How Much Can an Accident Affect the Value of My Car?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on October 9, 2019 and updated on March 3, 2022.

car damage appraisalIf you were involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you have the right to pursue a claim for the losses that you have suffered. The insurance company will generally compensate you for the cost of repairs to your car, but you may also be eligible to seek compensation for the loss of your vehicle’s value. This is known as a diminished value claim.

If you need assistance with your diminished value claim, contact an experienced Maryland car accident lawyer at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices. We can discuss the claims process in detail in a free consultation.

Defining Diminished Value

Once a vehicle is involved in an accident, its value typically drops. A repaired vehicle can no longer be considered original. Additionally, many people will not purchase a vehicle that has been in an accident, so if you later decide to sell the vehicle, it may be difficult to do so due to the vehicle’s accident history.

Diminished value is the difference in the value of a vehicle before and after the accident. It is different for each vehicle. Certain states such as Maryland allow accident victims to pursue compensation for the diminished value of their vehicle, in addition to the costs to repair the vehicle.

Evaluating a Diminished Value Claim

There is not an accepted standard formula to calculate diminished value since every vehicle and their circumstances are different. Diminished value may vary greatly from one vehicle to another. The potential value of a claim depends on a number of key factors.

Using an independent appraiser is one way to determine an estimate of the lost value of the vehicle. An experienced car accident lawyer from our firm can gather the appropriate evidence and submit a diminished value claim on your behalf.

Factors that Affect a Car’s Value After a Crash

The amount of your vehicle’s diminished value depends on a number of factors, including the following:

  • Year of the vehicle
  • Make and model of the vehicle
  • Condition of the vehicle prior to the accident
  • Mileage of the vehicle
  • Type of damage sustained
  • Severity of damages
  • The work required to repair the vehicle
  • The quality of the repairs
  • Whether the vehicle had any prior accident history

Speaking to a lawyer who is knowledgeable about diminished value claims can help you gather more information about this process, determine the approximate value of such a claim and whether a claim of this nature is worth pursuing.

Time Limit to Submit a Diminished Value Claim

States that allow diminished value claims impose a deadline by which the claim must be made. This is known as the statute of limitations.

In Maryland, the statute of limitations for diminished value claims is typically three years from the date of the accident. Legal action must be taken within this time period. Otherwise, the claim will likely be barred and you will not be able to recover damages for it.

Contact Us Today for More Information

The insurance company may not offer a value that you believe is fair under the circumstances. If this happens, it is in your best interest to contact our legal team at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices. We can help you prepare the initial claim and provide supportive evidence for your diminished value claim.

We offer a free consultation so you can learn more about your legal options. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we do not charge upfront fees for our services if we help you recover compensation.

Contact us today ay 410-244-7005 to get started on your claim.