Our law office is frequently asked the following question, “Is my diminished value claim in Florida worth pursuing?” In the State of Florida, there is no specific rule or formula for determining diminished value. Many factors must be considered and these factors must be weighed in order to determine whether or not it is feasible to pursue a diminished value claim. The more important factors are the year of the vehicle, the type of vehicle and the extent of damage. The nicer the vehicle the better, the newer the vehicle the better and the more damage to the vehicle the better. So a Mercedes generally makes for a better diminished value claim than a Toyota. And a 2014 Mercedes generally makes for a better diminished value claim than a 2008 Mercedes. And a 2010 Mercedes with $15,000 in damages makes for a better diminished value claim than a 2010 Mercedes with only $2,500 in damages.
For example, it is probably not worth pursuing a diminished value claim for a 2007 Chevy Malibu with only $2,700 in damages, but it would be worth pursuing a diminished value claim for a 2015 Chevy Malibu with only $2,700 in damages or a 2007 Chevy Malibu with $7,000 in damages.
When a Diminished Value Claim in Florida is Feasible
With super high end, exotic cars, the normal criteria for determining diminished value is different. In most cases, it is worth pursuing a diminished value claim for a Ferrari regardless of the year or the amount of damage. A 2006 Ferrari with only $500 is still worth pursuing, since these cars are so expensive and any negative mark on the vehicle history report will have a significant impact on the value of the car. Also, purchasers of these exotic cars tend to be very picky about their cars and would be turned off to the idea of buying any such car with an accident history, regardless of how minor the prior damage was.
Another important factor in determining if it is worthwhile to pursue a diminished value claim in Florida is whether the vehicle has been involved in any prior accidents. Some insurance companies such as Allstate will almost automatically deny any diminished value claim where the vehicle has been involved in a prior accident.
Other factors for determining if a diminished value claim in Florida should be pursued include the mileage of the vehicle, the number of owners that the vehicle has had and whether the vehicle was previously used as a rental vehicle.