Diminished Value Claims And South Carolina Accident Law
The news stories that you see about the legal aftermath of car accidents usually involve lawsuits resulting in multimillion dollar settlements, fatality accidents or collisions that left one or more people with permanent injuries. In fact, car accidents can cause serious financial hardship even when your injuries are minor enough to result in a full recovery, and car accident lawyers can help you even when it is not a matter of life or death. Not every call to a car accident lawyer results in the lawyer advising you to file a lawsuit. Sometimes you just need the lawyer’s help to persuade the insurance companies to give you enough money to cover your accident-related financial losses, as they should. The insurance settlement money should cover your accident-related medical bills, as well as financial losses related to your vehicle. This includes the cost of repairs, the cost of renting a car while yours was at the mechanic or auto body shop, and even the depreciation of the value of your car as a result of the accident. For help filing a diminished value claim after your car has been damaged in a collision, contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer.
How Do Diminished Value Claims Work?
Vehicle depreciation is a fact of life. New cars lose a large percentage of their value the minute the new owner drives the car out of the dealership and onto the road, which is why buying a very gently used car is a wise financial choice. The mere passage of time decreases a car’s value, as does an increase of miles on its odometer. Being involved in a collision further diminishes the resale value of a car, even after the car has been repaired, which is why it is possible to file a diminished value claim with the insurance company.
In a diminished value claim, you ask the insurance company to reimburse you for the difference between the value of the car before the accident and its value after the repairs were completed. (Even if a car looks good as new after being repaired, used car dealers can and should lower the resale price with every accident-related repair the car has undergone.) It makes sense to file a diminished value claim after an accident if your car is new and expensive, and especially if you still owe money on the car loan. It makes less sense to file a diminished auto claim if the car is old and has depreciated to where it is only worth a fraction of what you paid for it. In South Carolina, you can only file a diminished value claim if the accident was not your fault.
Let Us Help You Today
A Columbia car accident lawyer can help you find solutions to the financial problems that resulted from your car accident, both the losses related to medical expenses and the property-related losses. Contact The Stanley Law Group for more information.