Is it Illegal to Fail to Disclose an Accident When Trading in a Car?
Are you wondering if it’s legal to fail to disclose an accident when trading in a car? The answer depends on the jurisdiction. In most states, it isn’t illegal to buy or sell a vehicle that has minor accident damage or a salvage title. However, if the damage is significant or the car has a total loss title, you may be required to disclose the incident to a prospective buyer or dealer.
Insurance laws vary from state to state, but in most cases, you must report an accident to your insurer as soon as possible after the crash. Failing to do so can cause your coverage to be denied, which can lead to large monetary losses down the road.
What about if you are involved in a car accident, but your injuries are so minor that you’re not eligible to make a claim for damages? In that case, you’ll probably have to wait until your injuries worsen before you can sue for financial compensation.
The good news is that most states have no-fault auto insurance laws, which means you’ll still be entitled to recover medical expenses and other damages from the at-fault driver’s insurer. These include compensation for pain and suffering, in addition to actual cash value for the damaged vehicle.
Nevertheless, if you were to try to trade in a car that was involved in an accident, your chances of getting the best offer are slim. This is because dealers are more likely to offer you a lower price for your trade-in, even if it’s in better condition than the one you’re considering buying.
The best way to get around this is to do a little research before you trade in your old vehicle. Use websites like NADA and Kelley Blue Book to determine the pre-accident value of your car. Then, subtract a number of percentages to get your diminished value, which is the true cost of losing the vehicle’s worth because of an accident.