When a car has been repaired following property damage sustained in a car accident, it may be worth less money than before the accident, even if it looks and drives the same. In other words, the car accident damage may result in a reduction or “diminution” in the resale value of the automobile. If you sustained significant property damage in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for diminished value of your car in Florida. Diminished value amount is represented by the difference between the pre-loss value of the vehicle and its value after it was repaired.
In Florida, whether the owner can seek compensation for a diminished value of his vehicle depends on whether the property damage claim is made against the owner’s insurance company or the at-fault party’s insurance company.
If the claim is made against the owner’s insurance company, the entitlement to compensation for diminished value depends on the insurance policy language, but under most Florida auto policies such claims are not allowed. If the claim is made against the at-fault party or his auto insurance, Florida courts have held that the owner is entitled for the diminution of value if his or her vehicle has not been re-stored to the pre-accident condition following repairs.
The owner of the vehicle bears the burden of proving whether and how much value his or her vehicle lost as a result of being damaged and repaired. Typically, an expert opinion is required to establish the amount of diminished value.
At Anna Handy Law Firm, P.A. we can make a claim for diminished value of your vehicle and obtain the necessary documentation from a diminished value property appraiser to recover the loss of value damages you sustained as a result of the accident. Please give us a call for a free non-obligation consultation. (386) 248-3000.