Can I File For a Diminished Value Claim For a Car Accident in Miami, Florida?
Being the victim of a car accident in the state of Florida is no joke. Not only do you have damage to your vehicle and possibly even long-term injuries, but your car may suffer permanent damage as the result of another person's negligence. If you ever go to sell your car, you must disclose that it was in an accident, which will undoubtedly impact the amount you are willing to recoup.
You may be wondering whether you have any recourse in this type of situation, and you just might. You may be able to file what is known as a diminished value claim.
Understanding Diminished Value
It's one thing if you drive a much older car that is worth, at most, $500 if you were to trade it in today. However, say you drive a car off the lot, and the next day you are rear ended by a speeding driver. No matter how small the damage, if your car was in an accident, it will lose some of its value, and that value can never be recovered.
When a car has diminished value, this means that the next buyer will either not want to buy the car or will offer you less as a result of the car being in an accident. This is known as the "diminished value" of the car.
You may be able to file a claim for diminished value against the other driver's insurance company to recoup some of, if not all of, that money. You can file this claim in addition to your damages claim against the other driver. In other words, not only will he have to pay to have your car fixed, but he will also have to compensate you for the value you lost as a result of his actions.
Calculating Diminished Value
How can you know how much value in your car you've lost as the result of an accident? Insurance companies use something known as the "17c formula" to calculate diminished value. If the insurance company makes you an offer based on the 17c formula, decline it right away. You may end up accepting an amount that is much lower than what the car's diminished value truly is.
For instance, say the insurance company offers you $450 in diminished value. This might seem fair, so you take it. But when you go to sell the car a few years later, you discover that the car's value dropped 30% as a result of the accident you had years before. Suddenly, that $450 figure proves to be grossly unfair…and it's too late to do anything about it.
The amount of diminished value the insurance company is willing to give you may not be as fair as they claim. Remember, insurance companies try to hold onto their money because if they didn't, they would go out of business. A Miami car accident lawyer with experience in this field can review the offer and advise you of whether to accept it or not.
Roll Up Your Sleeves For Negotiations
After you've filed your claim for diminished value, your work is not complete. Be prepared for the insurance company to try to negotiate you down to what will probably be a number much less than the one you're asking for. Do not back down. After all, the insurance company isn't the one who took the loss on a brand new asset – you are.
If you feel like the insurance company is being too intimidating and you are not up for the challenge, a Miami car accident lawyer can step in and make sure you ultimately walk away with a settlement offer you're happy with.
Need to File a Diminished Value Claim in the State of Florida? We Can Help!
If you have been in a car accident in the state of Florida, you should absolutely file a claim for diminished value, especially if your vehicle suffered serious damages as a result. If you ever go to sell that car, you're going to take a loss on the value that was stripped from it in the accident, so you might as well try to recoup some of that money up front.
If you are concerned you will not be able to file the claim correctly or on time, a Miami car accident lawyer can help. We know how to deal with insurance companies who try to be sparing with their settlement offers.
If you would like to speak with one of the experienced lawyers on our team, fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 305-928-2909. We will gladly do the necessary paperwork so that you don't have to. Rest easy knowing that you filed your claim correctly the first time. Call us today!