After a traffic accident that damages your vehicle, you may have the option of getting it fixed. However, even if the repair shop makes it look and run like new again, your vehicle will not recover to its pre-crash value. Drivers in this situation may wonder if they can recover any compensation for the lost value of their vehicle.
At Bernstein and Poisson, we are prepared to help. We offer a free consultation to answer your questions about diminished value claims and other legal options that may be available to you. Our qualified attorneys have decades of experience and a proven track record – we have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.
Understanding Diminished Value in a Car Crash Claim
After a car crash, your vehicle retains the stigma of any damages it sustained. These damages are often included on Carfax reports. If you try to sell your car in the future, this information could scare away many would-be buyers. If you do sell the vehicle, it will be at a significant loss. A car crash may also affect a vehicle’s trade-in value.
The diminished value of a car is the difference between its pre-crash value and the assessed value following the collision and any repairs. Diminished value claims are not all the same. There are different categories of diminished value claims after a crash, including:
Immediate Loss of Value
This category of loss is determined by the difference between your car’s value right before a collision and immediately after the crash happens, but before any repairs are done.
Post-Repair Diminished Value
The calculation for this category is the difference between your car’s value before the crash and its post-repair value.
Repair-Related Diminished Value
The quality of the repair may also impact a vehicle’s value in this category.
For example, a car’s value may be further reduced if the repair shop used aftermarket replacement parts instead of new, original parts.
However, the defendant may or may not be liable for the additional diminished value in this situation. It depends on whether the at-fault party’s insurer required the repair to be done at a specific repair shop.
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Other Factors That Impact the Overall Value of a Vehicle After a Crash
In addition to categories of diminished value, there are other factors that may further impact the value of a vehicle, including:
- Year manufactured
- Make and model
- Mileage on the vehicle
- Wheel type
- Vehicle color
- Engine type
- Extent of structural damage
- Type and severity of other damages
- Quality of the repairs
- History of accidents or damages
If your vehicle is older or has high mileage, you may not be eligible for this type of claim. Additionally, prior damage to your vehicle from a previous crash may also impact your ability to seek diminished value damages.
Does Nevada Recognize Diminished Value Claims?
Nevada is a diminished value recovery state. For plaintiffs, this means that if your car is damaged in a collision caused by another’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your vehicle’s diminished value.
It is important to mention that you will not be eligible to file a diminished value claim if any of the following is true:
- The damage to your vehicle was caused by something other than a collision
- You are the at-fault party for the crash that damaged your vehicle
Diminished value claims are not filed separately from your car crash injury claim. You may, however, be eligible to seek this compensation as part of your injury claim against the at-fault party’s insurer.
If you are unsure of your eligibility for this type of claim, you should discuss your situation with one of our experienced Las Vegas auto accident lawyers.
Is There a Deadline For Filing a Diminished Value Claim in Nevada?
If you plan on seeking this type of claim, you should not delay. Under state law, you have just three years from the date your vehicle was damaged to file a diminished value claim. Waiting to contact an attorney for help could make it harder to recover all the lost value.
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In Nevada, the insurance company may not offer a fair value for your vehicle – or they may simply tell you that you cannot seek compensation for your vehicle’s diminished value.
Insurance companies sometimes say or do things to confuse or mislead car crash victims during a claim. There are no guaranteed outcomes, but having a qualified attorney review the details of your situation may benefit your claim and protect your interests.
At Bernstein and Poisson, our team of legal professionals is prepared to help. Contact us to learn whether you may be eligible to file a diminished value claim. Your initial consultation is completely free, and there is no obligation to hire our firm.
If you have a case and we represent you, there is nothing to pay upfront or throughout the legal process. We do not get paid unless we obtain compensation for you.