Help & FAQs

Good news! The WreckCheck Diminished Valuation is Free, your WreckCheck Report is FREE, and there are no out-of-pocket expenses.

With, it’s free to calculate your Diminished Value (DV). Most drivers find they are owed thousands of dollars!

Upon your approval, our expert team files the claim on your behalf with no out-of-pocket costs to you.

We Handle The Claim Cost-Free

Our “no fees” diminished value claim services are rendered without payment by you. We get paid either as a percentage of the recovery or in some cases, our attorney fees may be paid in addition to what we recover for you.  Your insurance is not dinged, as the recovery amount is often paid by the insurance company for the person who caused the accident.



How much do our Partnered Law Firms charge?

Costs are very much dependent on which Insurance Company you use (or the at-fault party’s insurance company), as some insurance companies will pay only the Diminished Value (DV), while others with pay the Diminished Value plus the attorney fees. In cases where the Insurance company pays only the DV, WreckCheck would take a percentage of the DV. This percentage is  up to 50% if it needs to go to trial.

In cases where the Insurance Company pays out the DV claim and the attorney fees, then our fee would be the attorney fees and you would retain the full DV claim.

The important thing to remember is that we only get paid, when you get paid and there are never any out-of-pocket expenses!

Yes, this is generally how our partnered law firms get paid, it is a percentage of your claim, and is never more than one half (1/2). However, in some cases our fees would be covered by the At-fault Insurance Company, it all depends who we’re dealing with and where the case is located. The big take away here is that it will never be more than 1/2 of the claim, and might be none at all. So if you’re calculating count on a 1/2 and consider any less a bonus.

Currently our minimum threshold for Diminished Value (DV) claims is $1900.00, however we do have a system in place where you can enter all your claim information into WreckCheck and then request a Claim Report. You can file this report on your own to your insurance company (or to the insurance company that represents the party at fault). If the insurance company pays up, then great, you get to keep your money, the only thing we ask is for you to send us a note with your success!

If the insurance company does not pay your DV claim, then in most cases after 60 days (depending on your state, some states are more and some less), you can request WreckCheck to take over your claim, and any costs incurred will be paid by the insurance company.

Basically, once you have all the required documents, the Law firm sends the At-fault insurance company a letter of demand on your behalf, which states all the details of the case, the who, what, when and where’s along with the supporting evidence from your WreckCheck report including the calculated Diminished Value. If the Insurance Company is satisfied with this then they pay, sadly that rarely happens and the law firm has to escalate the matter and take it to the courts. How long does this whole process take? Anywhere from 2-3 months to a year and a half. (Not to worry though, once the process is started you can sell your car and it won’t affect the case any.)

Always check with the Legal Team before proceeding or agreeing to any settlement.

Sometimes the WreckCheck system is unable to determine a Diminished Value (DV) for your vehicle so it returns a $0. There are two reasons for this: 1) This may be because your vehicle is rare, or is not bought and sold much, if this happens then a WreckCheck representative will be in contact with you to set a DV for your vehicle manually. Be patient as this may take a couple of days to track down the necessary data to make a strong claim. 2) Your vehicle’s value is such that any DV calculated is zero regardless if it has been in accident or not, quite often this is the case on vehicles older than 10 years.

Our values are backed by 40+ years of automotive experience, and our results come from an impeccable proprietary source of information that is available nowhere else. WreckCheck tracks and analyzes automotive transactions and vehicle histories across the United States. The results are then provided to the customer as a real-world figure of diminished value that a lawyer can rely upon in proving a DVC claim.

Unfortunately, no, if you are the at-fault party then the Diminished Value of your vehicle cannot be recovered.

Diminished Value (DV) is the difference in the value of your vehicle after an accident compared with a similar accident-free vehicle. DV is present even if you get your vehicle fully repaired to as new condition following an accident. DV is calculated by taking the price of your vehicle accident free and subtracting what your vehicle is worth fully repaired. Watch a video here.

How to find your vehicle identification number in a few different places, both off and on your vehicle:

On the Vehicle

The VIN can often be found on the lower-left corner of the dashboard, in front of the steering wheel. You can read the number by looking through the windshield.

The VIN may also appear in a number of other locations:

  • Front of the engine block.This should be easy to spot by popping open the hood, and looking at the front of the engine.
  • Front of the car frame,near the container that holds windshield washer fluid.
  • Rear wheel well.Try looking up, directly above the tire.
  • Inside the driver-side doorjamb.Open the door, and look underneath where the side-view mirror would be located if the door was shut.
  • Driver-side doorpost.Open the door, and look near the spot where the door latches, not too far from the seatbelt return.
  • Underneath the spare tire.

Off the Vehicle

To find your VIN, you can first check any documentation you have for the vehicle, such as:

  • Vehicle Title
  • Registration Card
  • Insurance Documents
  • Owner’s Manual.
  • Repair Records
  • Police Reports.
  • Vehicle History Report

Yes, you can file your claim on your own, however traditionally success rates for non-attorney filed claims is very poor. The insurance industry routinely disregards and/or denies Diminished Value (DV) claims, saving it billions of dollars each year. To get paid, DV claims requires data and usually, a lawyer. WreckCheck has the data and you can either handle the claim on your own or work with one of our nationally recognized attorneys experienced in the successful resolution of DV claims, but the odds are good in the end you will require an attorney

We have tried to make the WreckCheck process as easy as possible. WreckCheck calculates your Diminished Value (DV) based on information you give us about your vehicle and the accident. Our system then generates your DV based on current market value of your vehicle vs the market value of your vehicle prior to the accident. The difference between the two values is the diminished value for your specific vehicle.

When you complete the WreckCheck questionnaire your claim is ready to be processed, and is sent to attorneys in the WreckCheck network that specialize in successful resolution of DV claims. These attorneys then file your DV claim with the Insurance Companies to get your money.

Once a vehicle has been in an accident, it has already seen a reduced (diminished) value, even if it has been repaired to as new condition. That value can not be restored to the vehicle, so if the vehicle is in another accident the Diminished Value is calculated from the already reduced value after the first accident. As a result there is a smaller diminished value the second time around because the biggest loss in value happened from the first accident.

We are unable to review Diminished Value claims for leased vehicles, because the company holding the lease is considered the owner and would file the diminished value claim.

The issue is a legal one; that is, for whose benefit is the collision/damage insurance obtained. Aside from the legal mandate to be insured for liability, lessees have to maintain certain types of property/collision damage insurance to make sure the vehicle is repaired and/or paid for if a total loss. The benefit inures to the leasing company ( aka bank), not the consumer as he/she has no ownership rights in the vehicle.

If your lease was over and you purchased the car from the Leasing Company then, only damage occurred after the purchase of the leased vehicle would give you the rights to Diminished Value.

A salvage title vehicle is one that has been in a significant accident or damage where the vehicle was likely ‘totaled’ by the insurance company.  It may be recovered stolen vehicle.  A flood damaged vehicle is one that has been submerged and possibly has damaged the vehicle and its electronics.

A key fob is a remote-control car lock/unlock control you received with your vehicle. Most vehicles have 2 of these remote controls.

There are so many questions about your vehicle because we are trying to determine its value so we can accurately give a Diminished Value. Questions such as mileage, number of key fobs, odor, original owner, previous accidents, accurate service records and mechanical issues all affect the value of a vehicle.

Is a good question, and the only answer is… that depends. If your filled out every question in the questionnaire about your vehicle and the accident, then your claim is much easier to file. Then it depends on which insurance company we have to deal with, as some are quicker to settle than others. It could take anywhere from 30 days to 18 months.

That is a good question, and is really one to ask a CPA, as there are so many ins-and-outs in the tax code, generally no, but in some cases yes. It is best to talk to your tax advisor if you’re concerned about this, as each individual case is different.

There is never any out of pocket money, we get paid when you get paid, and if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. So there is real incentive for the law firm to successfully handle your case.


If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.

The WreckCheck Team
Your Diminished Value Calculator

The FAQs and Blog Posts are intended as informational and do not provide legal advice.  Our website terms and conditions apply is provided as a public service and is for informational purposes only. Information on our website should not be construed as legal advice, as each case and fact pattern may alter the course of advisable action.

You may want to contact a consumer law firm, such as Kimmel & Silverman, by telephone (1-800-536-6652) to gain specific answers to particular problems or concerns.

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Contact us anytime: 1-(844) WRECKDV