Did your car get damaged in an accident? Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC motorists are entitled to compensation after an automobile wreck caused by another. This includes diminished value compensation for the resulting decrease in resale value of their cars.
Most insurance carriers will pay for the repair of your car provided there is no dispute as to liability on the other driver’s part. Disputed liability is a different story, no matter how ridiculous the other side’s version is. Once liability is established, the at-fault driver’s carrier will pay.
Diminished value (DV) is a different matter. It is settled law that a car may suffer diminished value as a result of a collision and repair. If there is a CarFax report on your car, you can be sure its value will be negatively affected. Many people are unaware of the concept. No insurance carrier is going to voluntarily tell you of your entitlement to DV coverage. You have to claim it.
Thyden Gross and Callahan has extensive experience pursuing and winning diminished value claims. We can review your case and advise you on whether you have a claim to pursue. If so, we will offer to handle your claim on a contingency basis. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
What Is Diminished Value Compensation?
“Diminished value compensation” is 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.
Even if you can repair the car, CarFax and other companies will record its repair history. That is likely to reduce the resale value of your car. Imagine being on a car lot choosing between two cars identical in every respect except that one has been in a wreck. Which one would you pick?
Should You File a Diminished Value Claim?
Fundamental to establishing a DV claim is an opinion from an expert as to the amount of DV your car has suffered. Not all damaged cars are eligible for DV.
A 20-year old Honda with 200,000 miles will not qualify because of the cost of litigation. The make, model, year and mileage are the starting point for the determination.
The damage, as shown by the repair invoice is also relevant. Was there frame damage, or was it cosmetic? In a recent case of ours involving a Rolls Royce, the only damage was the replacement of a plastic cover for the rear bumper. There were three experts testifying in that case. The court ruled the DV to be $20,000.
There are several criteria for a diminished value claim:
- You are not the driver at fault in the accident.
- The accident that caused the damage must have occurred within the statute of limitations for your state.
- Diminished value claims are appropriate when the vehicle is valuable and the damage is significant.
Thyden Gross and Callahan Expert Diminished Value Claim Lawyer
John Thyden has expertise in winning diminished value compensation cases. He is a founding partner of Thyden Gross and Callahan.
He holds a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University and a Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics from New York University.