When you purchased your car, you probably heard a lot of talk about the value of your vehicle automatically lowering the moment you drove the car off the car lot. While this information is somewhat common, not everyone understands just how much of an effect a collision has on the value of their car. Quite frankly, if you have an accident, even if it's not your fault, the value of your vehicle will suffer. Learn how an accident affects your car's value.

Hidden Damage

A common concern after an accident is hidden damage. There are instances when the effects of an accident are evident. However, there are also instances when the owner of the vehicle does not discover a problem with their car until some time after the accident, maybe even years. The unknown that surrounds the damage is enough to make the future owner leery, which lowers the value of the car.

Cosmetic Flaws

Most people want a car that is dependable, but that also looks good. There is no way around it, an accident, even a minor one, will change the way your car looks. To a cosmetic-conscious buyer, even a small imperfection is enough to make the vehicle less appealing and valuable. For example, if an area on the vehicle needs to be re-painted, there is a chance that the new paint will not look exactly like the paint on the rest of the car, which is enough to alter the look of the vehicle.  

OEM Parts

Vehicle parts come in two forms, third-party parts and original equipment manufacturer parts, or OEM. Third-party parts might be reliable and functional, but they do not come with the same value as OEM parts. Typically, after an accident, vehicles are repaired with third-party parts and not OEM parts. Consequently, the value of the car will lower based on the lowered value of the new replacement parts. 

Diminished Value Claim

If your vehicle was involved in an accident, you might be able to file a diminished value claim. A diminished value claim is designed to help you recover the loss you experienced when the value of your car was reduced as a result of the accident. Keep in mind, not every state allows this process, and you will need to contact the insurer of the individual who caused the crash to initiate the process. Additionally, diminished value claims can be complicated at times, so you need a professional on your side who can assist with the process. 

You do have options after an accident, but it's up to you to take advantage of them. Exercise your right and file a diminished value claim. Contact a service, like Chicago Auto Appraisers, for more help.