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Can I recover for loss of value

Discussion in 'Auto Accidents, Injuries' started by oldIndigoblue, Feb 15, 2022.

  1. oldIndigoblue

    oldIndigoblue Law Topic Starter New Member

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    New Jersey
    Hi,,,while inside shopping , another vehicle hit the side of my vehicle in parking lot ( witness said hard enough to actually move my vehicle a little)...then trying to leave in a hurry almost hit another vehicle and some people who witnessed the incident. These people were able to get her license plate number and when police came , they gave to officer along with description of what happened. Officer ran her plate and got her address, after taken my report he said he was going to go to her home since it was close by. Said he would issue tickets for 1) leaving the scene of accident, 2) failure to report, 3) careless driving
    My question is: Can I recover for the loss of value to my vehicle ( 2020 Jeep Compass with 20,000 miles)
    And little confused why...when i received police report she was only charged with careless driving... she tried to leave so as to get away with it, she obviously knew she struck it...
    Can I push for her to be charged with " leaving scene of accident and failure to report" if there was no witness she would have gotten away with the damage to my vehicle
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Don't bother. The police have already decided. Add another charge and she'll be able to plea bargain it away. Besides, while it might give you satisfaction to rake her over the coals it won't get you anymore money for your car damage.

    Some, but not a lot.

    Measure of damages, when auto is damaged, is the difference between the reasonable market value of auto before and after the tortious injury and the cost of repair and the depreciated value of vehicle because of having been in an accident, is the appropriate measure of damages, so long as total does not exceed the diminution in market value and does not exceed the pre-accident market value of the vehicle. Fanfarillo v. E. End Motor Co., 411 A.2d 1167 (N.J. Super. 1980). In Fanfarillo, the value before the theft was $7,900 and after the theft $5,000, a difference of $2,900. There was also evidence that the vehicle as repaired was worth only $7,500, so that the jury could have found total damages to the vehicle of $2,313 ($1,913 for the cost of repair and $400 depreciated value).

    DIMINUTION OF VALUE IN ALL 50 STATES (00165375).DOC (mwl-law.com)

    You have to ask for it and the burden of proof is on you.

    Don't get ahead of yourself. Once you get the other driver's adjuster's agreement on the cost of repairs, then you can ask for an additional amount. Understand that adjusters will balk at giving a lot of money for diminished value because diminished value is only based on a perceptual stigma until you actually sell the repaired car and end up getting less than you should have. If you keep the car for years the diminished value becomes less and less of an issue.
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    You'll find out once you make a claim against the at-fault driver's liability insurance. As indicated in the document to which "adjusterjack" provided a link (which you absolutely should read), it depends on the language of the policy. If the policy doesn't cover it or the insurer doesn't offer payment for it, you'll have to decide whether or not to sue (presumably, the insurer will cover the repair costs, so you'll have to make a choice about the propriety of suing for something that is 100% speculative*).

    * - To be clear..."diminished value" damages are completely speculative (and potentially would give you an unwarranted windfall) because, among other reasons:

    • The car might be destroyed in an accident or fire, in which case, you'll never experience any damage as a result of diminished value.
    • You might sell the car and receive the same amount you would have received for an identical car that had never been involved in a minor accident.
    • You might keep the car so long that no one will car that it was involved in an accident in 2022.

    You "can push" for whatever you want, but who cares? What she is or isn't charged with has no bearing on you or your ability to recover.
    Zigner likes this.

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