If you have been in a car accident, you likely focused on two things afterward: your recovery from any injuries and the repair of your car. Most people would feel the same. However, it’s important to know that, in Maryland, treatment of your injuries and repair of your vehicle are not the only claims to which you might be entitled. You might also be entitled to damages based on what the law terms “diminution in value.” This is not just the repair of any damages to the car, but the loss of value of the car stemming from its having been damaged in a collision.
Why? Even if your vehicle has been repaired by very reputable mechanics, cars are often simply not the same after a collision. In addition, they may have had factory-installed parts replaced with aftermarket or older parts.
The fact that cars are not the same after a collision is widely known among potential car buyers. In fact, leading sources of advice to consumers, such as Consumer Reports and The Used Car Buyer’s Manual, specifically recommend that potential buyers ask whether a car has been in an accident. If it has, the recommended asking price declines accordingly. In addition, consumers are very sophisticated about accessing Carfax through the Web—and Carfax will contain any information about a collision. Diminished value can be seen as a form of protection against the decline in the resale value of your car.
Filing a diminished value claim is only possible if you have been in an accident, you are the car’s owner, and you are filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s policy. If you have filed a property damage claim under your personal policy, you cannot file a diminished value claim in Maryland.
If you would like to discuss diminution of value or anything else, please contact us at 844-Take-MyCase and www.844TakeMyCase.com.
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