Diminished Value Claims

What is “Diminished Value”?
Property, particularly vehicles, that are regularly used depreciate over a period of time; however, vehicles that have been involved in a collision do so at a faster and unnatural rate. The unnatural rate a depreciation or loss in value can come from a collision with other vehicles or inclement weather, such as hail or falling objects associated with torrential downpours and storms. The loss of resale value on an automobile after a collision is called “diminished value.” The loss of value can occur even if the vehicle has been fully repaired and has no noticeable damage. The reason an automobile that has been restored to pristine condition still losses its value is because no one in the market for a vehicle is willing to pay market price for a vehicle that has been involved in a collision when the potential buyer could just purchase a new vehicle. State law will determine whether you can recover the damages from this loss in value, being that this matter is handled different in every state.

Diminished Value in the State of Georgia
In the State of Georgia, your rights to the recovery of damages is recognized and can even be recovered from the insurance company providing you coverage. Georgia has had a law in place to protect drivers from the diminished value of property due to damages since 1926. In the Supreme Court decision in Georgia, Mabry v. State Farm, it was decided that a property cannot restored to the same value as before the accident occurred since it is almost with certainty that a prospective buyer will be less interested in buying property that has been involved in a collision wherein damages were sustained. Should the prospective buyer maintain interest in the purchase, a large discount would have to be attached. This discount in sale price due to damages comes as an unfair consequence for the owner and essentially equates to loss for the owner of the vehicle. Loss of value in your vehicle after it has been repaired, but now tarnished with the mark of an accident is what is known as diminished value. In 2001, Georgia issued the Diminished Value Law ruling, which says that a party deemed at fault will be responsible for the expenses of the repairs, including the value that has diminished. It was ordered by the Commission of Insurance and Fire Safety  that State Farm Insurance provide a formula to be use as a standard in Georgia in 2008. The formula, known as “17c” is one of the main formulas used to assess what damages have occurred in an accident.

It is typically the responsibility of the insurance companies to provide the reimbursement for a loss due to the depreciation after a collision. A claim will need to be entered to the insurance companies representing the two or more parties involved in the collision. The insurance companies in Georgia are required to pay for damages to those they represent for diminished value, meaning that if you have an accident and it was your fault, you can still receive the value you lost because of your own negligence. No premium is attached to filing a diminished value claim on your insurance policy. So, if you have been in an accident, collect this diminished value claim from the insurance company so that you will not have to accept it as a loss when you sell the vehicle.

How do you recover the value you lost?

Insurance companies will typically not take a diminished value claim very seriously. That is why you need an experienced diminished value attorney in Georgia to protect your rights and get you the full amount you are rightfully owed. Our dedicated lawyers will take you through the entire process of your claim and help you make the best decision for your situation.

Collect as many facts about your accident as is possible, including obtaining a copy of the incident report taken by law enforcement and the entirety of your car repair expenses. Be sure to take plenty of photographs, including the other cars involved and your car both before and after the incident. Also, record how many miles were on your car.

Retain an experienced diminished values attorney before even beginning the process of communicating with the insurance companies. Insurance adjusters are notorious for leaving injured people with damaged property and nowhere near the amount of compensation they deserve. Make no agreements to the settlement amount until you have thoroughly discussed all of your options with your lawyer. You have only one opportunity to file a claim so make it count.

Do not be surprised if the insurance company representing you or the other party will not come forth with an adequate amount for the loss of value in your vehicle after a collision. Insurance companies make their money from all the money they don’t pay people, not a generous nature. The insurance company will be guaranteed to have their own best interest and financial obligation at heart. That is why one must seek the counsel of an experienced diminished value claims attorney. You will need someone on your side in the claim process. A member of our dedicated, experienced firm will protect your rights and see to it that you get the best possible offer for the value you lost in your vehicle.

Several reasons an insurance company will give to not provide coverage on a diminished value claim are as follows:

  • The vehicle does not have a lot of value because of its age.
  • The vehicle was involved in other accident before the one in question.
  • There is a lot of mileage on the vehicle.
  • The accident created a total loss with the vehicle.

How do you file a claim for diminished value in Georgia?
If the value of the vehicle is not equal to or less than $15,000, it is possible to file the claim against the insurance companies in Small Claims Court; however, it is highly advisable to consult an experienced diminished value claim attorney before filing the claim. It will serve you well to remember that the insurance companies have lawyers ready to go in situations just like yours. You could find yourself severely outgunned in a matter of moment trying to pursue the claim process without the strength of counsel.

Do not hesitate to file your claim because there is a limit of time attached to such cases, known as a statute of limitations. The time limit is typically a period of two years from the date of the accident; however, shorter periods are possible. If you wait to file your claim, you could end up holding the bills and expenses for the losses in value you suffered.

It is far too easy to discover whether a car has been involved in a collision these days. As you go to sell your vehicle, the chances that you are able to receive the value price of your vehicle before the accident are extremely low. A loss of value can occur in more than just cars. It is possible to have a diminished value claims on motorcycles, recreational vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, or boats.

No matter how close the vehicle is to perfectly repaired after damage or a collision, the value of the property will never be the same. Property has been involved in damages will generally be less wanted by consumers in any situations, especially if the person in the market for the property could just buy it new for a mere bit more. Even the trade-in values will be negatively impacted by diminished values after repairs have been completed.

The reason insurance allegedly exists is so that we may be returned to our former state after being involved in a collision or another situation creating damages. Recovering the value of your losses during a diminished value claim is just another part of the process of making you whole again after the damages occur. Do not be cheated or swindled by multibillion dollar insurance companies. Protect yourself and your property today by retaining an experienced diminished value claim lawyer for our team of skilled and dedicated legal representatives. We will fight for you immediately by examining the coverage of your policy, dealing with the adjusters, filing your claims, and at trial should your case arrive there. You have worked hard throughout your life to have nice things so do not let the insurance company refuse to restore you to what you had before your accident. Contact us today so that we can get started on your claim immediately. Do not wait to receive the money that is owed to you. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. We will review your case and help you take the necessary steps to getting back on your feet and getting whole.

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