have recently been involved in a car accident, the value of your vehicle can decline as a result. This reduction in the worth of your vehicle before the time of the accident to after the damage was done creates the “diminished value.”
It is often assumed that once your vehicle has been in an accident, it has been damaged in some way that can alter the function of the vehicle as a whole. Even if repair work is done on your vehicle, the car is considered to be changed from its original condition. If your insurer is not willing to provide compensation for costly parts, then you may end up having to use second-rate parts that can further lower your car’s value.
Texas requires that you reveal the accident history of a vehicle when selling it. Given the concept of diminished value, the original value of your vehicle will not be the same. A buyer will likely seek a lower price on a car that has an accident history.
Variables That Contribute to Diminished Value
If you have been involved in a car accident and want to know the extent of the diminished value of your vehicle, a knowledgeable car accident attorney can help you to better understand your situation.
When it comes to diminished value, the following variables are taken into consideration when calculating the loss in value:
- Severity and type of damage sustained in the accident
- Costs to repair the vehicle
- Quality of repairs made
- Market trend value of your vehicle
- Value of similar cars in similar conditions
Aside from damages sustained, certain pre-existing factors can affect how much your vehicle is affected by diminished value. These factors include:
Age of Your Vehicle
If your car is more than seven years old, it can be more difficult to seek compensation for damage from your car insurance company. However, it is best to consult an attorney, given your vehicle may still be worth more than your insurance company is admitting.
Make and Model of Your Car
The diminished value of your vehicle can vary depending on the type of car you own. For example, the diminished value on a luxury car will likely be higher than your average passenger car.
Aside from the market value of your car, the use of the vehicle can impact the value. If you have an excessive amount of miles, seeking compensation can be more of a challenge.
Your Vehicle’s Accident History
If your vehicle has a pre-existing history of accidents, then you may face a higher diminished value. If numerous incidents have impacted the value of your vehicle, insurers will be less apt to pay for the damages.
To determine the projected diminished value of your vehicle after an accident, consult your insurance company. Then seek experienced Houston car accident attorneys to help you take the next steps towards full recovery.
Evidence Used To Support Your Diminished Value Claim
When recuperating from an accident, it is important to consider the diminished value, so that you can calculate accumulated losses. Certain elements can help validate your diminished value claim, including:
- The accumulative loss value of your vehicle
- The dollar amount of vehicle damages
- Your insurance policy on diminished value
- Damage repair estimates
- Receipts for damage repairs
- A list of damage repairs
To build a strong diminished value claim, we recommend that you keep a record of all estimates and receipts, and relay this information to your attorney. Establishing proof of the necessary evidence is integral to determining a more accurate amount of compensation.
Making a Texas Diminished Value Claim
In the state of Texas, you have two (2) years from the date of the accident to file a diminished value claim. However, please be aware that you CANNOT file a claim if you were the at-fault party in the accident.
In order to file a claim, you will need to determine if your insurer – or the other driver’s – covers diminished value. A qualified attorney can help you to determine what insurance policy applies to your particular situation and can represent you in your dealings with the insurance company.
Houston Car Accident Attorneys Ready To Fight For You
If you have been involved in a car wreck caused by another individual’s negligence, know that you may be eligible for compensation. Our goal is to help those involved in car accidents to receive the maximum amount of compensation available to them – including recovery for diminished vehicle value and damages.
Insurance companies may hesitate to pay you a fair settlement, however, you should never settle for something less than you deserve. By gathering essential evidence, and exercising our years of experience, trust that we will help you secure what is rightfully yours.
To assess your diminished value and seek fair compensation, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns today at (713) 766-0075.