When a professional repairs your damaged property, you want to believe that they’ll restore all your property’s lost value. This, however, is rarely the case. Whether your property’s been irreparably damaged or the vendor you sought isn’t particularly skilled, you may find yourself contending with a case of diminished value.

After an accident, you have the right to expect a liable party to either match your losses or return your damaged property to its full value. Parties who are unable to do so can further be found liable in diminished value cases. You can discuss how these cases might proceed with a Tucson diminished value property damage claim attorney with Zanes Law Injury Lawyers.

Filing a Diminished Value Claim

Diminished value cases allow parties injured in an accident to seek out compensation in return for the loss they took on property during their collision. You can only file a diminished value claim if you:

  • Bear minimal responsibility for your accident, accounting for Arizona’s comparative negligence policy
  • Own the property that suffered damage
  • Can have the damaged property repaired, albeit not restored to its original value

Arizona is one of 15 states that allows injured parties to request diminished value damages from the party allegedly liable for that product’s damage. This process is most commonly employed after car accidents but can also help you recover the value of damaged personal items.

Diminished value claims are considered a subset of a broader personal injury claim. While you can file a diminished value claim separately from a car accident claim, you must do so within the statute of limitations established for personal injuries. A.R.S § 12-542 lets you take two years to act. When you work with the Zanes Law team, we can make the most of this time.

Your Three Possible Diminished Value Cases

There are several means through which the value of your property may begin to depreciate. When you’re building your case, you can work with a diminished value property damage claim attorney in Tucson to identify from which type of depreciation you suffered. You can then elaborate on how that depreciation may impact your right to compensation.

The types of depreciation most often seen in today’s diminished value cases include:

Immediate Diminished Value

Immediate diminished value cases highlight the economic distinction between your property pre- and post-accident. Once you’ve had your property repaired, you can assess the functionality of your repaired product.

If your property is weaker than it once was, or if your warranty has been voided by the damage, you’re contending with an immediate drop in the property’s value. This drop, however, is not caused by the quality of your repairs. Rather, it is the result of a change in the product’s structure.

Inherent Diminished Value

There are some products available on today’s market that are valuable because they are packaged or unused. Should these products suffer harm, they can immediately lose that value. This is known as “inherent value.”

Should you own a car or another product with inherent value and suffer its loss during an accident, you can file a suit including that loss in its total economic value.

You must, however, prove that the original product was valued as you’ve listed it in your complaint. Similarly, you should indicate that the damage done to the product, no matter how minor, has made it impossible for you to make the most of that value.

Repair-Related Diminished Value

As the name suggests, repair-related diminished value cases hinge on the quality of the repairs you can secure after an accident. If, for example, you’re in a car accident and have to replace a side mirror, you want that mirror to as best reflect the nature of your car as possible.

Replacing the mirror to a Pontiac Vibe with the mirror for a Mitsubishi Mirage may give you the tools you need to drive, but it will also diminish the value of your car. In these cases, you can work with an attorney to bring a diminished value case against either the other driver involved in your accident or the company that was supposed to help you with repairs.

Proving Diminished Value

While there are several ways a product’s value can be diminished, you will always need to indicate what the product’s original value was. Similarly, your evidence must show how that value has decreased since your accident. To do this, you can:

  • Refer to the original purchasing cost of the damaged product
  • Have a professional value your product post-accident
  • Indicate your loss and use evidence to suggest that this loss occurred strictly as a result of your accident

When you reach out to professionals to value your post-accident product, make sure you don’t solely rely on an estimate provided by your insurance provider. Insurance adjusters want to make it as easy as possible for their employers to undercut your claim. As such, it’s better to reach out to a third-party appraiser recommended by your attending attorney.

If you have the evidence on hand to indicate diminished value, you can determine whether you want to include your loss in your initial personal injury claim or not. Should the loss of value be particularly significant, a separate diminished value claim can help you win more compensation than a paired personal injury suit might.

Contesting an Insurance Company’s Attempt to Diminish Your Case’s Value

Insurance companies have formulas that help them establish both the initial value of damaged goods. The formula most often used is known as 17C. This formula was originally applied to a Georgia court case but now serves as a national tool. Insurers can use it to apply applicable multipliers to your case, adjusting your losses as they do.

As mentioned, though, insurance providers often strive to undercut the amount of money they have to give out to injured parties. It may be in your best interest to calculate the diminished value of your property independently. You can then take that estimate into negotiations with your insurance provider and ensure that you’re receiving the compensation that you’re owed.

Our diminished value property damage claim attorneys in Tucson, AZ, can help on two fronts. To start, we can help you calculate the diminished value of your belongings. We can then communicate with your insurance provider on your behalf. We can prevent an insurance company from kneecapping your financial support through dubious means.

Contact a Diminished Value Property Damage Claim Lawyer in Tucson

Whether your property has lost value after an accident or due to faulty repairs, you can fight to make up that loss in court. Our Tucson, AZ, diminished value property damage claim lawyers can step up to the plate on your behalf.

Ready to learn more about what means your civil suit may require? Zanes Law Injury Lawyers takes the time to elaborate on your case for you. You can contact us online or over the phone to schedule a consultation to discuss your diminished value case.

Get in Touch
Free Case Evaluation
Please don't hesitate to reach out. We are here to help.

    Skip to content