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Diminished value claim for vehicle in CA

by Omar

My parked car (2008 Toyota Rav4 base model 2wd with after-market sunroof and roof rack, 4200 miles)) was hit by another driver who admitted fault and whose insurance paid for the repairs. I live in Los Angeles, CA.

There was only minor body damage to the front passenger-side fender and the front bumper. Additionally because the fender was pushed back very slightly as a result of the collission, the front passenger-side door had to have the paint touched up(barely) in one tiny spot where the door would "rub" against the fender upon opening it.

All of this was fixed by a Toyota dealer/body shop. The bumper and fender were replaced with original Toyota parts, and the door paint was touched up. The vehicle looks like it did before the accident. The body shop guy told me that there was no additional damage, structure or frame-wise.

All of this cost $1512.75 to fix, which the other party's insurance company paid for.

Do I have a claim for diminished value of my car? If so, how do I go about filing a claim with the other party's insurance and getting an estimate for the diminished value?"

Answer to Diminished value claim for vehicle in CA:

Hello Omar,

Diminished value claim are allowed (this would be a third party claim against their insurance company, not a first party against your own insurance company which is disallowed).

You have to get estimates to show that your car has actually lost value due to this accident. You should probably provide letters from the dealership showing how much they would take for the vehicle prior accident and then after accident.

They are very hard claims to make, insurance companies will fight you for this (they will tell you that you cannot do it, drag their feet, will go to court for it, etc.) Be ready for an uphill battle.

Get your Carfax report prior contacting them. They will argue that your car was back to normal condition and that no one would ever know unless you tell them (this have argued this before). If your accident is in your car fax report, it is public record...


for more information.

Good Luck
Diminished value claim for vehicle in CA

Follow up Question:

If no police report was filed, but the other party's insurance paid for the damage, would the accident be in the public record?

Thanks so much for your help.


It depends... If the damage was fixed by a bodyshop (a bigger one), they report this to Carfax (thereby making a public record).

Some insurance companies report all their claims to Carfax, the accident follows the history of the car, just about always.

It is likely that this was reported.

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