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Can You File a Diminished Value Claim After an Arizona Car Crash?

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Aug 26, 2021 in Auto Accidents

photographing damaged car with smartphoneMany car crash victims know firsthand how much a crash can diminish a vehicle’s value. In many cases, vehicles could be just one more accident away from being declared a total loss by the insurance company. Many car dealerships will automatically deduct a certain percentage from a car’s trade-in value if the vehicle suffered frame damage in a crash.

Is there any way to recover the lost value of your vehicle?

The short answer is yes, you can try to file a diminished value claim. Below, learn more about these claims, including when you may be able to file one and what you can include in such a claim.

If you were injured in a crash caused by another driver’s negligence, give Phillips Law Group a call today to discuss your potential legal options. There are no upfront fees or legal obligations for our services, and our firm has secured millions on behalf of Arizona car crash victims.

Filing a Diminished Value Claim in Arizona

There are a few things to know about filing these types of claims in this state. First, you must file a claim within two years of the accident, or you will be barred from doing so.

You are barred from filing a claim for damage from a crash that was your fault or if it was caused by something besides a collision, like vandalism. You are also barred from recovering compensation under uninsured motorist insurance coverage.

The diminished value of a vehicle is determined by subtracting the vehicle’s resale value immediately after the crash from the resale value of the vehicle before the crash. However, you can also account for damage to your vehicle from poor repair work in your diminished value claim.

An Appellate Court ruling in Oliver v. Henry held that you are not required to sell your vehicle to establish your vehicle’s diminished value. The court ruling also said accident victims may have trouble selling their vehicle, which could result in delays and depreciation in the sale price. The court said testimony from an appraisal expert is sufficient to prove the diminished value of a vehicle.

Appraisal experts gather evidence to help determine the diminished value of a claim, including things like:

  • Repair estimates
  • Pictures of the damage to your vehicle
  • Records of maintenance done on the vehicle
  • Market data about your vehicle

The appraisal expert should then be able to review the data and use his or her experience to make an accurate determination of the value of your vehicle.

It is important not to just hire someone claiming to be an expert on diminished value claims. You need someone with experience who understands how to be successful and recover the most money for a damaged vehicle. You may want to ask the person you are thinking of hiring how many times he or she has given a deposition or been called to testify in court.

You should strongly consider hiring one attorney to handle your injury claim and diminished value claim. You want to be sure your claims are in good hands. The last thing you want to deal with is concern about how these claims will turn out, particularly because you are already dealing with an injury.

Why Should I Consider Filing a Diminished Value Claim?

If you do not file a diminished value claim, you may never recover the lost value of your vehicle. It may not be possible to return your vehicle to its pre-accident condition; in some cases, repairs can leave a vehicle structurally compromised and weakened.

Another factor to consider is all the damage to your vehicle may not have been discovered. That means it went unrepaired, which can affect your vehicle’s resale value if you resell it or trade it in when you buy a different car. Car buyers are often reluctant to buy vehicles that have already been in an auto accident.

Many people need every penny from trading a car in or reselling it to be able to afford a down payment on another vehicle. They simply cannot afford to lose money because of diminished value.

Have You Been Injured in a Crash? Call Phillips Law Group Today

One of the most important phone calls you can make after a car crash is to a Phoenix vehicle accident lawyer. You should not count on the insurance company to offer full compensation for your damages. They routinely lowball crash victims and look for any reason to deny a claim, no matter how unfair it may seem.

If you have a lawyer helping you, your odds of success go up dramatically. In fact, those who hire attorneys often recover more than crash victims who do not.

There are no risks in contacting Phillips Law Group, as we do not charge any upfront fees. Our attorneys do not get paid unless our clients get paid.

Call Phillips Law Group today to learn more. 1-800-706-3000

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