Auto Accidents, Car Accident Information, Car Accidents

Texas Diminished Value Claims After A Car Accident

Posted by Trent Kelly on December 15, 2022
Texas Diminished Value Claims After A Car Accident

Does Texas pay diminished value claims?

Many car accidents result in significant damage to your vehicle, which can impact its overall value even after it is repaired. In Texas, you have the right to seek compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle under certain circumstances. Discuss a possible claim with an Austin car accident lawyer right away.

At-Fault Claims

In order to seek a diminished value claim in Texas, you must be able to show that someone else was at fault for a collision that caused the vehicle damage. You would file the claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If that driver is uninsured or you were in a hit-and-run accident, you can file the claim against your own uninsured motorist policy.

Learn more: Fault and Liability For Car Accidents

Calculating Diminished Value

There are different ways to determine the diminished value for the purposes of a claim, as follows.

  1. Inherent value loss = This is the most common type of diminished value claim and refers to the difference in the vehicle’s resale value from before the collision to after the best quality of repairs are completed.
  2. Repair-related value loss = If a vehicle cannot be repaired to its prior state, it will be worth less even after repairs finish up than its worth prior to the collision.
  3. Immediate value loss = This refers to the difference in the vehicle’s resale value from before the collision happened to right after the collision but before vehicle repairs. Immediate diminished value also applies if an insurer becomes directly involved in repairs and results in insufficient repairs. If insurance control over repairs leaves the vehicle in lesser condition, it will diminish the value.

The reality is that any vehicle damaged in a collision will likely lose value, even if it is fully repaired. When someone is considering a vehicle purchase, they will likely not want to pay the same amount for a vehicle that was in an accident as a vehicle that was never in an accident. They want to pay less for a repaired vehicle, meaning it has diminished value.

Calculating the proper diminished value for your claim is critical to ensure you receive the full amount you deserve. An experienced attorney who handles car accident claims in Texas will know how to conduct such calculations.

Fighting for Proper Compensation from Insurers

Insurance companies will try to reduce the amount they pay for your claim, including for injuries and diminished vehicle value. An insurer will try to tell you how much your diminished value claim is worth, and it will certainly be lower than it should be. Never trust insurance company calculations – instead, consult with a lawyer who can handle your claim and seek the full amount you deserve.

Also read: Secrets The Insurance Company Doesn’t Want You To Know!

Other Compensation You Can Seek in a Car Accident Claim

Medical Bills

After a car accident in Texas, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying your medical bills. Since you have to first prove fault, this process may take months or even longer. This is more complicated than “no-fault” insurance states, which would allow you to make a claim with your insurance company, regardless of which driver was responsible for the collision.

At first, you may have to process the bills through your own health insurance carrier or auto insurance carrier.

According to Texas Transportation Code § 601.072, drivers are required to carry the minimum limits for automobile liability insurance:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury or death per person per accident;
  • $60,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident; and
  • $25,000 for property damage.

If your injuries are more extensive, then a car accident lawyer will probably advise you to seek a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. If the other driver is not carrying enough liability coverage, then the other driver may end up paying you out of their own pocket.

Lost Income

A car accident can prevent anyone from returning to their regular schedule, especially their regular work position. Very few people can afford to miss significant time from work.

It depends on the time of car insurance that you bought on whether the carrier will cover you for missed time from work. The Texas Department of Insurance offers drivers eight basic auto insurance coverages. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) will pay for lost wages and other non-medical expenses. Drivers who do not want to purchase PIP coverage must inform their insurance company in writing.

Future Costs

You will want to keep in mind any future costs when negotiating a settlement with a car insurance company, including:

  • Future doctor visit costs
  • Future rehabilitation therapies
  • Home devices and modifications (i.e., a stair lift)
  • Future surgeries
  • Lost-earning potential

These damages can be calculated more accurately if you seek treatment from a physician following a car accident. A doctor can document your injuries and better assess what treatments may be necessary to help you recover. A doctor’s medical notes are crucial in negotiating a settlement with insurance.

Property Damage

While mandated property damage coverage never covers damage to the policyholder’s own vehicle, collision coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle following an accident.

The state of Texas does not require collision coverage. Considering that the required property damage coverage is only $25,000, it is a good idea to purchase collision coverage in the event that your car is badly damaged or totaled in a collision.

Pain and Suffering

In 2021 in the state of Texas, there were 15,764 severe injury crashes, and 19,448 people suffered a serious injury. Many of these car accident victims experienced both physical and mental trauma in the aftermath of these crashes.

In Texas, you are allowed to sue for pain and suffering, which could encompass the following factors:

  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Generally, the insurance company will add up all of your medical costs and lost wages and multiply the total between 1.5 to 5. The multiplier depends on the severity of your injuries.

Benefits of a Texas Car Accident Attorney

You do not want to rely on an insurance adjuster to evaluate your case since they work for the insurance company and are trying to pay out a minimum amount on your claim.

A Texas car accident attorney will be able to evaluate your situation and determine what your case is worth. We have extensive experience with the claims process. We will take the time to understand the scope of your injuries and seek the necessary medical records from your doctor. Likewise, we will also seek an accurate valuation of the damage to your vehicle in calculating its diminished value. It is our goal to help you obtain the best financial outcome.

Let an Austin Car Accident Attorney Help

The legal team at Terry & Kelly PLLC handles all aspects of car accident claims, including seeking compensation for your injuries as well as the diminished value of your vehicle. We can assess the full amount you deserve for your insurance settlement, and we will fight for the insurer to maximize your settlement. Contact us for a free consultation today.

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