diminished value? What is it, and how do i get it?
It’s very rare to be able to claim for diminished value because quantifying the loss or perceived value is almost impossible. This is because “diminution of value” is based on perception and subjectivity, making it difficult to present a claim for damages that cannot be mathematically assessed.
If a vehicle is returned to its original working order and appearance, the fact the vehicle was involved in an accident should NOT affect the value, but the reality is that it does. The old adage that “Perception is Reality” is a theme that fits this scenario well.
Also, some could argue that the loss in value due to the accident is not from the accident at all. I believe lawyers call that “proximate cause”: the loss has to happen from a uninterrupted chain of events, without remoteness (without a break in that chain of events).
We see this as unrelated to the accident, strictly from a legal principle, and also from the very fact that Diminution of Value is almost impossible to quantify.
diminution of value
You can also use this real argument when trading in your vehicle and the Auto Dealer wants to “low ball” you for your trade-in because you made a claim to change the rear bumper cover.
When we drive our vehicles on the road we are also assuming the risks that go with it. That is, we have the foresight in knowing that motor vehicle accidents, vehicle breakdowns and flat tires do happen.
Although, the person that rear ended your vehicle owed you the responsibility to put you back in the same financial position, immediately prior to the loss, it does not mean they are responsible for a loss of value based on speculation, separate and remote from the accident. The key is that the vehicle was returned to the pre-loss condition, regardless of the extent of damages prior to the repair.
In our opinion there is a separation between the accident and the damages that was owed by the “wrongdoer”, and the perceived damages (Diminution of Value) that resulted from the negligence that had caused the accident.
The immediate two questions are:
- Has the limitations period passed for a claim related the wreck; and
- Did they sign a settlement limiting her right to pursue further relief?
Assuming neither of these occurred and they still have a live claim then they’ll either have to negotiate the claim with the insurance company or file suit against the other driver, assuming they have a valid claim under state law.
Recovery of diminished value
The majority rule among states is that a vehicle owner can only recover diminished value against a third party (or its insurance company).. If they were rear ended that might not be too difficult. They will also need to be able to prove the value lost due to the damage.
Often this is done by showing market prices of a similar vehicle with and without damage history. Note thatand usually will offer a token amount ($300 or $500) to get you to go away. Depending upon the diminished value it may or may not make sense to pursue it further.
The Key Takeaway:
Check with a lawyer who handles insurance claims, just to be sure. Even if you had acted before, claims for diminished value in car accidents are rarely something worth taking up. The cost is generally more than the diminished value to bring the case. You can learn more information by going to our homepage and learning about how to find a doctor after a car accident.