How to Handle a Diminished Car Accident Value Calculator in Tampa

Anytime you’re in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you’ll likely want to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for the damages. Most people are fully aware of this. What many people aren’t aware of is the fact that you are also entitled to be compensated for the difference between what you could’ve sold your car for before the accident and what you can sell it for after the accident, even after the damage is fixed. If this sounds confusing, we can help. 

Morgan & Morgan has successfully handled car accident claims of all kinds—including diminished value claims—for decades. Anytime you hire Morgan & Morgan, you don’t pay us anything upfront. We always work on a contingency fee basis, so we only get paid when we win. Contact us today for a free case consultation.

What Is a Diminished Value Claim? 

When you’re in a car accident, you’re not only entitled to damages and compensation based on your injuries, you’re also entitled to something called diminished value. This is the difference between what you could sell your car for before the accident and what you’ll be able to sell it for after the accident, even once the vehicle has been repaired. 

It’s important to understand that being in a car accident and having vehicle damage can lead to a claim where you try to recover the value that the vehicle has lost due to the accident. The simple act of being in an accident almost immediately decreases the value of a car, even if it’s fixed perfectly. If you’ve ever purchased your own car before, you know that one of the first things you and other people consider is whether the vehicle has ever been in an accident. This is a red flag for many people, even when the repairs are completed perfectly. In fact, a major corporation has created a tremendously profitable business based on this simple concept - Carfax and their famous Carfax report. It shows all the accidents and the total history of the car. When searching online for cars to buy, many people even filter out vehicles that have been involved in accidents.

If your car was worth $20,000 before an accident and only $16,000 after the repairs, you might be entitled to the $4,000 in diminished value that the accident caused. While this sounds easy, in practice, it can be a bit more complicated. There are many factors that the parties may not agree on, such as how much the car was worth before the accident, how much it was worth after the accident, and how much the value actually decreased as a result of the accident versus a decrease in value for other reasons, such as the passage of time or a new model of the same car being released.

How Is Diminished Value Actually Calculated?

In Florida, there’s no exact formula for how diminished value is calculated. However, when you hire an experienced attorney, they can help you determine this value. An experienced lawyer who has handled these types of cases over the course of their career knows what factors to look for, and how to get you the most value. Some of the primary factors they usually consider are the year, make, model, condition, features, and mileage of the vehicle. Once they get all of this information, many lawyers will use the Kelly Blue Book to determine what their stated value of the vehicle is. This is the retail value. Once this is calculated, your attorney must next determine how to calculate the diminished value. The simplest way to do this is to look at the sales history for similar vehicles that were also involved in accidents. The accidents should be similar in severity and type. Otherwise, there are too many variables that won’t add up. 

Tampa Car Accident Diminished Value Calculator – The 17c Formula

The insurance company will try to use what’s called the 17c formula, which will significantly reduce the diminished value claim. The 17c formula is overly simplistic and generally doesn’t provide adequate compensation in diminished value claims. It’s important to note that Florida courts have not adopted the 17c formula as the definitive solution. As always, the primary goal of an insurance company is to pay out the least amount of money possible in the quickest amount of time. While it’s often tempting to take whatever payout the insurance company offers you, it’s almost always in your best interest to speak with an attorney and let them handle the situation properly, and talk to the insurance company for you. If a reasonable agreement can’t be reached, your attorney can take the case to court.

If you’re wondering if there’s an actual calculation used other than the flawed one that the insurance companies use, there really isn’t. Your lawyer will use their expertise and experience to determine what you are owed.

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John Morgan