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Car Accidents: Total Loss and Diminished Value in Massachusetts

Boston Car Accident Lawyer

After discovering that your insurance company declared your vehicle a total loss, you may feel frustrated and overwhelmed. The stress of losing your everyday vehicle can increase exponentially when you wonder if you will be compensated fairly for your losses. If your vehicle was totaled in a Massachusetts car accident, you deserve to have someone fight for what you may be owed. 

At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys are committed to standing up to insurance companies and advocating aggressively for your rights and interests. We have over 45 years of experience in successfully handling Massachusetts car accident cases and achieving favorable outcomes for our clients. You can trust that your attorney will fight for you when you retain our services. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, call us today at (617) 391-9001 or complete our online contact form

What Happens if My Car is Totaled in Massachusetts?

Most insurance companies have different policies regarding what constitutes a total loss. Typically, a vehicle is considered totaled when the cost of repairs exceeds the Actual Cash Value (ACV). To calculate your car’s actual cash value, insurance companies subtract your vehicle’s salvage value from its Fair Market Value (FMV). Insurance companies use tools like Kelly Blue Book and the National Automobile Dealers Association Used Car Guide to calculate the FMV. 

They then determine if the resulting figure is less than the cost of repairs. For instance, if your car is currently valued at $10,000 after subtracting the salvage value and repairs would cost $12,000, it would be considered totaled. In this scenario, the insurance company would pay you the entire $10,000. It is important to note, however, that $10,000 represents the car’s current value as determined only by the insurance company, not by another entity. 

Is Massachusetts a Diminished Value State?

If your insurance company determines that it is cheaper to repair your car rather than total it, your vehicle will likely diminish in value. If you have ever looked into a used car’s Kelly Blue Book value or Carfax, you have probably seen how a vehicle can drop in value following an accident. 

However, if your accident was not your fault, you should not be forced to suffer the consequences of your vehicle’s diminished value. In Massachusetts, accident victims can file a claim against the negligent party for the reduced value of their car. At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys can help you hold the negligent party accountable for your vehicle’s loss of value as well as your other accident-related losses. 

How an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help You

The skilled attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to helping Massachusetts car accident victims pursue damages for the total value of their claims. We understand how stressful the aftermath of a Massachusetts car accident can be and will fight tirelessly on your behalf. A few of the many ways our experienced attorneys may be able to help you include:

  • Conducting a thorough investigation into your case
  • Negotiating with all parties on your behalf
  • Filing all paperwork correctly and on time
  • Advocating for your rights and interests inside and outside of court
  • Collecting essential evidence and witness testimonies to support your case
  • Guiding you throughout every step of Massachusetts’ complex legal process
  • Answering your legal questions and keeping you updated on the status of your case

Following your accident, you have three years from the date of the loss of value to file a claim for compensation. This legal time limit is known as the statute of limitations. While three years may seem like plenty of time to file your claim, it is essential to act sooner rather than later. Often, critical evidence is lost or destroyed over time, and key witnesses may forget what they saw. When you partner with a skilled car accident attorney, they will review every detail of your case and advise you on how the statute of limitations applies to it. 

Discuss Your Case with a Highly Qualified Car Accident Attorney at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers

Whether your vehicle was totaled or repaired following your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have over four decades of experience representing Massachusetts car accident victims in Massachusetts and helping them achieve favorable outcomes for their claims. 

Our seasoned managing partners J. Tucker Merrigan and Peter M. Merrigan dedicate 100% of their practices to litigation. They have repeatedly been recognized by outlets such as Super Lawyers and National Trial Lawyers for their legal excellence. To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at 617-391-9001 or complete our online contact form. 

Meet the Personal Injury Attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP