What is the Diminished Value Law in Florida?

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to understand what happens next. After you have received proper medical treatment, it is important to contact a trusted and professional car accident attorney. Your attorney will help you through every step of the process, from filing an insurance claim, to dealing with the police, to aiding with any medical procedures. A common question following an auto accident is, “how much will I get for my car?” Your attorney will work with you to help determine the value of your vehicle.

Diminished Value

Florida is a diminished value state, which means you may be entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle after an auto accident. Diminished Value is the loss in market value that occurs when a vehicle is wrecked and repaired. A reasonable consumer will not pay the same price for a wrecked, then repaired vehicle, as they will for a vehicle with no accident history. Even if the repairs were done well, the vehicle will still lose value.   The statute of limitations on diminished value claims is 4 years. This means that after 4 years, you will not be able to claim the diminished value of your vehicle. Additionally, if the damage to your vehicle was caused by something other than a collision, you will not be able to file a claim for diminished value. Similarly, if you were the at-fault party in the accident, you will not be able to file a diminished value claim.

Types of Diminished Value

Diminished value may apply to your vehicle after an auto accident in a few different ways. Here are the three types of diminished value:
  • Repair-Related Diminished Value

Repair-related diminished value is the loss of value due to the inability to perfectly repair the vehicle. This means that the car is now worth less after repairs than it was before the accident.
  • Immediate Diminished Value

Immediate diminished value is the difference in resale value of a vehicle before damage has occurred, and the resale value of the vehicle after damage has occurred before being repaired.
  • Inherent Diminished Value

The most widely recognized and accepted form of diminished value is inherent diminished value. This ensures the best quality repair has been achieved. Inherent diminished value is defined as the amount in which the resale value of a repaired vehicle has been reduced by an accident. It is also the basis upon which any supplemental form of diminished value would be added.

Getting Compensation in a Diminished Value Claim

Florida law allows drivers to recover the difference between a car’s pre-crash value and its after-crash value. A licensed and experienced personal injury attorney will assist you through every step of the claims process to ensure you get every penny you are entitled to. Compensation for your diminished value claim depends on the following:
  • Fault

You may only seek compensation for diminished value from an at-fault driver. If you are found to be at fault for the accident, you will not be able to pursue a diminished value claim.
  • Time Limits

As previously mentioned, there is a four-year statute of limitations to file a diminished value claim. After the four-year window has passed, you will not be able to file a diminished value claim for your vehicle.
  • Appraisals

Your vehicle will be properly appraised for the value of the car both before the accident occurred and after the repairs have been made. An experienced appraiser uses a variety of metrics to determine the amount of value a vehicle has lost, including an analysis of the auto market in your area, inspection of the collision damage, and thorough knowledge of how damage history affects auto depreciation.
  • Evidence

There are many ways to prove the loss in the value of your vehicle. For example, if the repairs didn’t restore the car to its exact condition before the crash, you must show adequate evidence to support this, such as copies of work orders outlining which parts were used and how they affect a car’s performance. If the car doesn’t look the same, you should have photos of mismatched paint, gaps in seals, and other aesthetic differences.

Who Is Responsible for Paying A Diminished Value Claim?

The Florida statutes addressing the settlement of motor vehicle claims give legal standing to a vehicle owner to pursue a diminished value claim from an at-fault driver or that driver’s insurance company. In order to successfully prove liability in a car accident case, you must show that the other driver knowingly acted in a way that was negligent and reckless.

Conclusion

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and are looking to file a diminished value claim, it is important to contact a trusted and professional personal injury attorney. Your attorney will help you through every step of the process while discussing realistic resolutions with you to ensure you receive the compensation that you deserve. Our firm has the experience to help you get that compensation.. Allen Law Firm’s team of personal injury lawyers are trained professionals that can help you through this difficult time.