Diminished Value Claims in Virginia
When a motor vehicle is involved in an accident, it can suffer significant damage. Even if it is repaired, the vehicle’s value may become diminished when the owner attempts to resell the vehicle or trade it in. Many prospective car buyers will check carfax reports to determine if a car has been involved in a previous accident. Where a reduction in value occurs, even though the car has been repaired, the reduction in value is referred to as the “diminished value” of the vehicle.
Section § 46.2-1600 of the Virginia Code defines Diminished Value as:
“Diminished value compensation” means the amount of compensation that an insurance company pays to a third party vehicle owner, in addition to the cost of repairs, for the reduced value of a vehicle due to damage.
In Virginia, a vehicle owner can file a diminished value claim to recover the amount of money lost due to this decrease in value. A good personal injury lawyer can help a claimant in recovering money for both the personal injury claim and the diminished value claim.
A diminished value claim is a type of property damage claim that seeks to recover the difference between the pre-accident value of the vehicle and its post-repair value. In Virginia, the at-fault party’s insurance company is usually responsible for paying the diminished value claim if the vehicle owner can prove the reduction in value. However, many insurance companies can be reluctant to pay the full diminished value and this is where a personal injury lawyer can be helpful.
A personal injury lawyer can assist in gathering evidence to support the diminished value claim. This evidence may include expert appraisals and testimony from auto industry professionals. Additionally, a lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to try to reach a fair settlement for the diminished value losses.
In many cases, the diminished value claim may be pursued alongside a personal injury claim. For example, if the accident resulted in injuries to the vehicle’s occupants, the personal injury lawyer can include the diminished value claim as part of the overall settlement. This approach can be especially beneficial because it allows the vehicle owner to recover both the cost of the repairs and the loss in value.
If you have been injured in an accident and have suffered substantial damage to your vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injuries, as well as diminished in value to your motor vehicle. Contact one of our attorneys today for a free consultation to determine if we can help you recover compensation for your losses.