DIMINISHED VALUE ISN’T SOMETHING INSURANCE COMPANIES GENERALLY ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR RIGHT TO RECOVER!
If you’ve been in a car accident, you need to understand diminished value.
When you are in a car accident and it’s not your fault, the at-fault driver’s insurance will likely pay for the vehicle’s repair. The car looks and runs great, just like before the accident. Still, now that car is worth less. Once a car is in an accident, its perceived value diminishes. This loss in value is called “diminished value.” Potential buyers are concerned about the cars safety. They’re concerned about the potential for future problems related to the accident, despite the apparently adequate repairs. These days, companies like CarFax make any accidents easy for buyers to discover. As a result, when you go to sell or trade that car you will receive less. This is why it’s important to understand your right to file a diminished value claim.
You may be able to collect the diminished value of your vehicle from the insurance company.
Under Florida law, if you were not at fault in an accident and you can prove the diminished value of your vehicle, you can seek to recover it. Because an insurance company’s motivation is profit, not paying claims, Insurance companies don’t want you to know this. The insurer might even tell you that you do not have a right to seek such recovery. Even if you are well aware of your ability to make a diminished value claim, the insurance company will do it all it can to avoid payment or to pay you as little as possible.
The insurance company’s method of determining diminished value may leave you shortchanged.
Insurance companies often use a formula, sometimes known as “17(c),” to calculate diminished value. Basically, this formula involves initially putting a 10% cap on the claim. For example, if your car is worth $40,000, the insurance company’s formula limits recovery to no more than $4,000. The company then applies “modifiers” to decrease the recovery even more. Insurance companies will often try to convince you that this formula, which likely is presented under another name to avoid the stigma of 17(c), is the only method of determining diminished value. This simply is not true. You do not have to accept the insurance companies’ valuation. If necessary, you can present your own evidence of diminished value, based on an appraisal by an outside expert. Experts use other methods of determining diminished value and these methods are almost always more accurate and fair.
You have a limited amount of time to make a diminished value claim.
In Florida, you have 4 years from the date of the accident to file a legal action for diminished value. In reality, these cases rarely need a court battle. Insurance companies are far more likely to respond to negotiation as to diminished value if you are represented by an attorney. Because many cases can be negotiated without going to court, it is important to begin the claim well before the 4-year mark, leaving time for a settlement.
An experienced attorney can make your recovery of diminished value less stressful and more fair.
Dealing with insurance companies can be time-consuming and frustrating. Attorneys, like those at Lost Value Law, P.A., have the resources and experience to file your claim and deal with the insurance companies. In addition, our attorneys do not get paid unless you do. This is because payment is based on a percentage of your diminished value recovery, rather than an hourly rate. As a result, you can be sure they are working to truly get you what you are owed.
Please give us a call 888-717-5387 to discuss about your situation.