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How Much Value Does a Car Lose After an Accident?

Posted by Michael T. Bell | Mar 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

No driver wants to entertain the thoughts of an accident. Accidents are dangerous. They often lead to hurt, pain and damages. The damages caused by accidents could be bodily damage or damage to vehicles.

Damages caused to the body often result in physical injuries and pains. Damages to cars range from minor to significant damages. The severity of the damages affects the vehicle's value. Consulting a lawyer after an accident is a good plan.

Types of Car Damages

Car damages can and do affect vehicle value. It is vital to know the damage extent as it impacts the amount you can claim against your insurer for repairs. Some of the common damages caused to a car after a collision are:


Dents are extensive damages that often require metal work, panel replacement, and sometimes repainting. They happen due to collisions from vehicles moving at high speed.


Dings are a kind of damage that does not affect the vehicle's paint or leave noticeable marks. The damage is usually a half-an-inch in diameter.

Scratches and scrapes

Scratches and scrapes occur when a vehicle comes into contact with a hard surface. Although people use two interchangeably, they are not the same. Scrapes occur with comprehensive contact against a pillar or hard surface. Scratches are a result of small contact and are linear.


Cracks are caused by heavy impact. The impact can affect almost any part of the vehicle — the bumpers, fenders, mirrors, etc.

Vehicle Damages by Severity

The following are the types of damages by severity:

  • Minor Damage: A minor damage occurs when an accident leaves a dent or ding on the vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Moderate Damage: Moderate damages in car accidents happen when the airbags don't get deployed. They are usually larger dents that are very conspicuous.
  • Major Damage: Significant damages are also known as severe. It often occurs when the body and frame of vehicles are bent and cracked. This kind of harm occurs when accidents result from high impact or high-speed collisions.

No matter the severity of a vehicle's damage, it still loses value. Most people feel that once a car has been in an accident, the car's security becomes compromised. After a car undergoes repairs, most people feel that the chances are that the parts used for repairs are not from manufacturers. When a car undergoes repairs, you can no longer call the manufacturer for any security breach.

How Much Value Does a Car Lose After an Accident?

A vehicle loses almost 20% in value when you drive it off the lots of car dealers after purchase. If a car loses value because you moved it after purchase despite being in perfect condition and brand new, what do you think happens after an accident?

Certain cars considered classics increase in value over time. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford these classics, and such cars' appreciations are not predictable. Most cars depreciate over time, and their worth reduces if they have an accident record.

After repairs of your car following a crash, the accident becomes part of the vehicle's record. Insurance companies get and car dealers get to know about a vehicle's accident record if the owner wants a car deal.

A dealer will knock off a vehicle's value based on the type of damage, quality of repairs, and age, and make of the car. The preceding takes off 10% to 25% from the vehicle's worth.

How To Calculate the Value of a Car After a Crash

Most insurance companies calculate the car's estimate based on its depreciation value using the 17c diminished value formula. Infinity insurance was the one that developed the 17c diminished value formula.

The justice system used the procedure for the first time in a Georgia class-action lawsuit by State Farm. The formula puts a 10% cap on claims no matter the severity of the vehicle's damage.

Here's the formula for calculating a vehicle's diminished value:

17c diminished value = Base Loss Value X Damage Modifier X Mileage Modifier

Get a Car Accident Attorney at Mike Bell Injury Law Today!

Car accidents can be psychologically and emotionally draining. They are also financially tasking when there are bodily injuries and damage to the vehicle. Wading through the legal waters of insurance claims and dealing with any pain or trauma from such accidents should not be done by you alone.

It would be best to get in touch with an experienced car accident attorney. We will get you the benefits you're entitled to while you focus on healing. Contact us at Mike Bell Injury Law today!

About the Author

Michael T. Bell

Chairman, Managing Partner & Director of Truck Accident Litigation (AL)


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