Hawk Law Group | May 24, 2023 | Car Accidents
Your automobile insurance policy might cover the damage when your car is in an accident. Collision and comprehensive insurance coverage are optional policies you can purchase with your liability insurance policy. Georgia requires all drivers to have minimum liability insurance coverage.
The insurance company that covers the damage to your vehicle is responsible for paying to repair or replace it. However, you could also have a diminished value claim against the insurance company. A motor vehicle diminishes in value whenever it is damaged or crashed, even if you repair the property damage.
What Are the Requirements for Filing a Diminished Value Claim in Georgia?
Insurance companies in Georgia must compensate you for the diminished value of your vehicle according to the terms of the policy. However, you must meet several requirements before recovering compensation for a claim of diminished property value.
A Thomson car accident attorney can determine if you meet the following requirements for a diminished value claim in Georgia:
Market Value and Age of Vehicle
Your vehicle must be less than ten years old. In addition, it must have a fair market value of at least $7,000 or more.
Excessive mileage can disqualify a vehicle for compensation for diminished value. Excessive mileage typically is 30,000 or more miles per year.
Has your vehicle sustained extensive property damage in a prior accident or other event? If so, your claim for diminished value could be denied.
You must have a clear title to the vehicle. Vehicles with salvage or rebuilt titles do not qualify for a diminished value claim.
Sustained Significant Damage
Unless your vehicle sustained significant damage, you are not entitled to compensation for diminished value. Significant damage is usually more than $500.
Other requirements and issues could impact whether you are successful with a claim for diminished value after a car accident. For example, if you signed a release of liability form for the insurance company, the company might have a legal basis for denying your claim.
How Much Is the Average Diminished Value Claim in Georgia?
Each claim is unique. Claims involve different factors that could impact the value. There is no required legal standard for determining the value of a diminished value claim.
As with other damages in a car accident claim, insurance companies seek to pay as little as possible to resolve the claim. Therefore, if the insurance company offers a settlement for a diminished value claim, the settlement offer could be much lower than the actual value of your damages.
Determining the value of your claim can be challenging. However, an experienced Thomson personal injury lawyer can help.
Your attorney will calculate the value of your vehicle based on how much it would be worth had it not been in an accident. Then, your attorney will collect evidence to establish the value of your vehicle, given the fact it was damaged. The difference between the two values is the amount of your diminished value claim.
Evidence in a diminished value claim could include market values from sources such as Carfax, Kelley Blue Book, and NADA. However, it could also include evidence from reputable car dealerships, mechanics, and body shops.
Types of Claims for Diminished Value After a Car Accident
You can file one of three types of diminished value claims after your car is repaired because of property damage. The claims are:
Inherent Diminished Value Claims
An argument that your car’s value is lower because of the collision, even though the vehicle has been repaired. You argue that parties will not pay as much for your vehicle because of its crash history.
Repair-Related Diminished Value Claims
If the repairs do not restore your vehicle to its prior condition, you could be entitled to compensation for the difference in value. Some damages might not be able to be repaired fully. For example, structural damage can result in permanent damage.
Immediate Diminished Value Claims
This claim represents the decrease in your vehicle’s value immediately after the collision without repairs. Because it is difficult to argue diminished value before repairs are completed, this type of claim is not used very often.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Diminished Value Claim in Georgia?
The statute of limitations for diminished value claims is typically four years. However, exceptions to the statute of limitations could alter the filing deadline. Therefore, it is wise to consult a Thomson personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a car accident to discuss your legal options.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
For more information, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.