After your car has been repaired after an auto accident, there is a little-known claim called a Diminished Value Claim. It’s pretty much a secret claim because no one really demands compensation for it because they don’t know about it. No matter how good your auto body shop is, they can never repair your vehicle to the same quality it was before the accident. It is simply worth less than it was before the accident, even it was repaired. When you decide to sell your vehicle, the diminished value will be definitely considered by the potential buyer. Why do you think people want to know how many car accidents your car has been in? When an insurance company pays for the repairs on your vehicle, do not expect them to offer this compensation. They barely even offered you compensation for your loss of use claim, how do you expect them to offer you money for the diminished value of your car? They won’t. You have to do it yourself. You have to make the claim. When you make the demand for it, some insurance companies will refuse to pay for this damage. Some will even say that this claim doesn’t even exist. That there is no such thing as diminished value. They are wrong. Diminished value does exist, and it is a claim that you can make.
Diminished value is the difference between the fair market price of a vehicle before an accident and after an accident, after repairs are made. In Merchant Shippers Ass’n v. Kellogg Exp. & Draying Co. (1946) 28 Cal. 2d 594, 600, the court stated the following: “if the damaged property cannot be completely repaired, the measure of damages is the difference between the value before the injury and its value after the repairs have been made, plus the reasonable cost of making the repairs.” (See also Byrne v. Western Pipe & Steel Co. of California (1927) 81 Cal. App. 270; Brown v. Roland (1940) 40 Cal. App. 2d Supp. 825) While the court doesn’t specifically state “diminished value”, the principle is there. It is acknowledged by the court that diminished value does exist and it is a measure of damage that is compensable. Need help with your auto accident? Call The Law Firm of R. Sam for a free consultation. If you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. If you’re injured in a traffic jam, call R. Sam.