How Do You Determine Diminished Value on a Car?

January 31, 2022
The difference between your car’s fair market value before an accident and its reduced value after repairs is known as diminished value. This article investigates how the diminished value of a car is determined and the reasons you may want to determine diminished value if you have been in a car accident.

Diminished Value Claims South Florida

The law in Florida, states that once an insurer has agreed to repair a vehicle after an automobile accident, the insurer is responsible for restoring the vehicle to the same appearance, function, and value as before the accident.  Once a vehicle has been in an accident, even if it is perfectly repaired, it still loses value due to the legal obligation to disclose the accident. Since the automobile cannot be completely restored to its value before an accident, Florida courts allow drivers who were not at fault to sue the at-fault driver for the diminished value of their automobile.

Determining Your Car’s  Diminished Value Due To An Accident

The value of a diminished value claim depends on the vehicle’s value before the accident and the damage the vehicle sustained. A newer luxury model will see a much larger reduction in value than an old beater.  The loss of value will not be substantial for a moderately valued car because the insurance company has already repaired the damage. If you want to estimate your diminished value, to determine if it is worth your time to pursue this type of judgment, wikiHow suggests using the 17c method, which is an equation that insurance companies often use. 

The Car Diminished Value Equation

  • First, you determine the fair market value of the vehicle before the accident, which you can do using a website such as NADAguides.com. This value is divided by 10 to determine the maximum value of the vehicle after the accident. For example, a car that was valued at $20,000 before the accident would now have a maximum value of $2,000.
  • Then, you apply a damage multiplier. This number will range between zero and one, with one being severe damage and zero being no damage at all. For example, applying a multiplier of 0.50 for moderate damage would bring the value to $1,000.
  • Last, you must apply a mileage multiplier. Again ranging from zero to one, but one is a vehicle with less than 20,000 miles, zero is for a vehicle with 100,000 miles or more.  For a vehicle with 60,000 to 80,000 miles, we apply a multiplier of 0.4 for a value of $400. This is the amount of diminished value the insurance company would allow for a diminished value claim. 

Diminished Value Appraisal

If you are considering pursuing a diminished value claim in Florida, the laws require you to have a professional appraisal. The appraiser will write a diminished value report and testify in court if necessary.  If you are considering pursuing a diminished value claim in West Palm Beach, contact Casas Law and get a free consultation. Casas Injury Lawyers can help you determine the value of your claim and if you choose us to represent you, we will do so on a contingency fee basis. Meaning we only get paid for our time after you win your claim.

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