It is completely logical to assume that a car that has been involved in a crash will be worth less than it would have been had the car never been in a wreck in the first place. When the resale value of a car has been diminished as a result of a crash, the accident victim has what is called "diminished value claim" (also sometimes called a "diminution of value claim.")
Insurance Companies Seem To Hate Paying Diminished Value Claims
It would make sense that insurance companies for negligent driver would recognize the logic of these claims, and make paying diminished value claims a regular and streamlined process. In Florida, accident victims have no such luck. For whatever reason, automobile insurance companies seem to absolutely hate paying diminished value claims, and will do almost anything to avoid paying them.
In our experience, most carriers will not pay diminished value claims unless the innocent party presents some kind of expert opinion about how much a car's value has decreased as the result of a crash. This frequently requires the aggrieved consumer to hire and pay for an expert to analyze the damaged car and issue an official, expert opinion on how much the damage and repairs to a given car has diminished its resale value.
Even With Quality Evidence, Insurance Companies Still Make It Difficult
Even with an expert opinion in hand, insurance companies still don't want to pay and will try to drive a very hard bargain with the damaged consumer. Insurance companies understand that most diminished value claims are not worth a huge amount of money, so most consumers are not going to be willing to take a negligent driver to court to recover just those damages. However, if the innocent driver also has a personal injury, we are generally please to include a claim for diminished value in those cases, if warranted.
If you have any questions regarding a Florida diminished value claim, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or text them at 407-644-4444.