What’s the Value of My Car After a Car Accident?

The moment you drive your new car off the lot, it begins to depreciate in value. Unfortunately, this is the reality of owning a vehicle. If this is the case, what happens when your car is damaged in an accident? How do you determine your car’s value after an accident? Depreciation from wear and tear is one thing, but depreciation after an accident is something else entirely.

Understanding how a car’s value diminishes after an accident can be crucial when negotiating compensation from an insurer. You want to get what is fair, but how can you be sure that an insurer’s offer is what you deserve?

Before you accept an offer from the insurer, you should have a better idea about the diminished value of your car following an accident. An experienced car accident attorney with Tomeny Best Injury Lawyers in Baton Rouge can assess the value of your claim and negotiate on your behalf with insurers. Our team is committed to helping accident victims seek the money they deserve after a car collision. Get a confidential consultation about your case today.

What is Diminished Car Value?

Diminished value is a phrase that describes a car’s loss in value after a collision. The diminished value of a vehicle is assessed by comparing the difference in the car’s market value with its value following an accident. Generally, there are three different types of diminished value, immediate, inherent, and repair related.

How Much Value Does a Car Lose After an Accident?

So, how much does car value go down after an accident? The depreciation value of a car after an accident depends on several factors. Estimates suggest that when you drive a new car off the lot, it will depreciate by around 20 to 30 percent by the end of the first year. In the subsequent two to six years of ownership, a car can continue to depreciate by about 15 to 18 percent per year. When a car is involved in an accident, its value may diminish by 10 to 25 percent more than the average rate.

How Is the Value of a Car After an Accident Determined?

Determining the value of a car after an accident can be complicated. To help simplify the process, many insurance companies rely on a formula called 17c. 17c is basically a diminished value calculator that helps individuals or insurers calculate the value of a vehicle after an accident. It works like this:

  • Assess the car’s pre-accident or market value – Many will use Kelly Blue Book or the NADA to find this value.
  • Apply a 10 percent cap – Companies generally don’t depreciate a car’s value by more than 10 percent. All this means is that the maximum amount for a diminished value claim is typically 10 percent of the Kelly Blue Book value.
  • Apply a damage multiplier – The amount of damage done to the car will determine which multiplier should be used. The multiplier might be:
    • 1.00 – Severe structural damage to the vehicle
    • 0.75 – Major damage to the vehicle’s structure and panels
    • 0.50 – Moderate damage to the vehicle’s structure and panels
    • 0.25 – Minor damage to the vehicle’s structure and the panels
    • 0.00 – No structural damage
  • Apply a mileage multiplier– The mileage of the vehicle also helps determine the car’s value, as follows:
    • 1.0 – 0-19,999 miles
    • 0.8 – 20,000-39,999 miles
    • 0.6 – 40,000-59,999 miles
    • 0.4 – 60,000-79,999 miles
    • 0.2 – 80,000-99.999 miles
    • 0.0 – 100,000+

In practice, here is how the formula works:

Step 1: Car value is $30,000
Step 2: $30,000 x 10% = $3,000
Step 3: Moderate damage is .50. $3,000 x .50 = $1,500
Step 4: Mileage is 42,000, so the multiplier is .6. $1,500 x .6 = $900
The diminished value is $900.

How Our Baton Rouge Car Accident Lawyers Can Help

The process of determining the value of your post-crash vehicle can be confusing and time-consuming. The attorneys with Tomeny Best Injury Lawyers want to help you seek the money you need to recover from a car accident. If you are concerned about calculating the value of your car after an accident, contact our office today.


Choosing an attorney may be the most important decision you ever make. When you contact Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers, we will listen to your story, go over your legal rights, and answer all your questions. You will leave our meeting knowing that you have made the right decision for you, your future, and your family.



    • Monday Available 24/7
    • Tuesday Available 24/7
    • Wednesday Available 24/7
    • Thursday Available 24/7
    • Friday Available 24/7

    We can come to you!
    We’re also available for virtual
    or video appointments.

    Tomeny Best

    Tomeny Best