Diminished Value Claims in South Carolina
After a car accident, you face many expenses, such as medical bills and car repairs.
However, repairs can’t always restore the damage done in the accident.
Even after repairing your car, it may have lost value. This reduction is called diminished value.
While your car’s drop in worth may seem unfair, it makes sense. After all, would you want to buy a car that had been damaged in an accident and repaired? Most buyers aren’t willing to pay full price for a car that has been in an accident, even if it looks as good as new.
Fortunately, there is a way to recover your car’s lost worth by filing a diminished value claim. For help recovering accident damages, including diminished value claims, contact an experienced insurance attorney at the Peace Law Firm. Read more about diminished value claims in South Carolina here.
What Is a Diminished Value Claim in South Carolina?
A diminished value claim requests compensation for the reduced value of your car after an accident. There are three types of diminished value:
- Immediate diminished value occurs at the time of the accident, before your car is repaired;
- Inherent diminished value occurs when your car is repaired, but buyers expect to pay less for it because of its accident history; and
- Repair-related diminished value occurs when lower-quality parts or materials are used for repairs, compared to the car’s original manufacturing.
Diminished value can be most dramatic in an accident involving a new car. An accident may significantly reduce the value of a new car with low mileage.
A diminished value claim for a new car can be calculated at thousands of dollars.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
In South Carolina, you have only three years from the date of an accident to file a diminished value claim. After that time, the statute of limitations bars you from filing a claim.
To avoid having your claim impacted by the statute of limitations, call an accident attorney to discuss possible claims right away.
How Much Can You Recover for Diminished Value?
Ultimately, your ability to recover diminished value damages hinges on the terms of your insurance policy. Insurance companies like to include lots of fine print that can confuse policyholders.
It can be challenging for a policyholder to know what they’re owed. Usually, it’s helpful to call a car accident attorney, who can help you figure out policy coverage and diminished value claims.
Here are some factors that can determine the diminished value of your car:
- How much was your vehicle damaged?
- How much did your car cost to repair?
- Does the quality of repairs match the original condition?
- What is the make and model of your car?
- How old is your car and how many miles are on it?
- Has your car been in an accident before?
- What is the market for used cars in your area?
After weighing these factors, some diminished value claims may not add up to much money. In such a case, pursuing a diminished value claim might not be worth the hassle. Other times, diminished value might result in an insurance claim for thousands of dollars.
Who Can File a Diminished Value Claim?
If you didn’t cause the accident, you can file a diminished value claim with the other driver’s insurance. South Carolina diminished value law says that an at-fault party cannot file a diminished value claim.
If the other driver is uninsured, you may be able to file a diminished value claim with your own insurance company. Your insurance company may reimburse you for the reduced resale value of your car.
Need Help Filing a Diminished Value Claim?
The insurance company is unlikely to pay your diminished value claim willingly. For that compensation request, you could benefit from the assistance of an accident attorney. At the Peace Law Firm, we negotiate with insurance companies to get our clients maximum compensation. We help real people who have been injured or mistreated, not big companies.
If you’ve experienced property damage or injuries in a car accident, call us for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your case, advise you of your legal options, and help you calculate a potential insurance claim. If you decide you would like us to take over negotiations with your insurance company, we’ll fight for your maximum compensation. Contact us immediately to start on your insurance claim for diminished value in South Carolina.