Automobile Diminished Value
Connecticut recognizes a cause of action to recover the diminished value of an automobile following an accident. The two most common actions in a car accident case are for personal injuries and property damage (damage to the plaintiff’s car). Property damage recovery is often done separately from the personal injury side in the form of a settlement from the defendant’s insurance company. That settlement however only covers the cost of the damages and repairs. It does not cover the loss in value of the car. Although a car might be repaired after an accident, the fact that it was in an accident automatically decreases its resale value. A bent frame or other serious damage could severely reduce that value or even make in unsellable. A plaintiff should not have to suffer this additional injury. Thus, under our law, the owner of a vehicle damaged in an accident may recover the difference in fair market value of the vehicle from whoever is at fault for the accident.
I evaluate the diminished value potential of the vehicles in all of my clients’ accident cases and will consider raising such a claim in order to maximize their recoveries.