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Dimunition of value
About two weeks ago, I was in a t-bone car accident, I am the claimant, the other auto insurance admitted fault, and now the adjuster and I are going back and forth about the car's condition. I believe that the car needs to be totaled, he believes it just needs repaired, I have a 9 month old son and do not wish to put my son in any further risk of injury than is need be.
The car I own is a 2007 Ford Focus, 28,000 miles.
So I have faithfully followed your steps, and boy I must say that the adjuster is getting rather tired of dealing with me. I haven't dealt with a manager yet, that might be coming up though. Anyways, here is my question,
I live in California, how do I file for Diminution of value on my car? Do I need a lawyer for that? Does the insurance pay for that?
The total value of the car according to the adjuster is 12900 after taking the car to the dealership they said the would pay less than 8000 for the car since it was in an accident. I am trying to add all of the costs to point out to him that he would be saving several thousand dollars by simply totaling the car. I guess we will see how tings go, I am probably having the Tear-down tomorrow. Thanks for any and all input.
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First of all I want to say thank you for this wonderful website. After I finish this question I will be donating to help keep you guys running.
Thanks again, Jason
First, thank you for your words. Comments like this one encourage us to continue writing. Let me address your question by steps:
I live in California, how do I file for Diminution of value on my car? Well, sounds like you already read our materials on that subject. If not, visit our diminution of value page here.
Remember this is a very hard claim to argue.
There is a lot of foot work involved, but it can be done. You do have a right to this claim. Make sure if you are talking to dealers that they are putting on writing the value they would pay. Also make sure you get your own Carfax where it shows the car was in an accident.
It is probably a good idea to contact the DMV, most car accidents in California are reported (over $750 I believe), therefore showing that your accident is now public record will help your case.
Do I need a lawyer for that?
Contacting an attorney is wise, however, most will not take a case like this unless there are injuries. There is no money on this type of claim for them. You can try to see if anyone takes the case.
Does the insurance pay for that?
Yes. Even though they will argue that they do not. Many states bar a diminution of value claim if you are making a first party claim (against your own insurance company), however, in your case, you are making a third party claim.
This means that you are seeking compensation from the people that cause the damage. You are not bound by an insurance policy and you are seeking the damages they caused. You should be entitled to that payment.
I see that you read our materials and I hope they helped some. As I said this is a hard claim to make, and you do have a legitimate worry (the car is unsafe). Make sure if the insurance company fix it, then both, the insurance company and the bodyshop give you a letter of guarantee insuring all possible damage.
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