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Chicago Vehicle Diminished Value After an Accident Explained

Posted on April 8, 2024

After a vehicle accident caused by the actions of another driver, you need to make sure you recover all of the compensation you are entitled to. This not only includes coverage of any medical expenses and property damage losses, but also compensation to cover your vehicle’s “diminished value.”

Defining Diminished Value After a Collision

Diminished value is the reduction in a vehicle’s market value that occurs after it has been involved in an accident and subsequently repaired. Even with thorough repairs, the mere fact that a vehicle has an accident history can lower its resale value compared to a similar model with a clean history. This is due to the potential future buyers’ perception that the vehicle may have underlying issues despite visible repairs.

How Do You Calculate Diminished Value in Chicago?

Calculating the diminished value of a vehicle post-accident involves several considerations that can influence the total compensation you might expect to receive:

  • Extent of damage: The more severe the vehicle’s damage, the greater the potential diminished value, as significant damages can affect both the appearance and structural integrity of the vehicle.
  • Age and mileage: Generally, newer vehicles with lower mileage will suffer a higher percentage loss in value after an accident because their pre-accident values are higher.
  • Vehicle model and make: Some models depreciate faster than others post-accident. Luxury cars and certain models known for their durability might experience a less significant drop in value.
  • Market trends: The local market in Chicago also plays a role. The demand for certain types of vehicles can affect how much value a car loses after an accident.

Insurance companies often use formulas to estimate diminished value, which might not always reflect the actual loss in value. One common method is the 17c formula, originally designed for use in insurance claims by State Farm. However, this formula often underestimates the real drop in value, so it may be beneficial to consult with a professional vehicle appraiser or a lawyer who specializes in diminished value claims.

Working With an Attorney

Navigating the claims process for diminished value can be complex, especially when dealing with insurance adjusters who may seek to minimize compensation payouts. An experienced attorney in Chicago can provide crucial assistance by:

  • Evaluating the accuracy of the diminished value calculated by insurance providers.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation that reflects the true diminished value of your vehicle.
  • Gathering necessary documentation and expert testimonials to support your claim.

Property Damage Claim Deadlines in Illinois

We strongly encourage property damage victims to contact an attorney for help with their case. We know that any injuries you sustained in the incident may seem more pressing, but finding an attorney to handle both your injury and property damage claim can help streamline the process.

The personal injury statute of limitations in this state is two years from the date an injury occurs, but individuals with property damage claims have a longer filing deadline.

Any person in Chicago or Illinois who sustains property damage has up to five years from the date an incident occurs to file a claim to recover compensation from an at-fault party.