Will Dealerships Take My Trade-In After I Wrecked It?
Imagine you are driving down State Street minding your own business, paying attention to the traffic, and following all the traffic laws when all of the sudden you hear and feel a “thump.” The characteristic sound of someone hitting your rear bumper. You pull over to the side of the road, call the police, and involve the insurance company. Once everything is fixed your car should be as good as new, right? Well yes it should, but it is not.
Once a vehicle has been involved in an automobile accident, the value will never be the same no matter how good the repairs are. Whenever a vehicle is involved in an accident that includes the police or an insurance claim, the accident will be reported on the vehicles history report. As a matter of course, car buyers are going to spend less on a car if it has been in an accident.
Imagine that there are two cars at dealership. They appear to be identical. They are the same make, model, and year. They have similar mileage and are even the same color, but one costs thousands less than the other. What could be happening? One car has been wrecked – it was not the owner’s fault – but there was a wreck, and other car was not.
Whenever people buy a car, they worry that what looks great out on the outside could turn out to be a lemon on the inside. No one wants to get swindled, and not everybody can pop the hood and make an educated assessment. Many people rely on a vehicle history report to warn them of potential problems. The thinking is that if the car has been involved in an accident, the repairs could be faulty or that there could be continuing problems. For example, a car involved in a rear-end collision could have alignment issues in the future. There is no accounting for great repair work in the marketplace. Once a vehicle is wrecked, the value is diminished.
Recouping Your Loss
If you have been involved in a car crash, and it was not your fault, you can ask the responsible party’s insurance company to pay for the repairs. That is why the police ask drivers to exchange information at the scene of an accident. Theoretically, the at-fault party is supposed to make you whole again after the accident. In some cases, simply repairing the damaged vehicle is not enough because before the accident the vehicle was worth $22,000.00, and after the accident, although the vehicle has been beautifully repaired, is worth only $18,000.00. How can the injured party be compensated? The answer is a diminished value claim.
In addition to the regular damages, like property repairs and medical bills, personal injury plaintiffs may want to include such a claim. Diminished value claims ask the at-fault party to pay the for the loss in the car’s value.