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How to Offset Your Vehicle’s Diminished Value After a Crash

On Behalf of The Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer Sept. 6, 2022

A car crash can mean thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses and lost income. A collision is a massive disruption to your schedule. It may leave your vehicle in need of major repairs and you in need of medical support.

Given that you were not to blame for the collision, you likely expect the other driver’s insurance provider to fully reimburse you. You know that you can expect coverage for your vehicle repair costs following the crash and for hospital bills and lost wages. What’s about the effect of the collision and repairs on the overall value of your vehicle?

You May Have a Right to Claim a Vehicle’s Diminished Value

The cost to fix the damage to your vehicle is only one property damage cost that you may expect insurance to cover. Provided that there is still coverage available after you seek reimbursement for repair expenses, you can also make a claim related to your vehicle’s diminished value.

When you go to resell your vehicle on the secondhand market or you trade it in at a dealership toward the purchase of a newer vehicle, the record of the collision will likely reduce how much compensation you receive. The newer the vehicle at the time of the crash and the more prestige to the brand and model of the vehicle you drive, the more significant the financial impact of repairs, even if there is no longer any visible damage to the vehicle.

Your vehicle’s resale value could be thousands of dollars less because of a crash that you didn’t cause. Given that a vehicle is an investment in addition to a tool, you can potentially ask the courts for compensation for the diminished resale value of the vehicle after repairs.

What if Insurance Isn’t Enough?

Some drivers in Louisiana carry very little liability insurance and despite the possibility of causing catastrophic motor vehicle collisions. The other driver might only have $25,000 in property damage coverage, which may not be enough to cover repair costs and fully reimburse you for the diminished resale value of your vehicle.

Identifying expenses you will have to absorb because of a car crash will better prepare you for insurance negotiations or for the pursuit of compensation through the civil courts.