Do you need an attorney for your auto accident?
Answer the question for yourself!
Let me start by saying that some people never need an attorney, and others will always need an attorney.
Additionally, this article is based on my 15 years of claims adjusting experience. I have developed a simple little formula that will help you decide if you need an attorney or not. Keep in mind, this quiz is tailored for auto accidents only, and I make no warranties or guarantees that your result is a foolproof answer.
Ultimately, the only person that can decide if you need an attorney is you.
With that being said, simply answer the following 15 questions and then add up your answers. All of these questions are yes or no questions. Whatever answer you have the most of is your answer to the title of this article.
True stories about how our free total loss claim consultation can make you money!
We talk to a lot of people from day to day and many times, Justin has to tell people who call the hard truth that it might not be worth spending money but sometimes, with just that one call, he can help you make decisions that could make you money in the end!
There aren’t a lot of experts out there talking about total losses so Justin decided to share his experiences with some of our clients with you good people researching about how to get your total losses settled.
Where can I get a diminished value appraisal?
If you are doing research on how to get paid for your vehicle’s diminished value, then you know that the advice on the street is to get a diminished value appraisal from a qualified expert. Are you feeling lost or overwhelmed in the process? You aren’t alone!
So how do you pick a qualified expert?
Dealing with Diminished Value in Texas
If you have a repairable collision claim in Texas, then you may be entitled to recover for your vehicle’s diminished value. In Texas, if you file a third-party auto claim, then if your claim meets certain standards, you would likely recover diminished value if the case went before a jury.
Diminished value in Texas compares to other states in this capacity through the negligence law rules.
In Texas, if one is over 50% at fault for a loss, then they cannot recover damages from a less negligent party.
The kicker is that if they are only 10% at fault, then that 10% can be deducted from their damage amount. Some States have a law that applies negligence in a pure manner.
For example: if you are 10% at fault, then you owe 10% of the other person’s damages. If you are 61% at fault, you can still recover 39% of your damages.
The point, and to answer the question in the title of this article, is that YES you can get paid for diminished value in Texas.
What if I want to total my vehicle but the insurance company refuses to total?
Frankly, I’m surprised that I don’t get asked the title question more often, but I know why I don’t. Simply put, it is the dogmatic way insurance adjusters explain the total loss or repair process to accident victims.
From the onset of dealing with most adjusters, the tone is set by the adjuster that what they say is how it is. Most simply TELL people how it is. The art of negotiation is lost and with it, common sense.
This isn’t their fault; their supervisor told them how it was when they started and as they trained. But don’t blame the supervisor because his manager told him how it was when he started. But don’t blame the manager. . . you see where I am going with this?
It is a mindset drilled into adjusters that THEY are the ones that decide if a vehicle is totaled or not. They are sadly mistaken.
So, listen, it is YOUR vehicle.
YOU decide what to do with it, not them. Remind them of this if you disagree with them. Ask them whose name is on the title. After you have cleared up the issue of ownership and ultimate control over the destiny of your vehicle, then you have to implement a plan to bring the destiny to reality.
Made Whole Doctrine: Are you being preyed upon?
Insurance companies count on vehicle owners not knowing about the law, specifically the made whole doctrine. They use the lack of knowledge by the layman to prey on accident victims for profit. Right now, many of the accident victims that are reading this article are being further victimized by their own insurance company, and many times the adjusters that are doing the victimizing have been indoctrinated to believe they are doing the right thing and that they are within the law.
Let me be very clear here:
Insurance companies routinely steal money from their own customers through improper and illegal subrogation activities.
Can you claim for the cost of a rental Car on Total Loss Claims in Texas?
Blogs are buzzing because in the recent Texas Supreme Court Case, J&D Towing LLC v. American Alternative Insurance Corporation 2016 WL 91201 (Tex. 2016), a major wrong that has been going on since before there were even cars was righted.
If you’ve had the displeasure of being in an accident where your vehicle was repairable, you’ve probably experienced a loss in the resale value of your vehicle, no matter how well it was repaired.
Additionally, in the vast majority of cases the insurance company that is responsible for settling the claim with you gives you an unfair and invalid diminished value claim denial. In my view, the denial of these valid claims is an act of fraud.
If it is fraud, then why doesn’t the insurance company get in trouble for it?
The primary reason is that there are very few attorneys and even fewer accident victims that really understand the denials. Because of that, it is difficult for the accident victim to defeat the illogical and unlawful reasons that insurance companies use to deny diminished value claims.
I thought long and hard about what I could do to help accident victims get fair compensation for lost value, and outside of preparing an appraisal for them and directing them to an attorney that will take their case, the best I can do is to educate. So that is exactly what I will do right now!
I’ve already published one article that gives some responses to common denials, but in this post, I am going to pull out the stops and address every denial reason I can find, and provide all the proper reasons why the denials are invalid, improper, and in most cases, fraudulent.
If you are attempting to recover damages as a result of diminished value, you will undoubtedly be required to prove your loss.
This can be very difficult for the average accident victim. Can you just call around and get auto dealer quotes to prove your loss?
Knowledge of the proper methodologies and form for presenting valid supporting data eludes most laymen.
As a former licensed adjuster and current owner of a claim services company, I can attest to how hard it is to document diminished value in a credible manner.
Spill The Beans!
How Do I Prove My Diminished Value?
In the small world of automobile claims, there’s new buzz surrounding California Diminished Value law and the recent changes in California Jury Instructions regarding property damage to automobiles.
The changes came in response to one attorney’s relentless pursuit of justice. Attorney Montie S. Day refused to sit idly by when he realized California insurance carriers and their adjusters were using language in official jury instructions to try and make accident victims believe they could not legally recover lost value damages. Specifically, we’re talking about inherent lost market value to automobiles, or as it is more commonly known, diminished value or simply DV. Market surveys and sales prove that damaged and repaired vehicles are generally less desirable (thus, less valuable) on the resale market than identical vehicles that have never been damaged and repaired.
What’s interesting here is that big changes are expected, yet there is no new California Diminished Value law. What the insightful Mr. Day attacked was not improper law (jury instructions are not law, and the law in California already recognized the right of a victim to recover inherent lost value aka diminished value). Instead he realized insurance carriers were using language in the jury instructions to mislead accident victims and imply that the law in California would not allow recovery of inherent diminished value, so he attacked and exposed that unfair and misleading tactic.