Diminished Value

After successfully litigating hundreds of cases, I know what to expect from insurance companies. I use the knowledge and experience gained to maximize my client's recovery. A severe personal injury claim affects more than just your pocketbook, every aspect of your life is touched. My firm strives for compassionate representation through every step of your personal injury case.
Johnson Law, P.C. - Partner
Justin Johnson
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Personal Injury Attorney
Justin Johnson

What Is Diminished Value?

Diminished value is the difference between a vehicle’s pre-loss (pre-accident) market value and its post-loss market value. It is the difference between what your vehicle was worth before it was involved in an accident and what it is worth now that it has been damaged in an auto accident. Oregon diminished value claims compensate you for the fact that your vehicle will be worth less after being involved in an accident.

After the accident, an insurance company will either decide to repair your vehicle or declare it a total loss. If your vehicle is declared a total loss, you should be compensated for its fair market value. This compensation will come either from your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You cannot bring a diminished value claim if your vehicle has been declared a total loss. However, if your vehicle is repaired, then chances are good that it will suffer a significant loss in value.

Even if you were not injured, if your vehicle was damaged, then you may have a claim for diminished value. Speaking to an automobile liability attorney is important to make sure your insurance company is compensating you appropriately. At Johnson Law, we have handled hundreds upon hundreds of diminished value cases, and we will do everything possible to make sure you are fully compensated. The initial consultation is free, and there is no risk to you – we don’t get paid unless we win your case.

Why will my vehicle be worth less after it is damaged in an auto accident?

When a vehicle is damaged in an auto accident the result is a real economic loss to the owner. This is because after a vehicle is in an accident, a potential buyer will most likely not be willing to pay fair-market value for the vehicle. Instead, they will want a discount because the vehicle has been involved in a car accident. Generally, the greater the property damage the greater the diminishment in value to your vehicle. There are other factors that influence the amount of diminished value your vehicle will suffer such as:

  • The make of the vehicle
  • The model year of the vehicle
  • Whether the vehicle suffered structural damage
  • Whether the vehicle was in prior accidents
  • What part(s) of the vehicle were damaged
  • Whether the airbags deployed
  • Whether the vehicle qualified for Certified Pre-Owned Status (CPO)
  • How the vehicle was repaired. For example, did the insurance company only pay for salvage parts, remanufactured parts, or OEM parts?

How will Oregon law decide if my vehicle has diminished in value?

If you are not at fault for the accident, then you may be able to recover from this economic loss through what is referred to as a “Diminished Value” claim. At Johnson Law, we have helped countless individuals recover the economic loss that resulted from the property damage to their vehicles by bringing Diminished Value claims. We offer free consultations for diminished value claims.

How much has my car diminished in value?

Often we can tell you if we believe your car has suffered diminished value by talking with you over the phone for just a couple of minutes. If we decide to accept your diminished value case, we will cover all the costs of bringing your claim. Part of these costs will be hiring a Diminished Value Expert to ascertain exactly how much value your vehicle has lost. Remember, we do not get paid unless we win. You do not pay us a dime to recover the diminished value of your vehicle unless and until we win.

Diminished value claim appraisal

  • What is a diminished value claim appraisal?
    • A diminished value claim appraisal is a formal assessment of how much a car's value has decreased after an accident, even after it has been repaired.
  • What does a diminished value claim appraisal include?
    • A diminished value claim appraisal typically includes the following:
      • A detailed inspection of the car's damage, both before and after the repairs.
      • An analysis of the car's market value before the accident.
      • An analysis of the car's market value after the repairs.
      • A report that details the appraiser's findings and conclusions.
  • How can a diminished value claim appraisal help me?
    • A diminished value claim appraisal can help you recover the difference between the car's value before the accident and its value after the repairs. This can be helpful if you are planning to sell or trade-in your car.

How long does it take to recover diminished value for my vehicle?

We can recover compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle in as little as a month. On average, diminished value claims are resolved in 60 to 90 days from when you first consult with the attorneys at Johnson Law. If an insurance company refuses to fairly compensate you, then we will not hesitate to litigate your claim. If an insurance company forces us to litigate your claim, then we can and will try your claim in front of a jury or arbitrator. We have a proven track record of recovering fair compensation for diminished value claims through litigation.

Auto damage lawyers located in Oregon.

There are no upfront costs to retaining an attorney at Johnson Law to bring your diminished value claim. We do not get paid unless we win. Often, the attorneys at Johnson Law force the insurance company to pay their attorney fees! This means you may get to keep the entire award an arbitrator or jury decides you are owed as fair compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle.

If the attorneys at Johnson Law recover their attorney’s fees, they also will recover prevailing party fees, which will cover most of the costs of litigating your diminished value claim!

Oregon Diminished Value Cases

Oregon case law supports your right to recover diminished value. In specific situations, such as a hit-and-run accident where the at-fault driver is unknown, you may be able to file a diminished value claim with your own insurance company.

Some of the important cases regarding diminished value claims include:

  • Mock v. Terry (1988): This case established the principle that the at-fault driver's insurance is responsible for compensating you for diminished value to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
  • Gonzales v. Farmers Insurance Exchange (1999): This case addressed diminished value claims within your own insurance policy, highlighting situations where it may be applicable.

FAQs: Diminished Value Claims in Oregon

Q: I was involved in a car accident in Oregon. Am I eligible to file a diminished value claim? A: You may be eligible if you were not responsible for the accident. Remember, exceptions and specific circumstances may apply.

Q: Is there a deadline for filing a diminished value claim in Oregon?

A: Yes, there are time limits (statutes of limitations) for filing these claims. For the most current information, give us a call and ask for a consultation.

Q: What are the different types of diminished value? A: Here are the main types:

  • Immediate: Loss of market value directly after the accident.
  • Inherent: Potential lower resale value due to the vehicle's accident history.
  • Repair-related: Value decrease due to subpar repairs.

Q: Can I file a diminished value claim with my own insurance company?

A: Yes, this is called a first-party claim. You may also file against the at-fault driver's insurance (third-party claim), but obtaining a fair offer from them can be difficult.

Q: Why is documentation so important for a diminished value claim?

A: Detailed records strongly support your claim. Keep photos (pre-accident), police reports, repair documents, and proof of the vehicle's pre-accident market value.

Q: Should I get a professional diminished value appraisal?

A: A qualified, independent appraiser specializing in diminished value can accurately assess your vehicle's loss in value.

Q: Do I need a lawyer for a diminished value claim?

A: While not always required, a personal injury attorney experienced in diminished value cases can offer valuable guidance, especially when dealing with insurance companies.

Disclaimer: This FAQ provides general information. For legal advice tailored to your specific situation, please consult with one of our qualified attorneys.

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Example Results

Trucking Collision

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Traumatic Brain Injury

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Car Crash

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Car vs. Moped

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