This is intended to help you understand what it takes and how you can increase your chances of actually recovering your diminished value claim.
1. Write a formal letter demanding payment for the lost value you believe you have sustained.
In this step, there is no need to actually determine the amount, simply demand more than you expect to receive. The trick to this step is to follow-up and get a written response to your demand. Do not give up! I’m telling you, the squeaky wheel gets the oil / grease! Maybe you will get paid just based off your initial letter (it has happened). If you get a written denial, move on to steps two through five and make another written demand with your revised findings after completing the steps.
2. Call dealerships in your area and beg them to give you a written opinion on the lost value your vehicle has sustained.
If you are a smooth enough talker, you can normally convince a dealer to help you document your loss. I have never met a dealer that doesn’t agree that a vehicle loses value after being in an accident and repaired.
3. In addition to trying to get dealer data, look up the value of your vehicle using industry standard guides, like NADA, Kelley Blue Book, or Edmunds.
These sources clearly indicate differences in value based on the condition and history of the vehicle.
4. Search online auctions and vehicle sale sites and call individuals that have similar vehicles for sale.
Ask individuals how they feel about the value of a vehicle after it has been wrecked and repaired.
5. Use the new information obtained in steps 2 through 4 to make a follow-up demand with new amounts.
If you get denied again and all else fails, hire a specialist to document your loss and prepare to sue. There are official rules about how one must document diminished value, and experts in this field know how to document your loss professionally so that it will hold up in a court of law. Most of the time after getting an expert report, the insurance company suddenly becomes a little more reasonable.
Don’t Give Up On Your Diminished Value Claim!
In summary, if you don’t give up and you genuinely have a diminished value claim, then the insurance company will likely pay your claim without the need for you filing a lawsuit. If you can’t get your claim settled and you need to take legal action, either hire an attorney or learn how to use the small claims court system in your area. If you need professional assistance or just free information about how to get paid for diminished value after accident damages, then just remember that information is always free at Petty Details, LLC!