By David L. Duff of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in About the Law on Friday, September 27, 2019.
If you drive the congested highways of Northern Virginia for any measurable period of time, you are likely to be involved in an automobile accident. If the other driver is to blame for causing the accident, then his insurance company will be required to pay the cost associated with the repair of your vehicle. However, when you eventually sell that vehicle, or trade it in on a new vehicle, you could end up receiving considerably less money, or trade-in value, merely due to the fact that your car had been involved in an accident years earlier.
All is not lost, as Virginia’s law on “diminution in value” may very well provide you with some relief. Simply put, Virginia law provides that, if your vehicle has been damaged and repaired due to the fault of another, then you are entitled to also be compensated for the difference in the value your vehicle would have had if it had not been involved in an accident, versus its decreased value due to having been in an accident and repaired. This difference in value is referred to as the vehicle’s “diminution in value,” and is a recognized element of damage to an innocent victim of an automobile accident.
To pursue such a “diminution in value” claim, all that you need to do is to obtain a written statement from someone familiar with the value of used cars, providing his or her opinion as to the value of your vehicle, with and without the accident and repair work. In the case of a Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, or other high-end luxury cars, the diminution in value caused by being involved in an accident can often be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
If you believe that you may have a diminution in value claim to pursue, contact an attorney at Duff & Kronfeld at (703) 591-7475, for a complimentary, 30-minute telephone consultation.