Diminished Value On A Modern Collectible – $5,000 on a 2002 Chevy Camaro Special Anniversary Edition!

diminished value win on specialty vehicle

New Win – Diminished Value on a Modern Collectible Vehicle!

Lisa had one heck of a fight oh her hands after being wrecked into in her very cherished 2002 Chevrolet Camaro Special Anniversary Edition.  She had taken careful care of her rare modern collectible vehicle and was not going to take less than she was owed when fighting for her diminished value. Read more

Tow Trucks, Taxis, & Rentals, Oh My! Commercial Vehicle Claims

 How To Deal With A Diminished Value Claim Against A Commercial Vehicle Insurance Policy

During my auto claims career I have dealt with hundreds of claims that stemmed from the negligence of a commercial vehicle. In particular, three types of claims are most common: Claims involving rental vehicles, taxis, or small freight / towing truck companies. In most cases, if one of these commonly self-insured entities has caused you damage, then you’ll have a very difficult time recovering your damages.

Here’s an example of what you could run into . . .

Diminished value claims against commercial vehicle

I currently have a case on the books where my customer’s vehicle was damaged because a towing company failed to secure an item that was on the bed of a tow truck. The item fell off causing over $7K in damage and lost value to my client’s vehicle. The tow company’s risk manager told us that he would not pay for damages, and that my customer would have to sue. Then, he said if the customer won the suit, he still would simply never pay the judgment.

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California Diminished Value Claims

California diminished value

California Diminished Value Claims :

What You Need To Know

Throughout the country, individuals are realizing that they have a right to recover the inherent lost market value (diminished value) that occurs after a vehicle has been wrecked and repaired.


There are only two states where case law does not support recovery of diminished value in a negligence cause of action.  California is not one of those states.  New case law in California is clear that it IS possible to recover for the diminished value of your vehicle if you are able to prove your loss. Read more

Arizona Diminished Value Claims & Small Claims

How to file Arizona Diminished Value Claims

diminished value claims in ArizonaFor Arizona diminished value claims, there is case law that is exactly on point. It is a case styled “Paul Oliver v. James Henry”.  A Google search will surely land you with a copy of the case, or you can request a copy directly from my office and we’ll send you the full case for free. That case law says that a vehicle owner can hire an expert appraiser to document the lost market value due to damages, and that an expert appraisal or testimony is sufficient evidence. This means that if you want to recover your Arizona diminished value claims, then the quality of your expert is really the thing that matters most.

Does that answer all your questions? I didn’t figure it did. Let’s break it down by the most frequently asked questions after learning that diminished value in Arizona is supported by law. Read more

The Placebo Effect / How It Affects Your Diminished Value Claim!

I guess most of us have heard of the placebo effect, but just in case. . . here’s my definition:

Being told that a pill (you don’t know it’s just sugar) is a fix for a problem, then having the problem resolve.  The healing effect due ONLY to the belief of having a healing medicine, and not any actual physical medicine.


©iStockphoto.com/ FotografiaBasica

I think this is a great example of the power of thought on the physical world.  It is at the very least, evidence that it may be possible to think healing into being.  As I was reviewing my historical records of how diminished value claims are settled, I began to think about and analyze the conversations and belief patterns of my customers as they behaved and thought about their insurance claim potential.  The placebo effect is rampant.

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Texas Small Claims Court Abolished?


Recently, the Texas legislature enacted a law that abolishes the Small Claims Court in Texas.  There are a few articles on the web about it, but for the most part, nobody noticed!  After researching the subject matter (thanks to Hal Monk), I found the amended rules.

Luckily, the rules aren’t too bad, and for practical purposes, the small claims court in Texas will still be available, but now it is officially a subset of the Justice Court, and there are now formal rules you can refer to instead of the limited guideline that the former Chapter 28 of the Texas Government code provided.

download our free diminished value guideOne might think as a proponent for self justice that I would oppose this change, but I think it will make the rules more clear and it leaves in the important parts (in my opinion), which are:

  1. Limiting pretrial discovery to that which is considered fair by the judge.
  2. Allowing one (person or corporation) to select their own method of representation, with or without an attorney
  3. Allowing for relaxed rules of procedure where the judge is still in charge of developing the facts. . .

I’ll provide the full new law to anybody that seeks me out and asks for it. . .

Information is always free at Petty Details, LLC!

How To Sue The Insurance Company Over A Wreck

how to sue

I truly cannot tell you how many times a claimant threatened to sue the company when I was adjusting insurance claims.  All insurance adjuster learn pretty early on that a person will have a hard time trying to sue someone else’s insurance company for bad claims handling, so never was I ever worried when a third-party claimant threatened suit.  In fact, I hoped that they tried so they would learn a lesson.  Just the fact that they threatened it made it known to me that they had no clue how to fight with me.

Now that I am a private claims consultant, it is still one of the most common questions I get from individuals who are upset about the way they are being treated by an insurance company.  If you’ve found this article by searching the internet for “How to sue an insurance company” or some variation, then you are who I am trying to reach.  Please continue reading, the following information is 100% true.

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Difficult Adjusters and Lawsuits


As a former liability adjuster, I cannot count the times that an individual threatened a lawsuit in an attempt to get more money.

I would like to make the point that adjusters are calloused to the threat of a lawsuit.  Many times, the adjuster’s ignorance is the reason they do not respond.  It is rare for an adjuster to actually be involved in the negotiation of an actual suit, so they never get real experience and hardly ever actually hear or see what the staff attorney or hired attorney does to get the suit settled.  Threatening a suit is rarely useful unless the threat is clearly credible.

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Texas Small Claims Court

If I had a nickel . . . .

Okay, so you have run into a brick wall and can’t get justice served, right?  If you live in Texas, if justice means recovering money from somebody or company that owes you $10000.00 or less, then you can probably force the issue to a head by doing a little research on the Small Claims court rules.  They are located in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 28.  The rules of battle are clear and simple enough for most to understand with just a little research. 

Here are some general tips, and if you really want to get detailed, click on the title of this posting and you’ll be at my free resources page on our website:

1.  Don’t sue unless you have tried every other possibility.
2.  Do your homework.  The best way to win is to be right!
3.  Call the clerk of the court and ask general questions about procedure.  (Is the Judge informal? Does he conduct the hearing just like it says in Chapter 28 of the Government Code or does he allow the formal Rules of Civil procedure to take precedence?)
4.  Research your opponent!  Will they have an attorney?  Will they show up?  Can you get them on the telephone? Do they have any money or non-exempt property of value?
5.  Do you understand the deadlines and how to appeal if you happen to make a mistake and lose on a technicality?
6.  If you get in over your head, are you willing to just give up, or can you afford an attorney?
7.  Find all the free resources you can and ask many questions. 

Basically, if you have a valid reason to use Small Claims Court and your damages are within the limits allowed, then it can be a very useful way to get justice served.  Frankly, most people are not very informed about how the legal process works, but more people are coming forward to help out the consumer that is being “bullied” by either a landlord, or an insurance company that is fully aware of the fact that most people won’t sue because they can’t afford an attorney.  In 2007, Texas increased the limits for Small Claims Court and for Justice Courts from $5000.00 to $10000.00.  In my opinion, this change was an attempt to lessen the caseload of “minor claims” in the higher courts of record.  This is beneficial to people who know how to apply their constitutional right of access to the courts.  Normally, it costs less than $100.00 to get an official lawsuit on the books in Small Claims court, and a judgment from a Small Claims court is just as powerful as a judgment from any other court.  Depending on the circumstances, if you are forced to file a suit to recovery monetary damages, and you get to the point of having a judgment (my research and experience shows that about 80% of suits settle before a judgment is actually rendered), then the judgment can be used to garnish a bank account, seize non-exempt property, negatively affect credit ratings, and even suspend a driver license in some cases. 

If you need to use the Small Claims court, don’t be afraid to try your luck, I assure you it will be a learning experience and you will be better off in the future, win or lose.  For free information about how the Small Claims Courts in Texas work, call me or visit my website, I’m sure you can find the information you need to get your dispute resolved for a cost that is much less than what an attorney would charge.  Attorneys generally do not have the time to mess with small claims, they have big clients and bigger fish to fry that will make them much more money.  Also, be advised that I am not an attorney, and I do not give legal advice, I simply have the tools to point you to the information you need which is available for free in the public domain and on the internet.  Additionally, I provide help with finding information for free!

Good luck!

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