If you are a driver in Florida, it is likely that you have looked into your insurance coverage to ensure you’d be covered, should you ever get into an accident. This coverage can help you manage your medical bills, property damage, and more after an accident. There are, however, some accidents where a number of these expenses may not be covered. When driving a brand-new vehicle, for example, you’ll experience a massive amount of depreciation on the value of that vehicle if it’s involved in an accident. A diminished value claim could help you collect some of the difference between the original value of your vehicle and the price that you could receive for it after the accident. If you believe you may have a valid diminished value claim, please don’t hesitate to contact knowledgeable Pasco County car damage lawyer Wendy Doyle-Palumbo to learn more about how our legal team can help.
Under Florida law, you will be able to recover some of the difference between the pre-crash value of your vehicle and the cost of repairs from your insurer. Working with a car accident attorney can make sure your diminished value claims can be properly handled for compensation.
Lost value in one of these claims can depend on several factors such as the time limit for the car accident of two years for establishing the claim, the appraisal of your car value, who was at fault and the evidence indicates.
Getting the ideal help for your Florida diminishing value claim can make sure that you inspect the vehicles properly, review any repaired documents, get proper letters drafted to your insurance companies, and more.
Working with a seasoned Pasco County, Florida car accident lawyer will also ensure that you have a proper advocate for your needs in the case. Having a personal injury attorney in your corner will make sure that you have your rights fought for when working with an insurance company or entering into a legal battle.
Under Florida law, insurance companies consider a damaged vehicle a “total loss” (totaled) when the cost of repairing or rebuilding it is 80% or more of its ACS, the actual cash value. For example, someone crashes into your car, which has a fair market value of $10,000. If the repair costs to your car are $8,000 or higher, insurance companies will declare your car a “total loss.”
Typically, you can choose to either have the total loss claim handled by your insurance company or go through the other party’s insurance company. If you have collision coverage and choose to get your car fixed or totaled out through your insurance, you may be responsible for a deductible.
You will not be responsible for a deductible if you choose to use the other party’s insurance company to pay the total loss of your vehicle. It’s a good idea to have both parties’ insurance companies submit a total loss offer, and choose the best of the two. But if the accident is surely the other party’s fault and you do not want to use your insurance to pay for someone else’s negligence, choosing to go through only the other party’s insurance is just fine.
There can be disagreements when determining the fair market value of the car. However, due to the high volume of cars sold in Florida, the fair market value is typically easy to ascertain. Insurance companies are not allowed to value the car at what it may get at auction since auctions typically value cars less), nor are you entitled to the sticker price of a used car on the dealership lot, since that tends not to be what the car actually sells for. Generally, the fair market value of a car with a certain mileage in a certain condition is easy to find out.
If you have financed the car, you will need to pay it off before you get the remaining value of the car. So, using the same example from earlier, if you still owe $3,000 on your car, which was totaled at $8,000, $3,000 will be paid to the finance company, and the remaining $5,000 to you.
Attorney Doyle-Palumbo will work diligently to ensure you are compensated properly for your vehicle expenses in accordance with Florida Law.
If you feel like you are not getting the compensation you deserve after an accident, contact us today and we can evaluate your car accident case to determine if you would be a good candidate for diminishing value claims in Florida.
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