Maryland Diminished Value Lawyers
We Get Compensation for You Based Upon Pre-Accident Value
When a car accident occurs, the at-fault party’s insurance company will pay to repair the vehicle of the no-fault party. The idea is to make the no-faulty party whole again, but the truth is that most insurance companies do not even consider the Diminished Value of vehicles, which is the difference between a car’s pre-accident value and its value after repairs. Depending upon the value of your vehicle, this sum of money can be significant. In most instances, insurance companies will not outright agree to cover Diminished Value – instead, an attorney must get involved.
What Causes Diminished Value?
It is important to understand that the resale value of the vehicle is greatly affected even if you get it repaired after a serious collision. Regardless of the kind of repair parts used to fix your vehicle, they can never replace the original, factory parts. The use of seam sealers and non-factory welds leave telltale signs of the repairs. Moreover, the application of paint in a body shop during repairs can never duplicate the factory finish-even if the body shop did outstanding work. This type of non-factory paint work is detectable through the use of inexpensive equipment and is routinely used by car dealerships when determining trade-in offers. This is exactly why a car buyer will never pay as high a price for a repaired vehicle as he/she will for a car with no accident history. To cover that loss, claiming diminished value makes sense. Diminished value is basically the loss in market value of the vehicle due to a collision.
Since Maryland is a diminished value state, you may be entitled to a diminished value recovery. In other words, the law may give you the right to be compensated for the loss of value of the vehicle in addition to the costs associated with the repairs to your vehicle. Most importantly, you do not have to sell your vehicle in order to recover.
Maryland Diminished Value Claim – When Are You Eligible?
You can make this claim and get compensated if:
- You ‘re involved in an accident
- You’re the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident
- You’re making a claim against the other, at-fault, driver
Please note, the statute of limitation on this claim in Maryland is 3 years and we do pursue uninsured motorist coverage for diminished value. However, you cannot make diminished value claims in Maryland if you are the at-fault party in the accident or if your vehicle is declared a total loss.
How Will You Get Compensated?
Maryland law allows victims to be compensated in either of two ways:
The Cost of Repairing The Automobile
The at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay for the necessary repairs to restore your vehicle back to the condition it was before the collision. This type of compensation is made when the cost of repairing your automobile does not exceed 75 percent of your vehicle’s pre-loss fair market value. Additionally, Altmark, Rotter & Trock, LLP will pursue the diminished value claim in addition to the costs of the repair.
The Fair Market Value of The Vehicle
If your vehicle is a total loss, which means the cost of repair approaches or exceeds 75 percent of the vehicle’s pre-loss fair market value, then the insurance company for the at-fault party will compensate you for the value of your vehicle. This valuation is based upon many factors, including the condition it was in before the collision, the mileage, how it was optioned, etc.
Why Hire an Attorney for Diminished Value Claim?
Hiring an attorney for your diminished value claim is your best way to get compensated. Wondering why? Well, the problem is that there are many insurance companies in Maryland that ignore this claim or whose employees are not sure how to handle them. This typically occurs because they know that most lawyers will not touch diminished value cases unless they are connected to a serious injury claim. Even then, many lawyers ignore the diminished value claim due to ignorance. In other words, they simply do not know how to effectively pursue them.
CONTACT US FOR A FREE VALUE ESTIMATION AND CLAIM EVALUATION
At Altmark, Rotter & Trock, LLP we estimate diminished value and fight insurance companies to get our clients compensation that is equal to the pre-accident value of their damaged cars. If you or someone you know was involved in a car accident and wants to make a diminished value claim, please call us at (410) 783-9230; or E-mail us. We offer free consultations via phone or via appointment in our Baltimore office.