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How a Car Accident can Affect Your Vehicle’s Resale Value

Written by Tom Crosley
Car Accidents, Vehicle Wrecks

After you’ve been in a car accident, you’re usually more concerned about your or your loved ones’ health and safety than anything else. In fact, your health and wellness may even be the primary focus of any insurance claim that results from a car wreck. However, just like the effects of personal injuries from a car crash can persist over time, so too can the effects of a car crash on your vehicle.

When your vehicle has been damaged in a crash, insurance will usually cover the costs of the repairs. What many crash victims discover months or even years later is that their insurance didn’t cover the steep drop in resale value of their vehicle simply because it was involved in a crash, regardless of the type of damage.

In fact, many dealerships automatically drop the trade-in value of a car by as much as 30% if it has been involved in a crash ― even if it wasn’t the driver’s fault, and even if the crash only caused cosmetic damage. Thus, if you have a car that’s worth $15,000, you’ll be lucky to get $10,500 for it. That’s a hefty price to pay for something that wasn’t your fault and that may not have even affected the structural or aesthetic integrity of your vehicle.

There’s also the additional problem of actually finding a buyer for a car that was involved in a crash. A simple check of your vehicle’s history will show that it was involved in an accident, and given the choice between two cars of the same type and value where one has been in an accident and one has not, it’s a pretty simple decision for many buyers to avoid the car that has a history ― even if the damage was only superficial.

Getting What You Deserve: How to Recover Lost Resale Value

In some cases, you can submit what is called a “diminished value claim” to specifically request compensation to cover the loss in resale value resulting from a crash. Naturally, insurance companies often try to avoid paying these types of claims (as well as offering the lowest possible value for other damage and injury claims), so your best ally after a car accident is an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Attorneys like the ones at Crosley Law Firm can review the details of your case during a free consultation and help you decide what your best course of action is. They will know exactly what types of claims you are eligible for, and they will be able to help you navigate the complex legal landscape to get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Call our offices today at (210) 354-4500 or fill out our convenient online contact form to schedule your free consultation.


Keegan, M. (2015, December 15). How accidents affect car prices. CARFAX. Retrieved from http://www.carfax.com/guides/selling/accidents-affect-car-prices

Leamy, E. (2010, May 26). Been in a car wreck? Get reimbursed for lost value. ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Business/car-wreck-reimbursed-lost/story?id=10713550

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