Automobile Diminution in Value

Diminution in Value

In addition to standard value appraisals on all types of vehicles, a large number of our appraisals involve vehicles which have been damaged. In many instances these vehicles become involved in value disputes. Our expertise lies in establishing the fair market value of automobiles before they were damaged and/or after they were repaired. Our appraisal services are particularly useful in cases where older or special interest cars have been damaged. In those cases, there is no convenient “blue book” to use as a benchmark.

In most states when an automobile is damaged through negligence, the owner of the damaged vehicle is entitled to recover the reasonable cost of restoring the damaged property substantially to its condition immediately before it was damaged. In addition, he is entitled to recover for the loss of the use of the property during a reasonable period of time while it is being repaired. “In those cases where the damaged property has been repaired but its value nevertheless has decreased, the plaintiff may recover the difference between the value of the property before the damage and after the repair.

This difference can represent a significant diminution in value. Many automobile owners only find out their car has suffered a diminution in value when they try to sell it. In many cases this is too late to try and recover the loss in value. If a car is substantially damaged and repaired it should be checked by one of Polk & Associaties’ qualified appraisers to determine if it has suffered a diminution in value. Before the damage claim is settled this additional element of recovery should be pursued.

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