If your vehicle was damaged in an accident, its value has decreased by more than just the repair cost. There are several reasons for this:
- Replacement parts are usually never as good of quality as original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) parts.
- Repairs can structurally compromise and weaken your vehicle.
- There might be undiscovered (and unrepaired) damage to your car.
- In some cases, it’s impossible to return a vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
- A serious collision may even void your factory warranty.
- Dealerships will not be able to sell your vehicle in a “certified pre-owned” program.
- Buyers are typically reluctant to purchase vehicles that have been in an auto accident.
Diminished Value in California: Diminution of Value
To account for this diminished value, here in California, you can file a “diminution of value” claim. After an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy should compensate you for your vehicle’s diminished value. However, it is important to note that recent changes in California law have not yet caught up with the times. In other words, insurance companies are still denying claims when they have no legal basis for doing so.
In California, you must file your diminution of value claim within three years of the date of the accident. If you miss this deadline, you will lose your right to bring your claim.
How an Accident Attorney Can Help You
Insurance companies are machines that are narrowly concerned with maintaining profit margins rather than fulfilling the needs of those affected by unfortunate accidents. For this reason, your insurance adjuster may undervalue or deny your diminution of value claim. The insurance company will always try to reduce its costs and save money.
The experienced accident lawyers at Negretti & Associates regularly handle diminution of value claims and can help you successfully navigate this process. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, we can discuss your situation and evaluate your case. Visit our Diminished Value Claims page to request a free case evaluation.