When you find yourself in a car accident, the last thing you want to think about is the damage done to your car or the payment you will need to make because of it. It’s enough of a headache dealing with the aftermath of an accident, let alone the possible costs.
Once you are healthy again and are feeling better, it’s best to start looking into how you can receive payment for the damage done to your vehicle. Your next step is to get your vehicle fixed as soon as possible.
After that, you need to move on and determine what coverage and payment you need from your insurance and the at-fault driver’s insurance. There’s a small window for filing specific claims, and diminished value claims are more lenient with time.
So it’s best to get a solid start on them.
The diminished value of your vehicle is the price that it is worth after being beaten up in an accident. If the damage done to your car is not your fault, and you seek payment for the value taken from your vehicle, you will want to file a diminished value claim.
A car accident diminished value claim needs specific requirements to be filed, but it can change depending on where you live, your insurance, and whether you are being held responsible for the accident.
Therefore, it’s crucial to understand what happens before, during, and after you file a claim to comprehend how to calculate it. Here are a few important notes you should be made aware of regarding calculating your diminished value after a car accident in Texas.
Do Insurance Companies Have to Pay the Diminished Value in Texas?
Liability is the determining factor in this question.
In Texas and most states, if you are at fault for the accident, chances are you will be in charge of paying for your diminished value. Your insurance company decides how much they pay, but typically there are already set prices.
The minimum liability coverage in Texas is $30,000, although this includes all forms, such as Property Liability and Bodily Injury Liability. If you are responsible for damage to a driver’s car or person, liability insurance won’t cover your diminished value.
However, other types of insurance, like collision coverage, may pay for the diminished value of your car with deductibles.
The insurance may cover half, less than half, or even more depending on your insurance company’s policy. Whatever it is, you have to pay the rest out of pocket.
If the collision is not your fault, the deductible you would have paid is taken from the person at fault’s insurance company.
It ultimately comes down to who’s to blame for the accident, and your insurance company will go from there.
How Long Do You Have to File a Diminished Value Claim in Texas?
While it is wise to do it sooner, right after your car is fixed from the accident, you have up to two years to file a diminished value claim in Texas.
Keep in mind that this is only an option if you are not at fault for the accident and the damages are done to your automobile.
Also, consider hiring a personal injury attorney to ensure you receive the best care you deserve after an accident that wasn’t your fault. Contact this lawyer as soon as possible to get your affairs to make your claim.
How To Calculate the Diminished Value of My Car
The main question is how to figure out how much an at-fault driver should be held responsible for paying. There are several steps in calculating the diminished value of your vehicle after a wreck.
First, figure out if you are eligible for a claim. As previously stated, the accident cannot be your doing. On top of that, you can only file a claim if you own the vehicle if it’s newer and not over seven years old and has less than 100,000 miles. You also mustn’t have had a prior accident on your record.
If any of these factors are present, you will not be able to file in the first place, so be sure to double-check your criteria.
Once you’ve established that you qualify for a claim, you can start the process of doing so.
First, determine the original price your vehicle was worth and the damage that has been done to it. Then, you can speak with your lawyer over a percentage, which can be estimated by you or by using a designated formula.
These formulas determine diminished value, but there is no good way to assess something like diminished value. The best and most popular option is the 17c formula. Some companies follow it, but it’s not entirely correct; just an estimate.
It essentially takes ten percent from the original book value of your car and takes into account mileage and damage based on a scale. The issue is that mileage is also included in the book value, so it’s accounted for twice.
Be sure to work with an insurance company to calculate the diminished value of a car once you figure out you are eligible. It will probably come down to a negotiation between your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s company.
Do your research to help guide you to figure out your sum.
How To Handle Diminished Value Claims
Diminished value appraisals in Texas can be dealt with once your car is fixed. You deem that it has lost some of its value. The best way to handle a diminished value claim in Texas is through your lawyer. Save your receipts and evidence for your case and showcase them along with your other losses.
Speaking with the at-fault insurance company is risky if you do not have a lawyer present or their advice. It’s crucial that you don’t attempt to take this case on by yourself because there are multiple different approaches at-fault companies can take.
If you don’t have the experience or knowledge, don’t leave something like this in your hands.
How To Ask for a Diminished Value Claim
In Texas, you can submit a claim for diminished value once you prove that you were not at fault and that there was damage down to your property. Then, you go through your lawyer, who will take it to your insurance company.
The at-fault driver’s company will then be told about the diminished value claim and do one of two things. They will try to fight the claim if it seems unreasonable or negotiate to lower the price and find something that satisfies their client but is also fair to the driver filing the claim.
In summary, to file for a diminished value claim, you have to go to your lawyer, or if you decide not to be represented, then directly to your insurance company.
Texas Diminished Value Appraisal
A diminished value appraisal in Texas consists of a well-put-together document with the proof, an estimate of your diminished value, and information on the laws in Texas concerning diminished value.
Receiving your money from other costs and this appraisal could take years.
What if the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
In the scenario the person you wish to file a diminished value claim against doesn’t have insurance to pay for it, it would become your insurance’s responsibility to provide the coverage in Texas. It’s referred to as Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
This scenario is still something that would require you to file a claim for, but instead of a diminished value appraisal, it would be for Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Coverage. But, again, your insurance and lawyer should be aware of this.
If the at-fault driver is underinsured, you can still receive money from their insurance, just not as much as you should. Your insurance makes up the rest.
In other words, you won’t have to take responsibility and pay consequences for damages that weren’t your fault.
Contact Stoy Law Group
Dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be a stressful task, but having a better idea of what to expect can help lessen the burden.
Calculating diminished value in Texas is simply laid out within laws and formulas, but it is easier to claim one than to actually go through the process. It requires cooperation from both parties’ insurance companies with estimated values and negotiations.
If the crash isn’t your fault, you don’t have to worry about covering the costs, which is why it’s essential to file a diminished value claim on your car as soon as you can. It provides you with the money you spent to fix your car and restore it as close as possible to its book value.
It is in your hands to take it to the next step and file the diminished value claim. The lawyers at Stoy Law Group are here to help you receive the compensation you lost due to the damage to your car, but the process starts with you.