Texas is a diminished value state, so you are entitled to diminish your car’s value if you have been in a car accident. However, to file a diminished value claim, the other driver or party must be at fault for the car accident. If you are the victim of a car crash, you will first need to establish fault and liability before moving forward with your claim.
If you need help assigning fault or filing your claim, a car accident lawyer in Dallas, Texas, can help you with your case. Your attorney can listen to your story, investigate the accident, and use evidence to support your claim. They can also answer your questions about diminished value claims and guide you through the claims process.
What Does Diminished Value Mean in Texas?
Diminished value is the amount of resale value your car has been reduced to due to damage from a car accident. For example:
- Your car may have been worth $8,000 before the accident.
- After the accident, your car is worth $2,000.
- The difference is $6,000.
- Therefore, the diminished value of your car is $6,000.
In this example, you would file the claim for $6,000.
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Three Types of Diminished Value
After a car accident, there are three main types of diminished value claims your lawyer can help you file.
Inherent Diminished Value
An inherent diminished value claim refers to your car’s market value after repairs. While repairs can restore your vehicle to operating condition, the accident can raise a red flag with potential buyers. Insurance companies might consider the inherent diminished value when assessing your claim.
Repair-Related Diminished Value
Repair-related diminished value in Texas refers to how much value your car loses due to the inability to restore the car to its original condition. As a result, the vehicle is worth less after repairs than before the auto accident.
Immediate Diminished Value
When your car is damaged in an auto accident, the insurance company will immediately assess the vehicle’s value before repairs. As a result, the insurance company’s involvement in the claim will affect your car’s value. The difference between the original value you purchased the car for and the resale value of your car is the immediate diminished value.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Texas
A common issue with diminished value claims is that insurance companies may diminish the value of cars too much. The insurer can declare the vehicle totaled or pay out less for repairs. Immediate diminished value gives insurance companies the leeway they need to significantly reduce your car’s value, and there is little you can do about it.
Before you file a claim, make sure you follow steps that can help you maximize your claim and get the money you need to cover repairs and other related damages. Here are some things you can do to help your case.
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Consult a Car Accident Lawyer in Dallas, TX, First
Before moving forward with your claim, you may want to consult a car accident lawyer in Dallas, TX. Your attorney can provide valuable legal services, including
- Answering your questions
- Helping you understand diminished value claims
- Guiding you through the claims process
- Conducting a thorough investigation of the accident
- Assessing your vehicle’s value before and after the accident
- Filing your claim on your behalf
- Working with the insurance company on your behalf
- Fighting for a fair settlement from the insurer
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit and representing you in court, if necessary
Gather Evidence of Fault and Liability
Your legal team can investigate the accident and look for evidence of fault and liability, such as:
- Video surveillance or photos
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Official police report
Your lawyer can determine who was at fault for your accident and how their careless actions or negligence led to the damage.
Document All Repairs and Other Damages
If you file a personal injury claim, you might include a diminished value claim in your list of damages. Therefore, your lawyer needs to state that you want to file a diminished value claim. They will also need to connect the accident and the damage.
Therefore, keep all receipts and estimates related to your claim. Submit all paperwork to your attorney. They can process these and send them to the insurer, along with a demand for a diminished value claim. From there, the insurance company will either reject the claim or offer a settlement.
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Get Legal Help for Your Diminished Value Claim
According to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003, you generally have two years to file a car accident claim. So, don’t delay. Contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins by phone or online and get a free case evaluation. Our car accident lawyers serving Dallas, Texas, are ready to help you.