DiminishedValueFlorida.com is dedicated to educating consumers about the concept of diminished value and hopefully how to recover diminished value after a vehicle has been in an accident or suffered damage.
Inherent diminished value (or diminution in value) assumes optimal repair and is the loss of value of a vehicle based on its history of damage and the stigma that is attached to the vehicle because of that damage.
Diminution in value not only resonates with consumers (especially those who have tried to sell a vehicle that has been in accident) but has been specifically recognized as a remedy by the State of Florida.
A letter from letter from the National Association of Attorneys’ General (RE: Used Car Rule Regulatory Review, Matter No. P087604) signed and submitted on behalf of 42 Attorneys General, including Charlie Crist on behalf of the State of Florida states, in pertinent part:
“Nothing can diminish a vehicle’s value more than prior damage. A vehicle which has incurred past substantial flood or collision damage, no matter how well repaired, is worth substantially less than an identical vehicle without prior flood or collision damage. Market prices for used vehicles are affected by information. Consumers have made it clear they either do not wish to purchase vehicles they know incurred prior substantial collision or flood damage or, if they are willing to buy, will not pay close to pre-damage value. The popularity among consumers of vehicle history information services such as CARFAX and AutoCheck is a testament to the effect damage information has in the marketplace. The market devalues these vehicles because consumers do not trust them to be mechanically and structurally sound or safe. The auto manufacturers show their distrust of them by voiding manufacturer warranties for vehicles with prior major collision or flood damage. States have responded to this concern by adopting laws requiring disclosures by vehicle sellers of information relating to prior collision or flood damage, including of title histories reflecting prior salvage or flood status and, in some cases, dollar amounts of damage.”
Further, in Siegle vs. Progressive Consumer’s Insurance Company, 819 So.2d 732 (Florida 2002), the Supreme Court of Florida, while denying the existence of first party diminished value claims (the vehicle owner against its own insurance company) specifically recognized diminished value claims in the third party context; namely, that a vehicle owner may have recourse against the at-fault party’s insurance company for the loss of value of their vehicle on a tort (negligence) theory.
After reading all this information you might think that it should be pretty simple to recover diminished value for your vehicle in Florida. Unfortunately, you would be incorrect.
There are a host of explanations for the difficulty of recovery but the best explanation may be that in most cases, the damages are too small to justify an attorney taking the case. This means that unless you are fortunate enough to get a full service diminished value firm to take your claims, you have to purchase an appraisal and fight the insurance company alone, which is a pretty daunting task because of the time and expense.
Whatever you choose to do, we hope you will find the information located at our website to be helpful and informative and hopefully increase your ability to recover any diminished value you have incurred.