Most people don’t understand how diminished value is calculated. Getting into a car crash in Atlanta can put you in an extremely difficult and complicated situation. More than just attending to your bodily injuries from the accident, you’ll also need to fix your damaged property. As a result, the financial implications of an auto collision can be overwhelming. That’s why you’ll need an Atlanta car accident lawyer‘s help to get monetary damages for your losses.
Under Georgia’s personal injury law, financial compensation will primarily cover your medical expenses and lost wages. It may also cover the damage to your vehicle. However, even after repairing your car, your automobile’s resale value will reduce compared to before the accident. In that case, Georgia’s diminished value law will apply to help you recover your vehicle’s lost value.
What’s diminished value law, and do you qualify to file a diminished value claim in Atlanta? How does one calculate the diminished value of an automobile in Atlanta? You’ll find answers to these questions and more as you read on.
What Does Diminished Value Mean?
Let’s paint a picture and assume someone else caused your T-bone collision in Atlanta. So, you file a personal injury claim and get car repair damages from the at-fault person’s insurance company. Now, your vehicle looks as good as it was before the accident, and you think all is well.
However, you decide to sell your car some months after the accident, hoping to get $15,000. Your buyer agrees that $15,000 is the market value for your vehicle. Unfortunately, they discover that your automobile has been in a car accident at some point. As such, they’re no longer willing to pay $15,000 but offer $12,000 instead.
It is only in such a condition that you’ll realize how unfair the insurance company’s settlement was to you. Yes, they paid damages to repair your vehicle, but they didn’t compensate you for the reduced value of your automobile.
Georgia’s laws aim at putting you as much as possible in the situation you were in before the crash. They mandate insurance companies to pay reduced value compensation after a car crash in deserving cases. In the example above, your car’s reduced value will be the $3,000 you lost after selling your car for $12,000.
Do I Qualify for a Diminished Value Claim in Atlanta?
The following factors will determine your eligibility for a diminished value claim in Atlanta:
Automobile’s Market Value and Age
To qualify for a diminished value claim, the affected car’s market value must not be less than $7,000. It mustn’t also be more than ten years old at the crash time.
Multiple crashes that seriously damaged your vehicle in previous times may disqualify you from filing a diminished value claim.
Vehicles with excessive mileage (above 30,000 miles per year) will typically not qualify for diminished value compensation.
Release of Liability Form
Signing a release of liability form makes you ineligible for diminished value damages.
If your vehicle has a rebuilt or salvaged title, you may not be able to file diminished value claims.
Statute of Limitations
In Atlanta, you cannot file a claim for diminished value after delaying for four years.
How to Calculate Diminished Value
Merely filing a claim isn’t enough. You must learn to calculate the correct value to avoid getting less than you deserve.
Here’s how to calculate your vehicle’s diminished value:
Find Market Value
This is the value of your car before the accident. It’s the price you’d have sold your vehicle if the crash had never happened.
Calculate Current Value
Your motor vehicle’s current value is the amount a buyer will offer, considering its crash history.
Subtract Current Value From Market Value
Your car’s diminished value is the difference between its current and market value.
Contact Our Law Office Immediately
Once eligible, you’re entitled to the reduced value as part of your compensation after a car crash. Unfortunately, many insurance companies wouldn’t offer you the diminished value settlement out of their goodwill as they’re looking to minimize their losses. You’ll have to ask for it and ensure that you receive the correct amount.
Navigating insurance processes to get your full compensation in Atlanta can be a hassle. That’s why our car crash lawyers at Ted A. Greve and Associates are here for you. We understand that surviving an auto accident is traumatizing enough, and you don’t deserve any more inconvenience. Contact us immediately for a free consultation and a seamless journey to getting the damages you deserve.