You could be entitled to more than just the cost of repairs for your vehicle after an accident. In some states, you are also entitled to the “diminished value” of your vehicle. Inherent Diminished Value, which is sometimes also known as Repair Related Diminished Value, is based on the difference in value of the fair market value of your vehicle immediately before the accident occurred and after repairs have been completed. The diminished value may be simply due to the “damage history” of your vehicle and its resale value.
However, in Illinois one Appellate Court held that an insurance company can only be held responsible for diminished value of a vehicle in the event that said damages are specifically allowed in the policy language. Sims v. Allstate Insurance Company, 365 Ill.App.3d 997 (2006).
Of course, coverage for diminished value of a vehicle is not considered to be “standard language” in any auto insurance policy and may even increase your monthly costs for coverage. Instead, you should specifically ask your broker or representative if diminished value will be covered in the event of an accident.
In the alternative when the cost of repairs to your vehicle exceeds the fair market value, the insurance company may deem your vehicle to be a “total loss.” In this situation, the loss of use of your vehicle can also be considered a compensable damage and you can request reimbursement for same.
In another Illinois decision, Fairchild V. Keene, 93 Ill.App.3d 23 (1981), the Court stated: “loss of use for time necessary to replace chattels not to be repaired is a recoverable element.” One example of a claim would be the cost of a rental vehicle while you seek to replace your vehicle which was totaled in the accident. You should be sure to speak with the adjuster, however, as the insurance companies will only provide you with a specific amount of time to use the rental vehicle while you are searching for a new vehicle.
We fight for rental and diminished value if possible and usually help with car issues.
MOST lawyers will NOT help you with such issues because they cannot charge you “real” money for that time-consuming work.
Call me today, an experienced Chicago auto accident lawyer at 312-888-6058 for a free consultation.
I can help you fight the insurance company and get what you deserve.