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Diminished Value for new car in accident

Discussion in 'Auto Accidents, Injuries' started by 2009RTR, Jan 31, 2015.

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  1. 2009RTR

    2009RTR Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was involved in an accident several weeks ago when another driver failed to maintain her lane. The police came and completed an accident report faulting her for the accident. Due to the fact the other driver provided a bogus insurance card AND failed to tell the officer the name on her license was wrong, it took us 3 weeks to determine who she really had insurance with and the correct policy number. In the mean time, my insurance company paid to have my car repaired less my deductible. Since then the other drivers carrier has accepted responsibility but, says they are only liable for the $$ my carrier paid to the repair shop. Shouldn't they owe me the deductible? Also, my car was basically brand new, 3 months old and carfax will show a wreck with $4K in damages. The insurance company is saying since they did not see the car before it was repaired their is no way they can know if it had damage prior to the wreck AND they are only liable to repair the damage, not make someone whole for what the car may be worth...

    I have an attorney working on recovering medical bills/lost wages but, he said they do not handle diminished value. I've called the majority of 'ambulance chasers' who advertise prominently in DFW and they've all told me the same, we stay out of diminsihed value.. Can I sue in small claims court???
     
  2. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    How are you planning on proving your case aside from the deductible?
     
  3. 2009RTR

    2009RTR Law Topic Starter New Member

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    On the medical portion, medical records from my doctor. I am being seen by my regular doctor (MD), and a chiropractor. Both know I am being treated by the other as does the attorney.

    In regards to diminished value, I am getting trade in quotes in writing in which they are clearly stating they are discounting the trade value by $2000-$3000. I have also found several on autotrader and cars.com (same year, make, model and similar miles) with and without wrecks listed on carfax. The difference in sales price is averaging $3K.

    An attorney I know who works for an insurance company says that is what they do to resolve diminished value claims.
     
  4. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    Trade in quotes are not necessarily valid unless you trade it in. Obviously they will give you less for a trade if you walk in the door and say "Hey how much would you give me trade in for this formerly wrecked car?". That is not necessarily a valid number. How does it compare to book value trade ins from NADA and KBB for example?
     
  5. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    Trade in quotes are not necessarily valid unless you trade it in. Obviously they will give you less for a trade if you walk in the door and say "Hey how much would you give me trade in for this formerly wrecked car?". That is not necessarily a valid number. How does it compare to book value trade ins from NADA and KBB for example? What is so outstanding about your new car that you found so many wrecked ones for sale on a used car sale website? I bet I could not find many of mine.
     
  6. 2009RTR

    2009RTR Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have not found that many.... 3 in total. A client of mine is a buyer for the largest Toyota dealership in N. Texas and helped me search. He is one of the ones quoting almost $3K less b/c of major wreck.
     
  7. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    So you have limited information and a bias source. That will not hold up in court. What is the MMY and engine?
     
  8. 2009RTR

    2009RTR Law Topic Starter New Member

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    2014.5 Toy Camry SE V6 2K miles.
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can ask your insurance company if it will help you get the deductible.
    If they can't or won't, you'll have to sue the other party in small claims court.
    The deductible will be easy to prove. The finished value, some small claims judges won't bother to listen.
    Even if you prevail on one r bth, trying to collect your judgment is equivalent to pulling teeth out of a chicken's toothless mouth.

    In many cases you just have to learn to walk away 50%, 75%, or some other number less than 100%.

    Good luck.
     
  10. 2009RTR

    2009RTR Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks Army! I spoke again to my insurance adjuster and he said the other drivers company, State Farm has agreed to pay the $750 after my company sent them proof I had paid it.

    As for the diminished value, I think you are right, it is probably not worth the hassle and time to maybe get $1000....
     
  11. PistotnikLaw

    PistotnikLaw New Member

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    Diminished value claims really depend on whether you have the right documentation. You will need an "expert" (someone knowledgeable in valuing vehicles) that will have to give you a letter confirming they are an expert and indicating the value of your vehicle, if it had not been wrecked, as compared to the value of your vehicle, after being wrecked to determine the diminished value. When you get the right documents, then the insurance company might pay or might continue to give you the run around. Small claims court might be an option, but you should consult with your attorney first. Some states have a "one action" rule and if you sue, you have to sue for everything together at one time.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I learned many years ago, take whatever you can get with the least amount of effort and expense in most matters.
    People tend to want everything, and that often prevents them from getting anything.
     
  13. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    Diminished value claims are very difficult to collect. Not impossible but very difficult. Lots of documentation and persistence.
     

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