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Dealing with Diminished Vehicle Value After an Accident

When your car has been in an accident, there will be a perceived loss of value to it — even if the repairs made it “as good as new.” This is referred to as its “diminished value,” a trait that will make its resale value lower for prospective buyers.

Simply having been in an accident will give your vehicle a lower resale or trade-in value compared to vehicles of the same make and model that were never involved in an accident. There are several types of diminished value that could affect you:

  • Immediate diminished value: The difference in the trade-in or resale value of the car from before the accident to after the repairs are completed
  • Inherent diminished value: An assumption that the vehicle has been repaired to its original condition, but the fact that it has been in an accident inherently gives it a lower resale or trade-in value
  • Repair-related diminished value: Lost value resulting from lower-quality repairs, such as paint colors that do not perfectly match or the use of generic or aftermarket parts

Filing diminished value insurance claims

Fortunately, you do have some recourse to seek compensation for the difference between the value of the car before the accident and after repairs.

West Virginia is one of several states in which you may be entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle after a crash. The statute of limitations for filing a diminished value claim in West Virginia is two years, and you cannot file such a claim if you were the at-fault party in your accident or if the damage did not result from a collision.

If another person was responsible for the damage to your vehicle, you can legally pursue that third party or his or her insurer, but it’s generally a better idea to seek compensation from your own insurance provider first.

Filing a diminished value claim could save you thousands of dollars following a car accident. For more information on how to proceed, meet with a trusted West Virginia personal injury attorney at Prim Law Firm, PLLC. Call 304-201-2425 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

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