The financial impact of all the work you do to maintain your vehicle pales in comparison to the financial impact of a crash. Years of fastidious maintenance and cosmetic upkeep can be undone in a single collision.
The more serious the crash, the greater the value loss will be. After a major wreck, you may need to spend thousands of dollars fixing up your vehicle or replacing it with a vehicle in the same condition as yours once was. You may continue driving the same car, but it will never have the same value that it did before. How can you get the other driver to pay for the depreciation of your car’s value after a crash?
Determine how much the crash affected the value of your vehicle
In order to make a reasonable depreciation claim, you first have to understand what your car was worth before the crash and what you can likely ask for it now. Used car pricing guides have different standards, but all of them generally break vehicles into multiple tiers of condition. The better your vehicle’s overall condition the more it will be worth when you try to resell it.
Once you know what the fair resale value for your vehicle is, you may want to add a 10% premium, which is a common practice by insurance companies. Finally, you will adjust the vehicle’s value by the degree of damage caused by the crash.
Generally speaking, severe damage or damage to the frame of the vehicle means that you can claim the entire value of the vehicle. In crashes where there is only minor damage to the structure or panels, you may only be able to claim a 25% depreciation based on the original value of the vehicle.
You may need to bring a lawsuit if insurance won’t foot the bill
Under Florida law, the driver who caused your crash might have just $10,000 worth of property damage coverage.
In the case where there isn’t enough insurance to cover the cost of the depreciation to your vehicle, you may want to file a civil lawsuit to recoup both property damage costs that exceeded the insurance payout and any medical expenses or lost wages beyond the coverage available to you.