If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you may have heard about the concept of “diminished value.” It’s an important but often misunderstood term that comes into play when you’re seeking full compensation after a car accident.
Below, we’ll break down what diminished value claims are and why they matter, especially if you’re in Atlanta. We’ll simplify the legal jargon, provide clear explanations, and show you how consulting an Atlanta Diminished Value Claims Lawyer can make a significant difference in your case.
So, whether you’re a first-time claimant or simply looking to understand your rights better, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today. At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we’ll always endeavor to make sure you can receive every penny you may be owed.
Upon our first consultation, we can review your case to help you understand whether you still have damages to recover and provide an actionable, step-by-step plan for how to do so. New clients can schedule a free, confidential case evaluation with no obligation today by using this link or calling 833-254-2923.
After an Accident, When Should I Reach Out to an Atlanta Diminished Value Claims Attorney?
Right after an accident, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed — especially if you know you’re going to have to consider or calculate any potential loss to your vehicle’s value. Luckily, this is where an Atlanta diminished value claims attorney can step in.
Immediately after the accident, your first priority should be seeking any necessary medical attention. Next, make sure to contact the police to file an accident report.
While doing so, be sure to also secure the other driver’s contact and insurance information and take steps to document the scene. Typically, this should include photographing the accident site, collecting any witness statements (and the witness’s contact information), and noting any other conditions that could have impacted the accident.
Then, once the initial chaos has settled, it’s time to assess the situation.
Check your vehicle for damages, even if they appear minor. Sometimes, even seemingly small dents or scratches can impact your vehicle’s value.
If you need to proceed with repairs, make sure to choose a reputable repair shop and make sure they use high-quality OEM (i.e., “original equipment manufacturer”) parts. Depending on the nature of your repairs, you should be able to tell whether your car will be affected by diminished value.
Once you grasp the concept of diminished value and believe it applies to your case, it’s time to reach out to an Atlanta Diminished Value Claims Attorney. They’ll be able to advise you on whether you have a valid claim and help you navigate the complexities of Georgia law.
What Is Diminished Value?
After a vehicle has been in an accident, even if it has been perfectly and painstakingly repaired, you’re not going to receive the same amount of money if you try to sell it. This is because a new buyer will be wary of the vehicle because it has been involved in an accident.
This difference in pre vs. post-accident ‘worth’ is what we mean by ‘diminished value.’
To combat this loss, the vehicle’s owner may consider filing a ‘diminished value claim.’ This can help them recover the difference between that pre and post-accident value and ultimately compensate the owner if the accident occurred due to someone else’s negligence.
Traditionally, several factors will impact the extent of your vehicle’s diminished value. These include:
Accident Severity: The more severe the accident, the higher the potential for diminished value (because extensive damage will often deter new buyers).
Repair Quality: Poorly executed repairs that don’t use OEM parts will lower your vehicle’s value.
Vehicle Make and Model: Different vehicles will depreciate differently, so some cars may experience a higher or lower diminished value simply based on their reputation and demand.
Mileage: A vehicle with higher mileage will experience a greater diminished value because it’s already assumed to have more wear and tear.
How Is Diminished Value Calculated?
Your vehicle’s diminished value can be calculated in a number of different ways by several different parties. Traditionally, there are three common methods used to calculate diminished value: The 17c Formula, market analysis, and expert appraisal.
Let’s break each down below:
Insurance companies use the 17c Formula to estimate your vehicle’s diminished value.
To do so, they’ll first look at the pre-accident value of your car, then they’ll consider how old your car is and its condition before the accident. Next, they’ll figure out a percentage (i.e., a ‘reduction factor’) based on these factors.
For example, if your car is relatively new and in great shape, the percentage might be lower.
Finally, they’ll multiply this percentage by your car’s pre-accident value. The result is your estimated diminished value.
So, for example, let’s say your three-year-old car was in an accident. Before the accident, it was worth $20,000, and after the accident, it’s been repaired to look like new.
Now, let’s assume that the 17c formula, when applied to your specific case, calculates a reduction factor of 10%. This means that the accident history has caused your car’s value to drop by 10%.
Multiply the pre-accident value ($20,000) by the reduction factor (10% or 0.10)
$20,000 x 0.10 = $2,000
So, according to the 17c formula, your car’s diminished value in this example is $2,000.
Market analysis is a bit easier to determine, as it simply requires one to look at what amount similar cars to your own are selling for in your area. Here, your research should essentially examine how an accident affects the sticker price.
How much are similar vehicles selling for (with no relevant accident history)? How much are similar vehicles selling for after experiencing an accident?
The difference between these two numbers will give you an idea of what your car’s diminished value is. Take the following for example:
Let’s say a car like yours without an accident history sells for $20,000.
But a car just like yours, but with an accident history, sells for only $18,000.
That $2,000 difference is your estimated diminished value.
An ‘expert appraiser’ is like a car detective. They’ll carefully examine your vehicle — and the details of your accident — to figure out its diminished value, and then they’ll look at factors like the specific damage your car experienced, how it was repaired, and the parts used.
Appraisers will use this information to come up with an exact amount for your diminished value. At its core, this method is actually the most precise but can often be more involved.
After an accident, a diminished value claim can help you secure compensation for any gap in your car’s value before and after the accident. It recognizes that even though the repairs might make the car look like new, its history of being in an accident can still negatively impact its value when it comes time to sell or trade it.
If the accident was caused by another party’s negligence, you should consider filing a diminished value claim with their insurance company. To file a diminished value claim, you can follow these steps:
Gather Evidence: Begin by documenting the accident scene, collecting key witness statements, and filing a police report. Then, make sure to document other critical information like repair estimates, invoices, and any specialist appraisals.
Consult a Diminished Value Claims Lawyer: Before filing your claim, make sure to consult an attorney. They’ll be able to advise you on the easiest next steps to streamline the process but also double-check that you have all the evidence you’ll need to strengthen your case from the get-go.
Notify the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company: If another driver was at fault, inform their insurance company that you intend to file a diminished value claim.
Negotiate: You’ll likely need to negotiate with the insurance company after they review your claim. This is where your lawyer comes in. Working with a skilled attorney will ensure that you can tap the legal know-how you’ll need to proceed here and circumvent any intimidation techniques the insurance company might try to use.
The Benefits of Working With a Diminished Value Claims Law Firm
At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, our team understands the ins and outs of diminished value claims. We know that just a handful of factors can quickly make (or break) your case, so we’ll be on the lookout to ensure your claim is filed as smoothly as possible.
Plus, we can work with local experts to ensure that you receive the best estimate of your vehicle’s diminished value possible, as this is the best way to make sure you’re not leaving money on the table.
So don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today. New clients can schedule a free, confidential case evaluation with no obligation today by using this link or calling 833-254-2923.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
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