diminished value factsIs automobile diminished value a fact? If so, then how does one prove the exact diminished value? Is there anything fake about diminished value?


In almost every successful recovery, an expert report on diminished value is required. As an expert in diminished value, my research indicates that diminished value exists in almost every case where a vehicle has been wrecked and then repaired. Generally speaking, the lesser the value of the car is before the wreck, the lesser the diminished value is after repairs, but not always. There are many factors that should be evaluated in order to properly determine the amount of diminished value suffered by a vehicle.
 

Here are seven things you can look for to see if the report from your diminished value expert is based in fact, or if it is faked!

1.  Did the expert inspect the vehicle that has allegedly suffered diminished value?

If the expert (or expert’s staff) didn’t physically inspect the vehicle or at least see photos of the repair, they how can they be sure of the value? What if the repairs were terrible, or what if the insurance company or shop missed something? Clearly, the condition of the vehicle and quality of the repair work is important in determining the value of a vehicle.

2.  Did the expert explain the scope and methodology used in determining your diminished value, and is the scope and methodology generally accepted as a way of credibly appraising damages and values?

3.  Does the report evaluate the level of damages that the vehicle had sustained prior to collision repairs and rate the damage for the likelihood of future problems?

4.  Does the report include photos of the vehicle?

5.  Did your expert include data from dealers or individual consumers during the research process?

6.  Did the expert calculate the pre-accident value of your vehicle properly, accounting for whether the vehicle is a specialty model or collectible, and all of its options?

A proper method uses more than one source and takes an average (we use five or more sources where available)

 7.  Did your expert inquire about warranties or previous accidents / repairs / maintenance?

A good expert will run a CarFax or AutoCheck for you (at no cost), and they will make sure they account for and disclose in their report any previous accident and will support the pre-accident value of the vehicle with maintenance information obtained from the owner (a well maintained vehicle is worth more than one that is not well maintained, right?)I hope this helps you in your quest to decode diminished value but if you need more information, you can go to our website to find resources on diminished value, total losses, small claims court and much more!  It takes knowledge of insurance processes and regulations and a lot of research. Successfully recovering on a third party diminished value claim heavily relies on how thoroughly your expert has documented your lost value and whether the methods the expert used are generally accepted methods, and not just a “guess”. Sometimes it’s just in the petty details!

Justin Petty / Founder and CEO of Petty Details, LLC

3 Comments

  • Hi, Great blog and super informative. I just had pretrial today. DV case involves a car for which I have a DV report from GA and I live in FL. Assuming it is a sound DV report, how important is it that expert witness show up to present the report at trial?

  • It is pretty important that your expert is willing to show up at trial. An expert report, with no expert to question is not very good evidence, and in many cases, if the defense argues it right, the Judge may not even allow the report in as evidence if the expert is not there to cross examine.

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