Filing a Diminished Value Claim in California

Can I Recover Compensation for the Diminished Value of My Vehicle?

vehicle valuesIf your vehicle was damaged in an accident and sent off for repairs, its resale value is likely to be less than what it was before the crash. This is true even if the repair shop was able to fully restore the vehicle.

You can seek compensation for the reduction in your repaired vehicle’s resale value, along with the cost of medical bills and other damages. Claims for resale value compensation are called diminished value claims.

Call our car crash lawyers in Sacramento today to discuss a diminished value claim and your crash injuries to learn how we may be able to help you. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.

What is Diminished Value?

The diminished value of a vehicle is the difference between what your vehicle would sell for as a used car with a clean accident history and what its resale value would be with an accident on its record.

An accident would diminish the resale value of your vehicle, as there is more demand for vehicles with clear accident records.

This holds true even if your vehicle was fully repaired and looks as if it was never involved in a crash. With Carfax reports readily available, a private buyer may not want to buy the vehicle or will try and negotiate a lower price due to the vehicle’s history. If a dealership agrees to buy the vehicle it will also make a lower offer.

What Does California Law Say About Diminished Value Claims?

California law allows accident victims to file a claim for compensation for the diminished value of a vehicle. There is a three-year time limit to file a claim from the date of the crash.

The claim, properly known as “diminution of value” only applies to drivers who are not at fault for the crash. If you were at fault for the accident, you would not qualify for a diminished value claim.

What Are the Types of Diminished Value?

There are three types of diminished value:

Inherent Diminished Value

This refers to when a vehicle loses its value simply because it was involved in an accident. Even if the vehicle is fully repaired, the blemish on its accident history report brings down its value.

These types of diminished value claims are the most common and most often accepted when pursuing compensation.

Repair-Related Diminished Value

If a vehicle is damaged in a crash and the repairs done to it are not exact or there is some other issue that arises due to the repairs, you may have a valid repair-related diminished value claim. The poor repair job and the accident have diminished the value of the claim.

Immediate Diminished Value

Vehicles lose value immediately after an accident before the owner has a chance to get any repairs done. The immediate diminished value of a vehicle is the difference in resale value of a car before the damage from the accident and the resale value before repairs were made.

How Do I Prove Diminished Value?

Your lawyer may need help from an auto appraiser who can help determine the value of the vehicle prior to the crash, with a clean record, and how much it would be worth post-repairs and accident.

If you have a repair-related diminished value claim, you may be able to enlist the expertise of a mechanic who might be able to determine exactly what the issues with repair are and how much it could diminish the value of the vehicle.

Need Help Filing a Claim? Call Us Today

If you were involved in an accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and damage to your property, including the diminished value of your vehicle.

Having a knowledgeable attorney on your side to help you through the process of filing a claim and dealing with the insurance company may be beneficial to you while you recover from your injuries. Our attorneys are prepared to be help you with every step of the legal process, all at no upfront cost to you.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options and we do not get paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Call 916-777-7777 to learn more.