The term “diminished value” is normally used to describe the economic value lost after property is damaged. When dealing with car accidents, the term diminished value or “DV” is typically used when an automobile damaged in an accident is repaired, will never return to its pre-accident value or its original pre-accident condition.
Diminished value should not be confused with “depreciation.” Depreciation refers to the anticipated and predictable loss in value over time. All vehicles are subject to depreciation. Actually, all new vehicles begin the process of depreciation the moment they are driven off of the dealer’s lot.
In comparison, diminished value is described as a loss in monetary value due to a specific and unexpected negative occurrence like a car accident.
There are three types of diminished value that may occur after an accident:
- Repair-related diminished value: repairs are unable to bring the vehicle back to its original condition from before the accident therefore lowering the value of the vehicle.
- Immediate diminished value: the difference in resale value directly before and after the accident.
- Inherent diminished value: after the vehicle has been fully repaired, but the vehicle is still worth significantly less due to the existence of serious damage in its vehicle history (e.g., Carfax).
Not all vehicles qualify for diminished value claims. As a general rule, the following factors can disqualify a vehicle or make it very difficult to have a successful DV claim in Georgia:
- The vehicle does not have a substantial market value (usually vehicles valued under $10,000)
- The accident caused minimal damage (usually property damage under $3,000)
- The vehicle has excessive mileage (in excess of 100,000 miles)
- The vehicle is too old (normally older than 7 years)
- The vehicle was involved in a previous accident
- The vehicle was declared a total loss
In Georgia, you can make a claim or for diminished value directly to your own insurance company, even if you were at fault for the accident. By law, your insurance premium cannot be increased and your insurance company cannot cancel your coverage a result of a successful DV claim.
Diminished value claims are not easy, but with our years of experience in successfully dealing with diminished value claims caused by car accidents, we can help you and your car, get back on track.
Contact a skilled Georgia lawyer for assistance with a diminished value claim
Kaine Law represents clients in diminished value claims in cases arising from vehicle accidents and other incidents where property is damaged. To schedule an appointment with an experienced attorney, call us at 404-214-2001 or contact us online. We assist clients from offices in Atlanta, Conyers, Lawrenceville, and Stockbridge. Hablamos español.