But there is another aspect of any personal injury action, and that is property damage.
One aspect of car accident cases that people don’t immediately think of is diminished value.
What, exactly, is diminished value in a car accident case?
Let’s find out.
Two Main Aspects of a Personal Injury Action
Whenever someone is injured due to the negligence of another, there are generally two main aspects of a claim or lawsuit: personal injury and property damage.
Personal injury refers to the physical, mental, and/or emotional damage that a person may suffer due to the incident/accident. For our purposes today, we will focus on car accident cases. So, in a car accident case, the personal injury aspect of a personal injury claim would concern the injuries suffered by those involved.
A quick note here. In Florida, you can recover from the at-fault driver for emotional injuries suffered as a result of the car crash, but any emotional trauma/damage must be connected to a physical impact. In other words, to recover for emotional distress in Florida, you must show a physical impact—some type of physical injury. Generally, Florida law does not allow recovery for emotional distress or mental anguish absent the existence of a physical injury.
Property damage in a car accident case mostly refers to the damage to the vehicle, but it can also include damage to property inside the car like laptops, baby seats, etc.
Sticking with just car damage and not damage to personal property for now, how much you will be entitled to recover for property damage depends on the terms of your insurance policy and the extent of the damage to your car.
Florida law requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability insurance.
The most common property damages claimed in a car accident case are:
- Car repairs
- Reimbursement for a totaled car
- Diminished value
- Rental car costs
Which property damages you have depend entirely on the fact of your case. However, generally speaking, your car’s value is at its highest when it is brand new and at its lowest after a car accident.
Which brings us to diminished value.
What is Diminished Value in a Car Accident Case?
The value of your car varies with how new it is and what condition it is in. As mentioned above, its value is highest when your car is brand new. The minute you drive it off the lot, however, it starts to lose value.
After an accident, depending on the extent of the damage, your car can be completely totaled, or can be significantly diminished in value.
A diminished value claim in a personal injury action is when you bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance for the difference between the price of your car before the accident, and its price after the accident.
In Florida, there are certain requirements that must be met to sustain a diminished value case. Knowing what these requirements are is key to bringing a successful claim. Working with an experienced car accident attorney can be of great value to you if you believe you may have a diminished value claim.
For example, in Florida, you can only bring a diminished value claim against the other driver’s insurance company if you were not at fault for the accident. There are also time restraints for bringing these types of claims.
Recovering damages arising out of a car accident can be complicated. That’s why we are here to help.
Car Accident Attorneys in Florida.
John Fagan and his legal team are dedicated to helping those who have been injured due to the negligence of another. Contact us here or simply call our firm at: 777-JOHN. We serve clients throughout Florida. Our main office is in Orange Park, but we have consulting offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.