My Car Went Down in Value Because Someone Ran into Me—Diminished Value: Why Should I Pay the Price?


You were in a crash, no fault of your own. Repairs are made to your vehicle and the at-fault party’s insurance has paid the body shop bill. According to the legal definition, the vehicle is deemed to have been restored to its previous condition. Even though your vehicle is back on the road, you’re concerned that when you go to sell, you will get less money for it because it was in a crash and had to be repaired. When you go to sell, the buyer may get a Car Fax report and see that the car was involved in a crash and that repairs were made to the vehicle. The potential buyer may offer you less than if the car had never been in a crash. While Ohio law[1] allows claims for diminished value, the insurance company for the at fault driver will likely refuse to pay the difference.

It is going to be hard to get the insurance company to pay because proving that your car’s fair market value is less requires expert testimony.

It is unlikely that a diminished value claim will be successful unless you have these two things:

1. Your car is new or nearly new with a value of more than $20,000.

2. The repairs required must have been substantial for example more than $10,000.

If both things apply, a diminished value claim is worth investigating.

[1] See Braum v. Kinderdine, 2nd Dist. No. 26298, 2015-Ohio-696 and see Rakich v. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, 172 Ohio App.3d 523, 2007-Ohio-3739, 875 N.E.2d 993 (10th Dist.).

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