What Does It Mean If A Car Has ‘Diminished Value’ After A Crash?

Q: What does “diminished value” mean in the car accident context?

A: Given a choice between two vehicles identical in all respects (make, model, year, mileage, condition, etc.), with the one difference being one had been involved in a crash, a reasonable consumer would generally choose the crash-free-vehicle. Diminished value is the portion of a damaged vehicle’s pre-crash value that is not restored through the repair process. Although compensable, diminished value is generally worth pursuing only in limited circumstances, particularly exotic vehicle cases.

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