Understanding Diminished Value
Jan. 27, 2022
In Mississippi, motor vehicle owners involved in accidents can file a diminished value claim to obtain compensation for the reduced value of their vehicle as a result of a collision. A diminished value claim is filed as part of a property damage claim after car accidents.
Consider contacting The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC in Flowood, Mississippi, to investigate your case and calculate the diminished value of your vehicle. Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr. is an experienced and results-driven car accident attorney who can assist you with filing a diminished value claim. His law firm handles car accident cases in and around Flowood, Clinton, Richland, Pearl, Brandon, and throughout Rankin County.
What Is Diminished Value?
Diminished value is the reduction or loss of value that a motor vehicle may suffer as a result of being involved in a car accident. If the owner of a motor vehicle can demonstrate a reduction in value, they can file a diminished value claim to obtain compensation for the decrease in value.
In other words, diminished value refers to a reduction in the market value of your motor vehicle as a result of a collision. Diminished value damages can be recovered on top of seeking reimbursement for the cost of repairs.
Diminished value damages are calculated by subtracting the vehicle’s resale value after the crash (before any repairs are made) from the value’s resale value after the accident. The purpose of a diminished value claim is to recoup any money your car’s worth has lost as a result of being damaged in a car crash. Any motor vehicle is worth significantly less after an accident.
Types of Diminished Value
In Mississippi, insurance companies recognize three types of diminished value (DV):
Inherent diminished value. This type of DV claim refers to the reduction in the vehicle’s resale value even after it has been repaired following the collision. Inherent diminished value means that the market value of your vehicle decreased because it was in a car crash.
Repair-related diminished value. This type of DV claim refers to the reduction in the vehicle’s resale value if the vehicle was not repaired properly following the collision. For example, the vehicle may still have structural damages or visual defects after the repairs.
Immediate diminished value. This type of DV claim refers to the difference between the vehicle’s market value before the accident and immediately after the accident before the owner had a chance to make the necessary repairs.
Consider speaking with a skilled car accident attorney to determine what type of diminished value claim you should make in your specific case.
How to File a Diminished Value Claim
Before filing a diminished value claim, you need to determine the market (resale) value of your vehicle before the accident (on the date of the crash) and calculate the market value before and after the repairs are made. An insurance company may try to undervalue the market value before the accident in an attempt to pay less in diminished value damages.
Consider working with a skilled attorney to help calculate the diminished value of your motor vehicle properly and pursue compensation for the reduction in resale value by filing a property damage claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. When filing a diminished value claim, you need to submit the following types of evidence to support your claim:
Photos of the vehicle damage and photos of the accident scene
Documentation of vehicle damage and repair costs
It is vital to keep in mind that there is a limited amount of time to bring a diminished value claim. In Mississippi, the statute of limitations (the time limit) for DV claims is three years. Under Mississippi law, car owners cannot pursue a diminished value claim if they were at fault for the accident or if their vehicle was damaged by something other than a collision.
How an Experienced Car Accidents Attorney Can Help
Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr. can advise you on your options for recouping the difference between your car’s resale value before and after the accident. With an office in Flowood, Mississippi, The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC also serves clients in Clinton, Richland, Pearl, Brandon, and throughout Rankin County.