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Houston Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > General > Your car is worth less after repairs than before the accident. Can you recover the difference? Yes!

Your car is worth less after repairs than before the accident. Can you recover the difference? Yes!

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In Texas, if you were involved in an auto accident, and your car needed repairs, there is a chance that your car has lost some of its value. This is known as a “diminished value” claim.

What is a vehicle diminished value claim?

In Texas, in a vehicle diminished value claim, Texas law states that you can recover the difference between the reasonable market value of your car immediately before and immediately after the damage to your car.

If you were not at fault for the auto accident, you may have a vehicle diminished value claim against the person who caused the accident. In that case, you file a claim with the at-fault-driver’s insurance company to recover the difference.  If you were hit by someone with no insurance or an unknown driver, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company if you have uninsured motorist insurance coverage.

How long do you have to bring a diminished value claim?

You have two (2) years to file a diminished value lawsuit in a court of law. So, you should immediately file your diminished value claim with the responsible insurance company long before the two (2) years runs out to give yourself enough time to resolve your claim before you must file a lawsuit.

What are the limits you can recover for your vehicle’s diminished value?

In Texas, the property damage coverage minimum limits are $25,000.00. That means the person who hit you (if known) is required by law to have a minimum of $25,000.00 in insurance coverage to fix your car and/or pay for your vehicle’s diminished value. That person can have more than the minimum, but the absolute minimum is $25,000.00.

How do you know what the diminished value is?

There are licensed professionals trained in valuing vehicles. Hire a professional appraiser to evaluate your before and after accident vehicle value. You should do this immediately after your car is repaired.

Resolving your diminished value claim

Once your professional vehicle appraiser has completed the evaluation, submit all documents to the at-fault party’s insurance company or to your insurance company if the at-fault party is unknown. Do not take the first offer. Continue to negotiate until the insurance company says, “no more.” After that, decide whether what is being offered is enough for you. If it is, accept the highest offer. If it is not, you will need to file a lawsuit.

Personal injury attorneys.

While we do not generally handle property damage or diminished value claims, we have assisted our personal injury clients in handling their own property damage or diminished value claims. If, in addition to your property damage, you have injuries involving a personal injury accident of any kind, leave it to professional personal injury attorneys. Contact the Houston personal injury attorneys at today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options to get your money.

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