Diminished Value in Texas – How Does It Compare?
Dealing with Diminished Value in Texas
If you have a repairable collision claim in Texas, then you may be entitled to recover for your vehicle’s diminished value.
In Texas, if you file a third-party auto claim, then if your claim meets certain standards, you would likely recover diminished value if the case went before a jury.
Diminished value in Texas compares to other states in this capacity through the negligence law rules.
In Texas, if one is over 50% at fault for a loss, then they cannot recover damages from a less negligent party. The kicker is that if they are only 10% at fault, then that 10% can be deducted from their damage amount. Some States have a law that applies negligence in a pure manner.
For example: If you are 10% at fault, then you owe 10% of the other person’s damages. If you are 61% at fault, you can still recover 39% of your damages.
The point, and to answer the question in the title of this article, is that YES you can get paid for diminished value in Texas.
Diminished Value in Texas: An Example
The simplest way to define diminished value is to use a common example. Let’s say you aspire to own a 1985 Mercedes Benz coupe, so you go out shopping for one. You hit all the markets, internet, classifieds, used car lots and the such, and you find 4 of them out there. There are some sweet deals out there.
Let’s list them out as a purely hypothetical situation.
Car 1: It is black with a gold pinstripe. It has only 90,000 miles on it. The listing came from a dealer and the price on the vehicle is $12,000.00. The dealer ad says it was a one-owner vehicle, non-smoker, and no major issues. It is touted as being a “cherry”.
Car 2: This is a white one. It has 72,000 miles on it. This is a little old lady who got the car as a gift from her husband 4 years ago and she put it in the classifieds to try and sell it. She is asking $11,500.00 for it.
Car 3: Another dealer vehicle. It is Forest Green and has 80,000 miles on it. The dealer wants $12,200.00 for it.
Car 4: This one is another black one you found on E-bay. It has just 40,000 miles on it! It also has the gold pinstripe, and the owner says he is the original owner. He is asking $12,000.00 for it. It has new tires, and gold spoke aftermarket wheels!
Okay, so you can’t decide? There’s a lot to think about.
You want black, so it’s between the black one at the dealer with 90,000 miles on it and the black one off of E-bay with 40,000 miles on it. You call both of them up and see who will give you the best deal. You’re able to get the dealer to take $500.00 off theirs, and the individual also agreed to take $500.00 off and then the dealer takes another $200.00 off because you mention the gold spoke wheels on the other car.
You think it is a done deal, right?
So you call back the individual and start the talks about where to pick it up, how to pay and such, and you just casually ask the guy why he put the gold wheels on it.
His answer is that a few months back, he ran over a curb trying to avoid a guy that ran a red light and it bent up the suspension and messed up the wheels and he ran into a chain link fence.
He says he has the estimate from the insurance company, so you get it from him and tell him you need to think about it.
When you get the estimate, it is pretty much just like he says, there is about $5000.00 worth of damage to the undercarriage and the oil pan and some sensors had to be replaced along with the frame having to be pulled back straight and the passenger side of the vehicle having to be repaired and repainted due to scratches and minor dents from the chain link fence. The owner says that the “check engine” light is on and he will take off another $100.00 which is what it would cost to have the light turned off.
He said he has already had it looked at and they just told him the computer needed to be re-set after the repairs and that the light was not an actual problem, and he has been driving it with no problems for two months. He shows you the diagnostic bill reflecting $100.00 to turn off “check engine light”.
Okay, so now which car do you want?
The black one from the dealer (which has a clean Carfax with it) or the one from the individual? Keep in mind, the individual nor the dealer will move any more on their price.
I would be willing to bet that the individual with the previously “wrecked” car will never be able to sell his car for as much as a car that was not in a wreck, and he would have to take off more than $100.00 to sell it.
I personally would not purchase the vehicle if he didn’t at least take $1500.00 off the price. There are just too many unanswered questions regarding the repair and whether something would go wrong in the future.