Utah auto accident attorney Paul Childs recently responded to a question from someone about a diminished value claim on their vehicle, that the at-fault driver’s company was refusing to pay. Here’s Attorney Paul Child’s reply:
“Diminished value claims in Utah are valid, but you must be careful about how you proceed. First, they only apply in the situation where the vehicle is repairable. They do not apply in a total loss claim. Next, you must actually have the vehicle damage repaired by a quality repair facility. You do not want to have any substandard repairs contributing to the diminished value. Finally, you must actually suffer the loss. That is you must actually sell or trade in the vehicle and suffer the diminished value over what you would have received for the vehicle had the damage never occurred. Otherwise, your diminished value claim is speculative. It is possible that you may never suffer any loss of value if you keep the vehicle long enough that its natural depreciation catches up to the value or you may be able to sell it to a buyer who pays full value. Finally, if there is an injury claim associated with the accident, you may not handle them separately by filing a lawsuit on either of them without including the other. You may not file a small claims action for the diminished value claim, for example, without including your bodily injury claim. If you do so, you forfeit the claims that you do not bring at the same time. Please let me know if you have further questions. I’d be happy to help you with them.”

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp