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Does Your Vehicle Qualify for Diminishment in Value?

When you suffer property damage in a car accident, you must determine the compensation amount to request for damages to your vehicle.

Virginia courts recognize that a vehicle that has been through an accident and undergoes repair loses value. In the same way that a car depreciates as the years go by, even if it is just sitting in a garage, cars with an accident history do not have the same value in the marketplace as cars that have never been through an accident.

The case Averett v. Shircliff, heard by the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1977, established this fact of value diminution or depreciation. The court decided that the rule in determining the proper measure of damages to motor vehicles was if you believe “that the car involved could be restored to its former condition by repairs, the measure of damage is the reasonable cost of repairs, with reasonable allowance for depreciation."

When an attorney helps you recover damages for bodily injury or wrongful death because of a car accident, the lawyer also pursues diminishment in value for your car. On your behalf, the attorney can sue the third party who was at fault for causing the accident and obtain the compensation through a settlement or as part of a jury award.

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