After a car accident, you may primarily be focused on your physical recovery and getting your vehicle’s damage repaired as quickly as possible so that you can move on with your life. However, you may eventually realize that the resale value of your car may have been affected.
A diminished value claim can allow you to receive the difference between your car’s worth before and after a collision that was caused by another driver’s negligence. In New Jersey, you may be able to file a diminished value claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or your own if the driver is uninsured. Unfortunately, the claims process is often far from simple.
That’s why, at Judd Shaw Injury Law, we are determined to achieve the best results possible for each personal injury victim we help. We have dealt with numerous insurance companies in various auto accident and personal injury cases throughout New Jersey, so we know what it takes to get a successful resolution. Give us a call today at 1-866-909-6894 to schedule a free consultation regarding your diminished value car accident case.
Diminished Value Basics
If you were involved in a car accident caused by another driver and your car sustained minor to serious damage, you may be planning on getting your vehicle repaired.
The at-fault party’s insurance company should pay for your repair bills, in addition to any medical expenses and other damages. However, there is often more at stake than the simple cost of repairs – as the damage likely affected the car’s market value – even after being restored to good condition.
Diminished value insurance claims are made in order to compensate for the loss in value after a car has been damaged in an accident. Even if the car has been restored to working order, you will not be able to get the same resale value for a damaged and repaired car as you could if the car had never been involved in an accident. The difference in the resale price should be compensated for by the at-fault party or their insurance company.
According to carfax.com, the average amount that resale values go down is between $500 and $1700. This is the amount of money that you would lose if you sold the car after your accident, versus pre-accident. While this doesn’t apply to all cars, there are certain exceptions when it comes to the age of your vehicle. In general, cars lose market value after a collision.
How Diminished Value Works in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, the at-fault party must provide full compensation for property damage to the other party, including repair cost and the value of depreciation afterward. This is usually paid as part of an insurance settlement after a diminished value claim is filed with the at-fault party’s insurer. The insurance company may try to reduce the amount of compensation that they have to pay, so you must make sure that your rights are protected.
What, though, if the other driver is uninsured? The answer to that depends on whether or not you have uninsured motorist property damage coverage on your insurance policy. While you may not immediately know the answer to that question, a personal injury lawyer can help you determine your eligibility.
In New Jersey, you have 6 years during which you can file a diminished value claim. However, that doesn’t mean that you should needlessly delay seeking help with your case. Contacting a car accident attorney for a free consultation can help you get started moving through the process in order to receive your compensation as soon as possible.
The Diminished Value Claims Process
The process of any insurance claim can be lengthy, and diminished value claims are no exception. Therefore, it is often advantageous to have an idea of how the claims process will work ahead of time in order to ensure that you know what to expect.
By going through the following actions, you can likely improve your chances for recovery in your diminished value claim. Take care to:
- Collect information at the scene of the accident and in the immediate aftermath. Take pictures of pertinent information and don’t throw anything away. All evidence on hand has the potential to be useful in proving who was at fault.
- Call a qualified car accident personal injury lawyer for advice as soon as possible after your accident. Such an experienced attorney can help you to deal with the insurance companies and protect your right to fair compensation for your injuries and property damage.
- Check with the insurers to find out their policies and coverage options once fault has been determined. In most cases, your claim will be sent to the other party’s insurance company. If they are uninsured, though, the claim may be filed with your own provider.
- Gather documents that help prove the car’s value from before the crash, as well as the damage sustained and the repairs made after. This will help to get a rough figure of how much value was lost as a result of the accident.
- Get the car professionally appraised and file the claim.
While insurance companies can have long wait times to process and respond to claims, having a lawyer on your side can help to speed the process along as much as possible.
Judd Shaw Injury Law’s team members are used to dealing with insurance companies that drag their feet through the claims process, and we also know that you need to recover and heal from your accident as soon as possible. So contact us today to find out more ways that we can help you with your diminished value car accident case.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
As you are dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, you certainly don’t need the added stress of insurance negotiations and worrying about your car’s lost value. You need someone who has got your back and is there to help you through this, all the while protecting your rights to compensation for your losses.
At Judd Shaw Injury Law, our car accident lawyers understand what you are going through. We have helped many clients who were once in your shoes, and we want to offer you a professional solution to your problems. We deal with many different insurance companies regularly, so we are not afraid to fight these intimidating corporations on your behalf.
If your car was damaged in a car accident and lost market value because of it, you may be eligible to receive economic damages by means of a diminished value claim. Whether that claim will be to the other party’s insurance company or your own, we can help you through each step.
We are motivated to get you the results you deserve, and we are ready to listen to your situation and get started as soon as possible. So schedule a free case review with us at absolutely no risk to you.
Our New Jersey car accident attorneys have years of experience, and our No Fee Guarantee® ensures that you will get the assistance you truly need without further detrimental cost. Contact us today for more information by completing our online form or calling us at 1-866-909-6894.