Yes, Arkansas is a diminished value state. After a crash, you might wonder what this means for you and your vehicle.
The car accident attorneys at Morris Bart, LLC are here to answer your questions. Our experienced attorneys have seen it all before, and we are fully equipped to help you recoup everything that you are duly owed.
Diminished Value in a Car Accident
The insurance company paid for your car repairs and now you’re back on the road. Everything is great, right? Not so fast.
There’s a financial concern with driving a vehicle that was in an accident, and that’s called “diminished value.” Your car loses value just from being in a crash, no matter how well the repairs are done. If another driver was at-fault for the accident, you deserve compensation for your car’s diminished value.
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How to Calculate Diminished Value
Your car’s diminished value is the difference between its pre-accident market value and its post-repairs market value. While the math is straightforward, the numbers involved are not.
Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds are two trusted sources for vehicle values. However, even these two sources can differ on how much any car is worth. Your car may have a higher value if you added any after-market features and/or took exceptional care of it.
Why Diminished Value Is Important
Diminished value may not seem like a big deal right now, but it will in the future. There are two reasons why compensation for diminished value is important.
You Won’t Drive Your Car Forever
At some point, you will either sell your car to another individual or trade it in. You’ll need to disclose that it was in an accident.
The fact is, buyers and car dealers expect to pay less for vehicles that were in a crash. This is true even if the repairs are flawless. When you sell your car, you will take a financial hit.
You Still Have Several Years Left on Your Car Loan
It’s not uncommon to have a five- or six-year car loan, especially for a new vehicle. If you are still making payments, the diminished value could cause you to owe more than what your car is worth.
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Deadline to File an Arkansas Diminished Value Claim
Each state has different time limits to file a diminished value claim. According to Ark. Code §16-56-105, you have three years from the date of your crash to pursue diminished value damages in Arkansas.
The sooner you speak with an attorney, the stronger your case will be. All vehicles lose value as time goes by, whether they were in an accident or not. If you wait too long to take legal action, it could be difficult to get an accurate appraisal of the diminished value.
Why You Should Avoid ‘Diminished Value Appraisal Companies’
There are numerous websites that charge individuals for a “diminished value auto appraisal.” You might even get the impression that you need to have one of these certificates if you want to file a claim. The truth is, these appraisals are often worth less than the paper they are printed on.
Anyone can set up a website and compare car values online. What are the odds that the at-fault insurance company will accept this type of document, no questions asked? Not very high.
Another pitfall of these “diminished value companies” is that they charge you upfront for their services. These charges are often hundreds of dollars or more. They are not concerned with the outcome of your case. If you don’t actually recover any diminished value, you are out of this money.
Diminished Value: Why You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
You don’t need to spend money on a so-called diminished value appraisal certificate. What you do need is to consult with one of our lawyers.
We don’t Charge Any Upfront Fees
Unlike “diminished value appraisers,” you don’t have to pay to have us get started on your case. We work on a contingency basis which means we only collect if we successfully win a settlement or judgment from you. Our cut will be paid out of the funds that you are awarded. Thus, there is never any upfront money out of your pocket.
We Fight for Your Car’s True Value
The at-fault insurance company will do whatever they can to minimize your car’s initial value, which in turn will lower the diminished value. Our attorneys will fight hard to establish a fair and accurate pre-accident value for your car.
We Can Help You Pursue Other Damages
You might be entitled to more than just compensation for your car’s diminished value. We can pursue a settlement that would cover these damages, as well as:
- Doctor bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Other types of property damage
You don’t need to file a separate diminished value claim. All of your accident-related expenses can be pursued in a personal injury claim.
Car Accident Damages: Expenses You Can Recover After a Crash
Car accident victims sustain two types of damages: economic and noneconomic. At Morris Bart, LLC, we’ll help you get the most money from a car accident.
Economic Damages in a Car Accident
Economic damages are expenses that have a set cost.
- Medical expenses. Compensation for the ER visit and ambulance ride, doctor bills, prescription drugs, hospitalization, surgery, and physical therapy.
- Property damage. Repair or replacement of your vehicle, payment for your car’s diminished value, and compensation for any other personal belongings that were damaged in the crash.
- Lost wages. Payment for lost income, if you miss work while you recover or must return to work in a diminished capacity.
If another party is at fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for these expenses.
Non-Economic Damages in a Car Accident
These types of damages don’t have a price tag, but you still deserve compensation for them, and the court will assign a dollar amount to them if you successfully prove your case.
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent scarring or disability
- Loss of consortium, if your injuries impact your relationship with your spouse
While money can’t undo your injuries, a settlement holds the at-fault party responsible for their negligence.
Get Answers from an Arkansas Car Accident Lawyer
Now that you know the answer to, “Is Arkansas a diminished value state?” you can seek legal help. Don’t miss the deadline to file a claim. Contact us today to schedule your free case review. We are always available to help you learn if you qualify for compensation for your vehicle’s diminished value.
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