Would you pay the same price for a used car knowing that it had been in a serious collision? No, of course not! In this day and age, most educated car buyers utilize a Carfax report and/or a mechanical inspection of a used car which likely reveal significant auto body repairs due to car accidents. This concept is easy to understand from a car buyer's perspective.
After a vehicle is repaired due to a car accident, the value is often greatly diminished. This is one part of a property damage case that is often over looked and insurance companies certainly will not bring this up. Under Arizona law, property damage claims for a negligently damaged vehicle include compensation for the cost of repair, residual diminution in fair market value after repair, and loss of use. Farmers Ins. Co. v. R.B.L. Inv. Co., 138 Ariz. 562, 564-65, 675 P.2d 1381, 1383-84 (App.1983).
The amount of a diminished value often depends upon the age and type of vehicle, the type of damage, the manner in which the repairs were performed, cosmetic result, safety concerns, and future warranty considerations. If you believe that your vehicle has diminished after a car accident related repair, you should immediately consult with an attorney experienced in these cases.
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