Diminution in Value Claims
“I was in an auto accident in August of 2011. I hired David Van Sant to help me with my case. David and his team helped me throughout the whole process and made it a more bearable experience. His team was there for me every step of the way. Anytime I emailed them or called them they either answered me right away or called me right back. They helped me with pretty much everything by getting the medical bills straightened out, finding good doctors, and even helped me deal with some of the emotional issues that I had from having a bad accident. I recommend this law firm. Very caring, professional, and just all around top notch.” (Hailey B. – personal injury client)
After a serious accident, your car or truck will never be “as good as new,” especially when it comes to the resale value of the vehicle. In fact, a well-maintained vehicle that has been in a wreck and repaired may lose one-third or more of its previous value even if it looks great and runs wells. Why? Most consumers, given the choice, would prefer not to purchase a previously damaged vehicle for fear of future mechanical problems.
For accident victims, this often means that even if the at-fault party pays for all of your car’s repairs, you may still lose tens of thousands of dollars when it comes to the overall worth of your vehicle. You should know that, according to the law, the at-fault party is responsible for restoring the full market value of your car, not just paying for the immediate repairs. In other words, if your repaired car is worth less than it was before the accident, the responsible party must make up the difference.
At Van Sant Law, we want our clients to receive all of the compensation owed to them under the law after a motor vehicle accident, including money to make up for the diminished value of the damaged vehicle. If you believe that you are not getting a fair settlement after your car accident, we may be able to help.The Dollars and Cents of a Georgia Diminution in Value Claim
To learn the diminished value of your vehicle, you have to subtract the value of your car after the accident from the value of your car before the accident. For example, if your car was worth $50,000 before your accident and only worth $35,000 after all repairs, your car diminished in value by $15,000.
Although insurance companies are aware that they owe you for the diminished value of your vehicle, getting them to agree to the correct payment can be extremely difficult. They may argue with you about the value of your car before the accident, the value of your car after the accident, or the formula with which the diminished value was calculated. To receive fair compensation for the damage done to your car, you may have to fight back the diminution in value claim with the help of a Georgia car accident attorney.How to Prepare for a Diminished Value Claim
To make certain you receive full payment from the insurance company after a car accident and vehicle damage, you will have to arm yourself with knowledge and information by doing the following:
- Collect evidence. It never hurts to take pictures of your car after an accident. In addition, you may wish to locate pictures of your car prior to the accident as well. Other evidence could include information from your mechanic, repair bills, and any prior appraisals.
- Document everything. Make sure to document any conversations you have with the insurance company, the party that caused the accident, and your car repair shop. Keep track of conversations or take notes, as all information could become useful during negotiations.
- Get an appraisal. In order to determine how much the insurance company owes you, you must determine the current value of your car. A professional appraisal is often required under the law in order to file a successful claim.
- Don’t just settle. It may be tempting to take any amount of money offered to you by an insurance company after a car accident. However, in many cases, the insurance company is banking on you accepting an unfair, lowball offer. If the settlement seems low, or if you have not done your own research, don’t sign anything.
- Speak with an attorney. The best way to understand your case, negotiate your claim, and get a fair amount of compensation is to collaborate with an insurance claims lawyer experienced with diminution in value claims.
If your vehicle has been damaged in a car accident and repaired, you may wish to make a diminished value claim to recover your associated losses. At Van Sant Law, we can help you get fair compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. We have learned, through years of experience, how to create, support, and defend our claims in order to get the best results.
To learn more about our legal services and how to fight a diminution in value claim, or to request a free claim evaluation, please call our offices today. Do not let the insurance company take advantage of you. Discuss your legal options with a Georgia accident attorney and find out what can be done to recover the lost value of your vehicle. We are available to help in your Georgia claim from any of our offices throughout Atlanta, Alpharetta, Athens, Cumming, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, and Gainesville.