How Much Will a New Jersey Car Accident Devalue My Vehicle?

After a car crash, your immediate attention is on your passengers and yourself – is everyone okay? Is anyone hurt? How serious are the injuries? Once the initial shock wears off, you turn your attention to your car, truck, or SUV to assess the damage and it’s bad news. However, there is a bit of good news as well. When seeking compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver, you are also eligible to seek compensation for the damage to your vehicle.

How Much Will a New Jersey Car Accident Devalue My Vehicle?

How do I claim diminished value?

You must meet certain requirements to claim diminished value, and you may need an experienced attorney on your side to work with the insurance company. Insurance company appraisers will take factors like the following into consideration when determining diminished value:

  • Age of the vehicle
  • Cost of repairs
  • Date of the accident
  • Prior accident history of the vehicle
  • Value of the vehicle before the crash

Remember, after your car is damaged in a collision, you should only have it repaired by authorized professionals. You can put yourself in an even worse situation if dishonest or unskilled mechanics further damage your vehicle with improper repairs.

If you were in a car crash that was not your fault, the NJ accident attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP work to ensure that you are properly compensated for all of your losses. Call one of our offices in Toms River, Edison, or Red Bank at 732-777-0100, or complete the contact form to schedule a consultation.

Even after the damage has been repaired, though, your car’s market value will suffer. Potential buyers are able to see a vehicle’s accident history on websites like  Carfax and AutoCheck, and consumers are much less likely to pay competitive prices for a car that has been in a collision. If your vehicle was damaged in accident in New Jersey, like on the Turnpike or the Parkway where crashes happen every day, you will need to ensure that you are compensated for both your injuries and the depreciation of your vehicle.

When your vehicle loses value from crash-related damage, you can recoup that loss through a diminished value claim.

What is a New Jersey diminished value claim?

If your vehicle suffered damage due to another driver’s negligence, you are likely eligible for a diminished value claim. Loss recovery specialists report that 65 percent of people surveyed would not purchase a vehicle with an accident history, even with repairs. They also state that “Many dealers will either not want a car with an accident history on trade-in or will provide a very low offer, as most of these cars cannot be re-sold as a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle, but rather would need to be wholesaled for auction.”

This is why it is so important to seek compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle. This “diminished value” is the difference between the cash value of your car before and after the collision. You may only make a diminished value claim in New Jersey if you were not at fault for the accident, and the statute of limitations for these claims is six years.

There are three types of diminished value claims:

  • Inherent. This is when the vehicle has been restored as closely as possible to its original condition, but is considered a vehicle that has been in an accident. This is the most common type of diminished value claim.
  • Immediate. This is the difference in resale value of a vehicle before the damage occurred and the resale value before repairs have been made; i.e., the loss of value before the owner has had a chance to make repairs.
  • Repair-related. This is the value lost after an accident resulting from poor repair work.