Mississippi is a diminished value state. Car accident victims can recover additional compensation to cover the reduced value of their vehicle as a part of their property damage claim following a crash.
If there is a reduction in the market value of your vehicle following a crash – despite the repairs – you might recover diminished value damages. A car accident attorney can help you file this claim and determine a fair settlement amount on your case if you choose to work with one.
What Is Diminished Value?
“Diminished value” refers to the loss of value your vehicle suffered because of the accident. If you can show that your car lost value, you can seek compensation for that decrease in value.
Many people do not want to buy a car that has been in a significant accident. Modern technology makes it easier to identify previously damaged vehicles than ever before. Potential buyers can quickly learn about your car’s history by looking up the CARFAX or similar report in seconds.
If it was previously in a crash, the buyer might not want to pay as much for the vehicle even if it was repaired correctly. This differential is diminished value.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
Mississippi Laws Related to Diminished Value
Case law has established Mississippi as a diminished value state. No statute sets the diminished value rules. Instead, the parameters stem from:
- Potomac Ins. Co. v. Wilkinson (1952), decided by the Mississippi Supreme Court
- Blakely v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. (2005), a decision by the Fifth Circuit applying Mississippi law
If you have questions about these cases or how diminished value works in Mississippi, a car accident law firm can likely answer them. In addition, many provide complimentary initial consultations.
Calculating the Diminished Value in Your Traffic Collision Case
Diminished value in Mississippi is the amount of your vehicle’s value just before the crash minus the value of the car that was not restored during repairs, replacing parts, and repainting.
To get this value, you will need to determine the market value of your car on the day of the accident and its market value after repairs. You should expect the insurance company will try to undervalue your vehicle before the crash. This is the primary manner they use to reduce the money they have to pay you for this loss.
If you work with an attorney, they can handle this calculation for you. A car accident lawyer will know how to calculate values before and after an accident and include this loss when they file your property damage claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer.
Pursuing Diminished Value and Other Damages in Your Case
You can likely seek diminished value in your traffic accident case in Mississippi when:
- The other driver caused your crash, and you were not at fault.
- The damage to your car happened in the crash.
- You have the insurance required under Mississippi law.
You will also need to consider the other damages you suffered in your crash, including almost any related cost or loss:
- Medical treatment, care, and associated expenses
- Future medical needs for your injuries
- Time away from work
- Reduced ability to work and earn
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- The cost of repairing your vehicle or replacing it
- Pain and suffering damages
A Car Accident Attorney Can Manage Your Insurance Claim or Lawsuit
Diminished value is often challenging to calculate and prove. When these losses occur in addition to injuries and other expenses, you may want to consider hiring a law firm to handle your claim. There is no requirement to have legal representation in a personal injury claim, but it can significantly reduce your stress and the time you invest in pursuing a fair settlement.
Most personal injury firms work based on contingency. Therefore, they do not ask for upfront fees, and victims do not pay attorney’s fees unless they receive compensation. Car accident attorneys also:
- Protect their clients’ rights.
- Represent the victim’s best interests when seeking justice and compensation.
- Investigate the accident and gather evidence.
- Value the case and demand a fair settlement.
- Negotiate with the insurer.
- Sue the at-fault driver if needed.
You may have up to three years to file a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49. There is also a three-year deadline on diminished value claims. Get started as quickly as you can after an accident because there may be exceptions to this deadline.
Morris Bart, LTD Will Review Your Car Accident Claim at No Cost to Your Family
The Morris Bart law firm provides complimentary case reviews for the victims of Mississippi traffic collisions. Our team of attorneys knows how to identify all accident-related damages, including the diminished value of your vehicle. Our case results prove it. We have 15 locations, including three in Mississippi: Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Pascagoula.
Call (800) 537-8185 now to speak with a team member about your legal options.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.