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How to File Diminished Value Claims

Having a vehicle damaged in an accident can reduce the value of that vehicle in the eyes of potential buyers, especially when it comes time to sell or trade. A diminished value claim is one way to recover that lost resale price. However, filing such a claim is not without its challenges. It’s important to remember that not every insurance company will honor a diminished value claim, and those that do will often try to minimize or deny these claims.

Diminished value claims are covered by First-Party insurance policies and can be filed against the at-fault driver’s insurance company or, in the case of an uninsured motorist, the owner’s own insurance company if there is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. However, even if the other driver is insured, they’re unlikely to acknowledge that the vehicle has suffered damage, or they may attempt to coerce the owner into accepting a minimal sum as compensation.

To file a diminished value claim, you’ll need to have proof of the vehicle’s resale value before and after the accident. An expert appraisal is typically required to support the claim, and most insurers will use a formula similar to the 17c formula named after the court case that established it. The formula takes into account not only the type and severity of the damages but also the mileage of the car and other factors that might influence its resale or trade-in price.

The best time to file a diminished value claim is right after the repairs have been completed. This will prevent the resale or trade-in value from decreasing further, and it will give you an opportunity to negotiate. It’s also important to keep in mind that some states have statutes of limitations on diminished value claims, so the sooner you take action, the better.

An attorney will help you ensure that all the necessary documents are attached to your claim, and it’s submitted correctly. This will prevent any mistakes that could cause the insurance company to reject your claim. An experienced attorney can also help you to negotiate with the insurance company and advocate on your behalf.

If the insurance adjuster tries to offer a low figure for your diminished value, you can challenge it in small claims court. Then, a neutral arbitrator will make a binding decision on the dispute and award you the amount you deserve. Be prepared to invest the time and resources into the legal process, though, as it can be a lengthy endeavor. An attorney can save you a lot of time and frustration. They’ll help you gather the necessary documentation and evidence and can effectively negotiate on your behalf. They’ll also be able to catch any loopholes that the insurance company might use against you. This is why it’s important to hire an attorney that has a background in insurance law and a history of successfully handling insurance claims. This will increase your chances of receiving the full compensation you deserve for your damaged vehicle.