Can You File A Diminished Value Claim Against Your Own Insurance In Manhattan?

Can You File A Diminished Value Claim Against Your Own Insurance In Manhattan?
Calendar icon March 13, 2024
File a diminished value claim against your own insurance in Manhattan

New York motorists may submit claims to their insurance carriers to recover vehicle damage losses. They may also need to show that they’re not responsible for causing the accidents that damaged their cars.

After an accident, a car’s resale value decreases even if fully and expertly repaired. You may, however, have grounds for a diminished value claim. An experienced attorney can determine how to proceed if an insurance company attempts to deny your request.

How Soon After an Accident Can I Submit a Diminished Value Claim?

Under the Empire State’s statute of limitations, you have three years after a vehicle accident to file any claims. Have you already submitted a property damage claim with the other motorist’s insurance policy to recover your losses? If not, you may wish to consider having a knowledgeable attorney review your options before proceeding.

After a auto collision, most owners have their damaged or wrecked cars repaired by a mechanic or auto body shop before submitting their claims to the at-fault motorist’s insurance policy. The at-fault party’s liability coverage will usually cover the basic repair costs. The resale or market value of a vehicle repaired after a collision could, however, decrease by thousands of dollars.

Reasons to submit a diminished value claim

Property damage claims may include compensation for the loss of a vehicle’s value that resulted from an accident in spite of its subsequent repairs. A diminished value claim could prove especially beneficial for those enthusiastic owners who upgraded their cars or installed customized features and hoped to see an increase in their car’s resale value. The damage caused by an accident may, however, negate the value of custom installations or leave a car worthless.

Did a collision reduce the worth of your car? If you believe that a third party appraisal of your vehicle’s diminished value falls below its fair market resale value, you may consider seeking another opinion. An experienced attorney can calculate your car’s worth before and after the collision so you could get the compensation you really deserve.

What Methods Could Determine the Diminished Value of My Car?

Diminished value determinations typically fall into one of three categories. An attorney will know which valuation method could recover the optimal compensation from an insurance company.

Claims based on the immediate diminished value

If you file a claim based on an “immediate diminished value,” its calculation considers the worth of a car immediately after its collision. This valuation method assumes that, because of the crash, the vehicle has lost this degree of value before taking it in for repairs. With this formula, an insurance company may attempt to pay you only for the cost of repairs.

Claim submissions based on an inherent diminished value

After taking a wrecked car in for repairs, its resale value remains decreased even if a skilled mechanic or auto body shop restores it back to its original “pre-accident” condition. The vehicle now has a lower market value because of its collision history, even if the repairs used original parts from the manufacturer and made it look and run “like new.”

If you advertise your car for sale in this condition, potential buyers may not agree to pay you its full resale value because of the crash. An “inherent diminished value” claim could cover the monetary differential for what the vehicle would have sold for if no collision occurred.

Claims based on a repair-related diminished value

In some cases, the repair work may incorporate “third-party” replacement components rather than the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended “original equipment” parts. The repair shop may also repaint a newly repaired vehicle with substandard paint products that take away from a car’s value. In a repair-related diminished value claim, an insurance company could pay for the lost value attributable to any less-than-top-notch repair shop work.

How Can an Attorney Help Me With a Diminished Value Claim?

The aftermath of a car accident often becomes stressful when vehicle owners or their loved ones also require medical treatment or an extended recovery. One of the many ways an experienced accident attorney can help you get through a difficult time is by relieving you of the need to get involved in post-accident negotiations with an insurance company. You can instead remain focused on healing and moving forward from the crash event while remaining assured that a skilled and trusted attorney handles your case.

An experienced claims attorney also knows the formulas that insurance companies use to calculate a compensation package. Most auto insurers use the 17c Diminished Value Formula to calculate a damage award for a wrecked vehicle.

How the 17c Diminished Value Formula works

Knowing the current and undamaged market resale value of your car could help you get an idea of what an insurance adjuster may offer in a diminished value claim. The Kelly Blue Book provides the current resale value of your car based on its year, model, make and mileage. Keep in mind that the KBB “book value” of your car assumes it’s in an undamaged condition and has no history of accidents. The National Automotive Dealers Association also provides similar resale value information.

Because of the damage done to a vehicle during a collision, insurance company adjusters will typically subtract a “base loss of value” amount from the current market resale value provided by the KBB or NADA. The amount that’s left after subtracting that amount, which may reflect as much as a 90% reduction of the KBB or NADA current value, is a first step in determining what an insurance company might offer in response to a diminished value claim. The next step that an adjuster would use in the 17c Diminished Value Formula involves applying multipliers ranging from 0.00 to 1.00 to determine a value that coincides with the severity of the car’s structural damage.

How Could an Attorney Increase the Payout?

Insurance companies may not consider the true resale value of cars involved in damage claims. How well, for example, does the KBB or NADA value of your vehicle reflect what it may sell for in Manhattan?

A knowledgeable car accident attorney can determine your optimal settlement amount in a diminished value claim. An attorney familiar with insurance companies’ negotiation tactics can present convincing data that could significantly increase the amount of an insurance company’s payout.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



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