We WON Diminished Value case in Superior Court for $8,115

Featured

You may remember on March 27-2019 I posted we won our trial in Van Nuys CA for Diminished Value. My client was only able to sue for $10,000, his loss was over $17,000, the good news is the Judge awarded him the full amount of $10,000.

Up-Date, the INS Co filed for a Trial De Novo and we had to be back in court on 5-29-2019 in Van Nuys, CA. This is as if we have never been to court but this time an attorney for the INS Co would be present.

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.    A trial held on appeal, in which the appeals court holds a trial as if no prior trial had been held, considering the evidence anew rather than reviewing the lower court’s decision for correctness. A trial de novo is common on appeals from small claims court judgments …

We were in court on 05-29-2019 at 8:15 am. The INS Co first attacked my report as unfounded and having no foundation but was proved otherwise to the Judge when he read my Diminished Value report. The INS Co attempted to change the case by saying “Well your Honor if he is not satisfied with the repair he should go back to the shop” this is a side step ploy by them. A trick that means if you say anything about not being satisfied about the repairs you will not win. They will tell the Judge it is about not being happy with the repairs.

You must always remember, it is not about the repairs it is about Diminished Value and you must stay on that road.  I told my client if they say anything about body repairs remind the Judge you are not here for the repairs you are here for the loss of value when selling or trading in the car in and the car having a bad Car Fax  is giving Buyer Beware rendering a sure no sale, it is about loss of value.

We showed the Judge our evidence and gave him a Brief I had prepared with help from my attorney and friend.  I explained Structural Damage and how the car was not made Whole as before, I explained how the car will be unsafe and how it will cause uneven tire wear. I also had an alignment sheet showing the arrows were not stacked meaning the alignment is within the lines but not perfect. I also proved I am a Certified Hunter Alignment Trained Technician. The Judge said you will get my decision in 2/4 weeks.

On 06-04-2019 I was in court with another client when I got a call from my client, he was ecstatic, he said the judge awarded him $8,115 for his Diminished Value case on 05-29-2019, we proved our case and it paid off.

He was very happy because before he filed his Diminished Value case he was told he did not have a chance of getting any more than a few hundred dollars if that from any INS Co for Diminished Value. So he thought about it and decided the $250 he will spend for the report is worth it and it paid off for him.

Keep in mind you are not allowed to have an attorney in small calms court but you can have an Expert Witness and an Attorney with you in Trial De Novo because it is a Superior Court where you will have to show evidence if you want to win as we did.

The bottom line is you can go for Diminished Value and if you prepare your case, you can win, not all cases will win but at least you have a chance to win.

On 06-04-2019 while in small claims court with another client  my third Diminished Value case in Camarillo, CA on a 2018 Honda Accord.  I gave the same explanation as I did in my Trial De Novo to the Judge and we were told a decision will be made in a few weeks.   Two days after this trial my client called me to say she won and her awarded was $7,075, for Diminished Value.

Folks we are on a roll for Diminished Value so if you have been in an accident and your vehicle was repaired you are entitled to Diminished Value so why not go for it. The cost is relatively cheap at $250 for a Diminished Value report that may help you settle soon after but if you don’t we will go to small claims court or Trial De Novo with you (there is a separate fee with a 100% Guarantee win or you get refund in full for court fees)

If you use our service for Small Claim Court or Trial De Novo there is a fee and with our GUARANTEE you can’t lose.  Yes, and we GUARANTEE if you do not win in small claims court you do not pay that $750 fee and it is in writing. If you go to Trial De Novo and lose you do not pay the second fee of $750, we ask the Judge to make the INS Co pay that.

I am a Certified Appraiser and I have been writing Diminished Value report since 2011 using a Formula that can be proven and the US Gov has given Copyrights to the Instruction of use of that formula. I write for law firms in Las Vegas that are winning and settling their Diminished Value cases with no problem. You can do the same here in CA or anywhere in the USA so you have three years from the date of your accident to file for a Diminished Value claim.  TELL A FRIEND

Jackie Winters

Lemon Protection

We-WON Diminished Value Case in Van Nuys CA for 10,000

Featured

Yes! we won in Small Claims Court Civil Division Department P in Van Nuys, CA for the “Diminished Value”, in the amount of $10,000 plus court cost on March 12, 2019.

How did we do it?

Back in January I got a call from my client to write a “Diminished Value” report for his 2012 BMW 328i that had been rear ended when at a stop light by another driver.

I asked for the Estimate of Repair document to see the cost of repairs and it turned out to be over $17,000 in damages. I started to write the “Diminished Value” report that can be used in a court of law.

When I finished the “Diminished Value” report I sent it along with instructions on how to proceed.

First, my client had to send a Demand Letter to the Insurance Company of the driver that hit his car.  As expected, my client got a letter back from the Insurance Company that the claim was denied and the CA law does not have any such thing as “Diminished Value”.

Second, my client followed my instructions I sent him and filed a Small Claims law suit against the owner of the car that hit him and then got a court date to stand before a Judge.

On the day of trial I was with my client (Plaintiff) and we went inside the court room.  The owner of the car (Defendant) that hit my client’s car was in court with his Insurance Adjuster and we were asked to go outside and try to arbitrate.

The defendant’s insurance refused to arbitrate so we remained inside the court room to stand before the Judge.

The Plaintiff was called and he and I stood before the Judge. He told the Judge his Expert was with him and would like for me to speak about the “Diminished Value” and the Judge allowed me to speak.

First, the Plaintiff spoke about the accident and how it happened; he also stated the other driver admitted fault.

Now the Defendant’s Insurance Adjuster spoke and said, “Your Honor, he accepted the car’s repairs and he was satisfied and if he has any complaints he should return to the shop that did the repairs.” Then he also stated we had to prove loss of value and later when I spoke I did.

The Defendant reminded the Judge he was not in the court about the repairs but about the loss of money when reselling or trading the car in. The Judge asked me to explain the report and the formula I use to show “Diminished Value”. After I finished explaining the report and my findings and how I come to the loss of value which was far more than he can ask for which was over $17,000.

The Judge had another question for me, how to show structural damage.  I explained with a very simple and easy to understand of how this was, with that the Judge said, “One side here today will not like my judgement but it is final.”

After five days my client called me with excitement; we won the “Diminished Value” case for the full amount of $10,165.  This is the maximum allowable damage he can ask for plus court cost in a small claims court of law in CA.

I have been writing “Diminished Value” reports for law firms in NV and CA going on 8 years now, but mostly in superior court for attorneys.  This was my first small claims case on my own and we won that all my client was allowed to ask for.

If you have been in a car accident not your fault you are entitled to get “Diminished Value” and you can get it; it takes a little time but worth every minute you spend on.

You can contact me by way of e-mail and I will be willing to help you as well. Don’t let the Insurance Adjuster make you back down with their lies, telling you it is not allowed or you don’t have a claim because your car is fixed, that is a cover in hope you will back down and they win. Help is here and here to stay.

Feel free to contact me anytime because you can WIN in small claims court for “Diminished Value”. This case can be verified.  Tell a friend and get paid what is owed to you.

Thank you,

Jackie Winters

Lemon Protection

 

 

Diminished Value Against the Home or Vehicles Insurance Companies

Featured

I had a case a few years back and a man’s three vehicle were burned caused by the neighbor’s house fire and the repairs were several thousand dollars to fix.

The Insurance told him he was not entitled to get paid for his Diminished Value and he should just go fix his cars or junk them they did not care about his loss.

His attorney had a different story, he was entitled to get Diminished value for his loss.

His attorney contacted me and ask me to inspect each vehicle and find the Diminished Value and I agreed.

I went to the home of this customer and did an inspection on each vehicle and all were repairable with some needing new glass and paint and rubber seal that had been damage by the fire.

I turned in all there reports with my finding and loss of value to the attorney who called me, he also ask me to be the expert witness for the loss of value in a court of law and I agreed.

On the day of trial when on the witness stand I was asked to explain each vehicle loss and what the loss of value was to the Jury. The total loss was several thousand dollars for the three vehicle. The Jury awarded loss of value on all three vehicle with all 12 jurors agreeing he was entitled to that loss of value, he won based on my three reports hand down.

The Diminished Value will apply to all vehicle damages by another person insurance no matter if it was caused by a house fire as these there were or in a car accident not your fault.

The California law 3903J under Jurors Instruction passed in 2016 make this apply to all loss of value claims no matter how the loss happened. The laws in other stated provided  show Diminished Value is recoverable and is in almost all stated in America.

As a certified appraiser and writer of Diminished Value report for over 14 years. I know the laws and know how to write the report for that loss and can back up all report I have written with a solid foundation showing proof.

If you have a loss of value caused by another person fault you are entitled to get that loss of value no matter how small it is.

If you were in an accident not your fault you are entitled to get that loss after the vehicle has been repaired because no person or shop can repair a vehicle back to factory condition, in many inspection I have always found damaged parts I could photograph and or feel when driving. So go after that loss and remember we pay for Insurance to protect us and pay any loss to the other party when in an accident.

Pass this story on and tell a friend.

Thank you,

Jackie Winters

Lemon Protection

lemonprotection@yahpoo.com

Mercedes Distronic Plus, Active Lane Keep, Steering Assist and Collision Prevention Assist Understanding

Featured

Recently I have done inspection on some of the Mercedes Benz that are equipped with Distronic Plus for driving that were having concerns and I want to clear up how these system work and when you know there is a problem with it.  These systems work off of radar position in front of the car behind the grill area and has a Radar Sensor and an Adaptive Cruise Module, it also uses the brake system. This Distronics Plus can be turned on at 30 mph or above and the distance can be as close as 100 feet up to a few hundred fee this is the best distance to use.

Distronic Plus On works like the Cruise Control;

Let me start with Distronic Plus and how it works and what the warning sign mean. Distronic Plus is a system designed to keep automatic speed regulation with control proximity of the vehicle in front of you traveling at a slower speed.

How it works is when you are driving behind someone driving slower than you are when the Distronics Plus is on, let me say 60mph and you set the Distronic at the speed of 65 and the distance at 100 feet, this means if you are driving 65mph and you come up behind another car and there speed is less than your speed the Distronic Plus slows the car down in turn helping you avoid a collision.

Some people may think, this is Collision Prevention and may complain “My Collision Prevention Assist is not working right” but they may mean my Distronic Plus is not working right meaning the car did not slow down when it approached the slower vehicle in front of them and the brakes did not apply and slow the car down as designed to do.

Now if you turn on the Distronic Plus and then see a warning that says Suspended that means the brake system was suspended (meaning a problem is present with the Distronic Plus) keeping it from working properly when you get to close to the slower car in front of you, the warning sound will start to beep loudly warning you to slow down, this does not mean the Distronic is turned off.

The Distronic Plus will not turn off until you press the brakes and then you will see the warning “Distronic Plus Off” meaning you hit the brakes and now the Distronics Plus is off.

You have a Problem when you see Suspended after you turn on the Distronic Plus but did not hit the brakes and if the car speed up when it should not and if you get a warning when you think everything is working properly

Active Lane Keeping Assist;

This Active Lane Keeping Assist is designed to keep the car in the lane you are traveling at.  The way this Active Lane Keeping Assist works when you are driving in a lane and then the car veers out of your lane and starts to cross the lane left or right of you the brake system will activate and cause the car to pull back into your lane, this may save you from getting hit or hitting another car, this may also be confused with Collision Prevention Assist.

When the brakes apply during Active Lane Keeping Assist they will slightly apply but not enough to cause the car to jerk or move abruptly causing you to be afraid, the brakes will apply in the right front and right rear if you are drifting to the lane to the left of you and if you are veering to the lane to the right of you the left front brake and the left rear brake will slightly apply to cause the car to come back to the center of your lane avoiding a possible collision from you hitting another car or from you getting hit by another car.

You can test this by turning on the Active Lane keeping Assist by drifting into another lane left or right and see if it pulls the car back to the lane as designed and if not then you have a problem.

Active Steering Assist;

Active steering assist is designed to help you the drive keep the car centered in the lane stopping you from drifting to close to the left or right lanes. This is for you if you are drifting left and right the way some drive do when driving, you may have seen other driver drift left and right when if front of you making them appear to be drunk the way a drink drive will do.

You can test this Active Steering Assist by making the car drift left or right while in the center of the lane, it should pull the car back to center and if not then there is a problem.

Collision Prevention Assist;

Collision Prevention Assist is designed to keep you from getting hit by another car when driving, it works off Radar to watch your soundings area of your car. If a possible collision appears that may happen it will apply the level of breaking you need in hope to help you avoid getting hit or hitting someone else avoiding the collision. Your Technician can test this by using the shop XENTRY tool or it may be called the Star Diagnostic tool for testing and reset, it taking approximately 1 hour to do the job.

If you have problems with your vehicle you can get help and you can win but you must have records of repairs on the concerns you have and have attempted to get those repairs made more than three times unless it is a safety issue which is two times, meaning Brakes or (SRS) Safety Restraint System. There are a lot of good attorney who can win for you but you must contact one of them. Thank you and pass the word forward if you need help or know someone who does. I am a certified Craftsman and certified by ASE, Detroit Diesel, Hybrid trained and a Certified Appraiser with over 40 years of hands on experience. I have also been on the witness stand over 58 times with over 800 deposition and have never been impeached.

PLEASE LEAVE ALL TESTING TO THE EXPERTS JUST TELL THEM WHAT YOUR CAR IS DOING AND THEY WILL KNOW WHAT TO DO, MOST OF THE TIMES.

Jackie Winters

Lemon Protection

800-700-0109 with any question.

 

 

Diminished Value Money from Accident Damages

Featured

The Insurance Companies do not want you to know it is the law that you are entitled to get this loss of value when someone hits your car or truck and it is repaired.

I did a case on a new car for a woman who was hit with a loss of value of over 15K in repairs made to it. When she ask for the loss of value monies she is owed by law, her Insurance company told her the Insurance companies do not recognize loss of value because the car was repaired back to original condition.

The fact and truth is, it was not repaired back to original condition because no mechanic, no matter how good he is can make an original back to original condition for several reasons.

  • The parts will likely be used parts from a Junk yard
  • The frame cannot be put back to original condition
  • The new buyer will not want a car for the true value when it has been in an accident and repaired
  • On vehicle with frame damage it is very likely the tires will wear out sooner than normal having edge wear, dog tracking and pulling to one side or the other
  • Accident vehicle sell for far less and the loss is absorbed by the owner of the vehicle.
  • Most people will not buy a vehicle that in an accident and repaired no matter how good it looks and if you sell a vehicle and do not disclose the accident, you can be prosecuted for fraud.

Folks I am telling you this because I started Lemon Protection over 32 years ago for the sole purpose of helping people not get Ripped Off by crooked people we have to work with including mechanics, sales people and insurance diminished value claims.

Keep in mind, we pay the Insurance Company for this protection and still they hook and crook people as if it is costing them. The truth is, it cost nothing out of their pockets. The money spent to repair your vehicle is paid by the interests on money they have avoided to pay out and they do not lose any monies on your repair.

I heard on a news report the Insurance Companies have a 50 Billion Dollar reserve, this money came from not paying out claims when they should have paid. One attorney told me straight up when I ask him why do companies hold back paying when they know they should pay.

He answered and said Jackie we have thousands of people in line we own money to for their claims but if we give in and start paying them; everyone we owe will want their money so it is cheaper to fight in court and hopeful other will drop the cases and they have, we win even if we spend several hundred thousand dollars to fight one case.

Folk’s you can get this money owed to you, it is a battle but can be done if you are willing to go all the way. The reports I write have been awarded by the US Copyright offices a copyright to the formula instruction. I have had 6 court Judged allow my report to be used in court, I have two cases that have won and one was a complete surprise according to the attorney, we just had the loss of value on the car when we went to trial in a Lemon Law case.

I have one case with an attorney in Los Vegas and he sent me a letter telling me the Insurance Company did not want to see my report in a court of law so they settled. The insurance company actually paid him four times the original offer made him, the offer went from $1,000 to $4,543 to his benefit so he won without going to trial.

I read the diminished value report written by the Insurance company and it was full of lies, all the number were guessed at, my number have proof behind them and are solid and I have proven that to several court Judges in 402 hearing. In fact the Superior Court ordered State Farm to find a formula for the diminished value and they have not done it.

I put it upon myself to find the formula so I hired an expert Master Mathematician to find the formula and he did.

I have had over 700 deposition and 47 trials and I have never been impeached, no reason to lie when I have solid evidence that will hold its own in Trial. I work with over 15 law firms if anyone needs a good Lemon Law, Fraud or Diminished Value attorney let me know, I work with the best CA, NV and AZ have to offer.

Remember when you are seeking diminished value never say anything about the repairs to the insurance company because it will cost you the case, it is not about the repair, it is about the loss of value to the vehicle.

If your vehicle was in an accident and repaired you are owed that loss of value and I can help you get it as long as it is under $10,000 and above that you need an attorney. It takes time and patience and you may end up filing a small claims court case, the cost is small.

If you have me write a report for you I will appear in court to explain the report to the Judge for you. I GUARANTEED I will not be asking you to pay my court fee if you lose the case, my court time is $250 and hour plus travel time of $40.00 an hour and parking fees. If you don’t win you pay me nothing and I will put that in writing.

As you know by now I have been a professional mechanic for over 32 years and still going strong and I want to help you, let me know if you want a report, all I need is a copy of the original estimate of repairs (if there is more than one estimate I will need those also) I charge $250 for the report and GUARANTEE it to hold up in court or you get a full refund.

God bless you and Thank you for reading, if it can help you or others please pass it on.

Jackie

Lemon Protection

800-700-0109

Did your Attorney tell you about DIMINISHED VALUE?

What would you do if you found someone owed you thousands of dollars would you ask for it?

Was the Diminished Value included when you signed the release of Liability?

I think the answer to the first question is “Yes” and the second is “NO” and are the same answer as everyone else has. You can make a change.

These questions are related to cars and trucks that have been in an accident, repaired and then returned to the customer with the loss of unseen value.

As a legal expert witness for Lemon Law, Fraud and Appraisals I can speak in full truth about the money I am speaking about and that is the loss of value you get when your car or truck has been in an accident, repaired and then returned to you with nothing said about the loss of value owed to you.

The vehicle is towed to a shop and then repaired according to what the Insurance wants to pay. If it is cheaper to Total Out your vehicle then it is Totaled Out whether you like it or not. Some high-end vehicle will pass the Maximum Allowable Damage and get repaired so that amount will pass. They do this with the body shops getting Estimates of repairs, the estimate of repairs will show what work need to be done.

This is supposed to be followed up by a secondary estimate of repairs and should never have a third or fourth estimate of repairs but some do. This third and or fourth estimate of repairs will make the loss of value over the Maximum Allowable Damage amount to be exceeded but because all the work has already been started, the repairs are approved and you lose even more.

This is made possible by the Insurance appraiser and the body shop. After the repairs have been approved the vehicle is repaired then returned to the owner.

By the way you will not see any estimate of repairs until the job is done and you get the vehicle back. You will have to ask for a copy of those and be sure to ask for a copy of all estimates of repairs made, it is your right to have a copy.

When your vehicle is returned to you and although it may look like it did before, beware there are unseen damages you may not be able to see. These unseen damages may not show you for some time down the road, you don’t want problems to sneak up on you.

First if the vehicle was in a major accident where it sustained Frame or heavy body damages such as the roof, A/B/or C pillars or the rocker panels have damages and had to be straightening or replaced, watch out. This means the body and frame alignment will be off because it is bent, twisted, crushed, ripped or torn. With this kind of damages it is most likely the tires will by your first sign showing abnormal wear within the first year and wear sooner as the years pass by. If it is body pillars or the roof, water leaks and wind noise is most likely with possible shorts in wiring that was not seen during a repair or replacement part.

The vehicle can never be put back to original position as it was when it left the factory and this is where the loss starts.

Where is the loss of value?

When you go to trade or sell the vehicle. A Car Fax or Car Check company will have a copy of the police report showing the vehicle was in an accident, Dealerships will not take a vehicle in trade when Car Fax or car Check is showing an accident. If you sell it on a private sell and the buyer knows it was in an accident he will want to pay up to 50% less than Blue Book Values.

If you sell a vehicle that was in an accident and you did not disclose that accident damages to the buyer. You have broken the law and you can be made pay everything back for the vehicle and possible more if he or she contacts an attorney.

What Can a Person Do to Get That MONEY?

Make sure if your vehicle is getting repaired, inform your attorney you want Diminished Value separate from your Personal Injury Claim so he will know to be asking for it separate from the personal injury claim.

  • Make sure he knows how to get that Money for you and tell him you have a company that is willing to work with him or her and is able to give Expert Witness testimonial to the loss of value with a strong foundation.

You will need a Diminished Value report and at Lemon Protection I writes those kinds of reports, they have been approved by several courts, I also work with several law firms that will pursue Diminished Value for you.

Go to my web site front page and at the bottom and side, there I have listed the names of several of California’s best attorneys for Personal Injury and Lemon Law. They will answer your questions free.

If this information has helped you, please pass it on and tell a friend.

Thank you and GOD bless you,

Jackie Winters

Lemon Protection

 

 

How to get paid on Diminished Value

HAS YOUR VEHICLE BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT AND REPAIRED?

Did you know you are entitled to be paid for that loss of value?

Did you know that diminished value can be in the thousands of dollars?

Did you know the other driver’s insurance company owes you that loss of value?

Did you know Lemon Protection Guaranteed their Diminished Value Reports?

FULL MONEY BACK GUARANTEE

When you present the Lemon Protection Diminished Value Report to the Insurance Company you will be told it is not valid. You will be told this in hope you will go away but the LAW and Lemon Protection is on your side.

A Lemon Protection adviser will give you instruction on the steps to take in order to get to the negotiation table and then settle your case. If you cannot settle and we have to continue on to small claim court then Lemon Protection will have an Expert Witness with you. You must follow the direction given by Lemon Protection to get this money and we will be with you all the way to the end.

If you are not awarded at least 25% of the diminished value calculated by Lemon Protection you will not pay for any of the services provided by Lemon Protection and that includes;

  • Diminished Value Report
  • Expert Witness
  • Court appearances
  • No other billing for anything related to the case

YOU CAN WIN IF YOU ARE WILLING TO FIGHT FOR IT,  WE  GUARANTEED  IT

You can find a story of a recent win by a man in Nevada on my web site under “WHAT IS A DAMAGED VEHICLE WORTH POST REPAIR?”, he was offered $1,000 to settle his Diminished Value claim but he said no. He told the insurance company I want a non-biased opinion. He called Lemon Protection and it was done, I wrote the report and he settled for $4,563.00 and I can prove it. He said the Insurance adjuster did not want the Lemon Protection report in court. Tell a friend about us and book mark our site, Thank you for your time and kindness to read. 

Jackie

Lemon Protection

WHAT IS A DAMAGED VEHICLE WORTH POST REPAIR?

Featured

THE LAW OF DIMINUTION OF VALUE:

THE UNSPOKEN MONEY OWED POST REPAIR

by lemonprotection

If you found two similar cars for the same price, but one had an accident with $10,000 in repairs performed and the other was never in an accident, which would you buy?

If your new car sustained $10,000 in damages in an accident, even if it looks good after repaired, isn’t it worth less post repair than it was right before the collision?

Can you get money for this loss in value? YES. You can get Diminished Value or Diminution In Value of your car, truck or other vehicle if you are willing to fight for it!

What is Diminished Value or Sometimes Called Diminution In Value for a car, truck or other vehicle?

        It is a loss in value of a car, truck or other vehicle, or, for that matter, any property, due to a sudden and unexpected accident. In other words, even after a vehicle or other property is optimally repaired, it obviously has lost some value because of its damage history. The value of a damaged car or other vehicle is clearly diminished post accident as a buyer would pay more for the same vehicle if it was never damaged in an accident or, put another way, a buyer given the choice of two identical cars but one had been in a major collision obviously would prefer to buy the never damaged vehicle and would expect to pay much less for the other repaired vehicle. It is the money you will lose when you sell or trade-in your repaired-vehicle. It is the money owed to you by the responsible party or the Insurance Company for the responsible party that caused the damage.

 

A Personal Story

I received a call from an attorney in Las Vegas about a vehicle that had been in an accident and repaired. The attorney contacted the Insurance Co. and asked for the Diminished Value of the vehicle due to this collision damage. The insurer offered him $1,000 and that was it. After months of back and forth negotiations trying to get the insurer to make a fair settlement offer with no success, the attorney heard about my business through another attorney I have worked with over the years. The attorney called me and asked if I could write a solid Diminished Value report on the vehicle for the client he is representing. I replied I would need to review the file but from the information initially provided believe I could help.

I took all his information, including the repair estimates for this vehicle, and wrote a Diminished Value report and it showed the amount he was owed was far more than $1,000. In fact, it was over $6,400. I sent the attorney my report. A week later the attorney called me to let me know that the Insurance Co. will not recognize my report, so he wisely requested it to write its own report. I later was shown the Diminished Value report written by the Insurance Co. adjuster. It was not accurate, it was one sided and did not include all the repair costs. This was something I was able to help with that others might not have noticed because of my many years of experience in the motor vehicle industry. I then contacted the attorney and explained the errors and omissions with the insurer’s report and pointed out the lack of foundation and told him the insurer’s report would not hold-up in court. The attorney agreed.

The attorney contacted the Insurance Co., spoke to the same adjuster and made it clear he was rejecting the insurer’s meritless position and preparing for trial on this matter. The adjuster’s bluff failed and to avoid litigation the adjuster settled for a compromise amount $4,653.00. This amount was more than four and a half times what the Insurance Co. had previously offered.   Just by getting the right diminished value report with a good solid foundation made this happen for the attorney’s client.

Law on Diminished Value

Keep in mind, the law* (see comment at end of this article) in most states provides that you are entitled to Diminished Value when you are not at fault because you are entitled to be compensated for all foreseeable damages caused by the negligence of another person. It clearly is foreseeable that a damaged car will be worth less post repairs than it was worth right before the collision.

You should be able to collect Diminished Value if:

  1. The accident was not your fault and the responsible party has insurance as recovery for diminished value is often only permitted against the other party and his/her insurer and often is not permitted under your own insurance collision coverage. The reason for this is that your recovery against the responsible party is based upon what is foreseeable while your recovery from your own insurer is based upon the written terms of your written policy of insurance. Often your own first party collision insurance coverage described in your own policy of insurance will not cover this type of loss and you would be bound by this written provision under principles of contract law unless there is a specific law in your jurisdiction negating such insurance coverage provisions. In California there presently is no such law.
  2. The party at fault has insurance or sufficient funds to pay your damages.
  3. Your vehicle is not older than ten (10) years.
  4. The damage estimate was at least $2,000.00 (as the damage needs to be more than minor).
  5. And your vehicle was repaired and not deemed a total loss (as if it is a total loss then you should be compensated for the full value of your vehicle with any total loss settlement).
  6. You have not entered into a settlement and released the other party and his/her insurer.

How To Get The Diminished Value for Your Repaired Car or Other Vehicle

Here is how you can get your Diminished Value post repair for your damaged car, truck or other vehicle.

First, get the vehicle’s entire file, including the purchase contract, and all repair estimates, including the adjuster’s first estimate called the pre-takedown and the supplemental estimate after takedown, if any. Both reports taken together should describe the damages that were caused in the collision and the full amount or cost to repair.

After reviewing all the papers, I would also do an inspection of the car or other vehicle with photos, if the vehicle has not been repaired and is available for inspection, and do research to support and back-up my findings. Then I review everything and prepare a detailed written report setting forth my findings and the money loss for the Diminished Value of the subject car or other vehicle.

I use a special formula designed by a master mathematician that has been accepted in trials by six (6) Court Judges. The formula encompasses several different areas of research and then all the numbers are compiled into the formula that gives a solid foundation for Diminished Value.

The formula consists of the following:

1)  Using the Insurance appraiser’s primary and secondary estimate of repairs;

2)  Researching AutoTrader for the current value of several like vehicles of the same make, model, year and near mileage;

3) Using Black Book, Kelly Blue Book and Edmonds for price comparisons;

4) Then applying the numbers from the above information to the formula in order to attain the true Diminished Value caused by the collision.

Things the Client Should Do to Help Collect Diminished Value

Do not sign any Settlement Releases or papers until you show them to me and/or your lawyer.

If you have all your papers together and have not signed off on your settlement or signed a Release and meet the criteria set forth above then I can help you if you want.

And here are some steps you need to take if you are involved a car, truck or other vehicle accident so be prepared if this happens to you.

If In a Car or Other Motor Vehicle Accident Please Do the Following, if possible:

1)  Check to see if there is any fire or if anyone is hurt; if so, then immediately call 911.

2)   If the accident is not your fault, you are also advised to report it to the police to obtain a traffic collision report supporting your position.

3)  Exchange information: first get the person at fault driver’s license number, address, phone numbers, email address, vehicle license plate number and insurance information. Be sure to personally read the driver’s license yourself and do NOT rely upon someone else, like the responsible party, to say the number and other information to you as it may turn out to be incorrect.

4)  Take notes: Be detailed about what happened, including which lane you were in and the position of each vehicle from about ten (10) seconds before impact until after the impact, what you were doing and what was going on around you, the time of day, sunlight, street lighting and weather conditions, including whether it was wet or dry, etc.

5)  Take photos and video before the vehicles are moved, if possible, from several angels, positions and distances, but, of course, be very careful. Do not get into traffic or do anything unsafe to take pictures. Remember, most mobile phones are equipped with cameras and video capability.

6)  Get the name and contact information (e.g., phone numbers and email addresses) of all witnesses, if any; and ask what each saw. It’s best to take detailed notes.

7)  Try to recall if the other driver was on the phone or texting. If so, document that information with the exact time and inform the investigating police officers and your own insurance adjuster and your own personal injury attorney, if you were injured. If you were injured and do not have a personal injury attorney, one excellent very experienced personal injury law firm we have worked with which offers FREE & CONFIDENTIAL consultations on accident injury claims is Gary K. Walch, A Law Corporation. Its telephone number is 818.222.3400, email is info@WalchLaw.com and web site is www.WalchLaw.com.

8)  You can call your own tow truck. You do NOT have to use the one that might arrive at the scene and, if appropriate, you may have your car or other vehicle towed to your home or other location of your own choosing to avoid storage costs. If you contact your insurer while at the scene of the accident, your insurer also may be able to assist you.

9)  The Insurance adjuster(s) will come to wherever your vehicle is located or stored post accident to do the first estimate and a supplemental estimate will be added later if the vehicle appears to be repairable and the cost of repair is less than 80% maximum value of your vehicle. If it is higher, the insurer may deem it a total loss.

After the Repair Estimate is Made:

1)  Make sure you let your Insurance agent and/or adjuster know when you speak to them that you will be seeking money for Diminished Value from the other party.

2)  Get copies of all repair estimates, including both the 1st body shop estimate and then the 2nd estimate called a supplemental estimate.

3)  Get a copy of the police report (aka traffic collision report), if one exists. Your insurance company and/or personal injury lawyer, if you were injured, should be able to help you do this.

4)  Get an experienced vehicle appraiser who knows how to write Diminished Value reports. You may contact me for a free consultation at lemonprotection.com or call me toll free at 1-800-700-0109.

5)  The appraiser may need to see your vehicle more than one time for photos. Don’t get disturbed. Sometimes, for example, the photos we take are not as clear or complete as we want them so, at times, we need to retake photos or re-inspect the vehicle.

6)  Do not sign a release or any settlement papers if the Diminished Value has not been discussed and resolved. If you have to sign-off on the car to get it from the shop and cannot wait then next to your name sign followed by “Diminished Value Expressly Reserved, Not Settled. Signed Under Protest.” This may help protect you later.

After the appraiser has examined and photographed your vehicle, the appraiser will start to write the Diminished Value report. It will include several things in it that will help prove your loss. Be patient because sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks to obtain needed supporting information, to complete needed research and prepare a detailed Diminished Value report.

WHAT NOT TO SAY OR AGREE WITH:

Now here are some things you must be careful with that I advise all my customers to stick to. I call it, “What not to say when attempting to settle your Diminished Value claim.”

After the insurance adjuster gets your report and demand letter for payment, you may get a call from one of its attorneys or adjusters (for simplicity, I shall refer to anyone from the insurer as an adjuster) and you must be very careful in how you talk with them. Errors regarding what you say (and what not to say) can lessen or diminish the amount you may be able to collect or sometimes even cause you to lose the possibility to collect anything from them. For this and other reasons, some clients wisely prefer to hire an attorney or let their personal injury attorney handle this for them.

Using the words “Condition” or “Value” the wrong way can hurt you. You must keep the focus on “Diminished Value” and/or “Diminution in Value”. Remember, based upon this scenario, including that the repair shop did a good job, your claim is not against the repair shop for the repairs, but it is against the other party and his/her insurer for the resulting inherent loss of value caused by the collision damages.

You must stay focused on you claim for Diminished Value. You must tell the adjuster repeatedly you have no issues or complaints with the quality of repairs as the repairs were done to the best of human ability. However, it is also critical to never say anything like “the repair was perfect.”  It is impossible to know what additional damage is hidden under the repairs made. Be very careful when talking to the insurance adjuster as he/she may use the word “condition” when you want to talk about “Value”. The insurance adjuster may say something like the condition is just like it was before and if you agree you just lost because the adjuster can say things like this: “Well your complaint then is not with us it is with the body shop.” The adjuster may try to say that all the damaged parts were fixed; the vehicle is restored to the same pre-accident condition as before the accident. The adjuster may say goodbye and hang-up on you. Remember, your Diminished Value claim isn’t trying to recover a loss in condition; it is to recover the loss of value caused by the collision that repairs alone cannot resolve.

Some clients prefer not to negotiate with the insurance adjuster and to have an experienced lawyer handle that. That is not a bad idea and again we recommend you contact Gary K. Walch, A Law Corporation, for a free & confidential consultation and claim evaluation. Its telephone number is 818.222.3400, email is info@WalchLaw.com and web site is www.WalchLaw.com.

What Else You Should Do

You need to know the facts. You need to do some basic research or have me do it for you. You need to be armed or here is when you lose money. You also should obtain both a CarFax and CarCheck report on your vehicle.

When you see the CarFax or CarCheck research report you will know if your vehicle was in an accident and you will have to disclose the accident and repairs made when you sell your car. The loss of value is in many cases between 40 to 60 percent, money you will not get when you sell or trade it in. In fact, some new car dealers will not take a vehicle in trade if it shows to have been in an accident no matter who did the repair work. This is something that can be both very surprising and upsetting later on so best you be prepared for it now.

If you get a clean CarFax be sure also to get a CarCheck as well, because sometimes an accident may not be reported to both places and you may be surprised in what you find.

Good Luck and let me know if I can help you.

Thank you and GOD bless you.

Lemon Protection

800-700-0109

__________________________

*Courts have held that where a damaged auto was repaired to “its pre-accident safe, mechanical, and cosmetic condition,” an insurer’s obligation to repair to “like kind and quality” was discharged according to the insurance policy. However, recovery for tort damages includes the difference between the fair market value of the object before the loss and its value after the loss. Ray v. Farmers Ins. Exch., 200 Cal. App.3d 1411 (Cal. App. Dist. 3, 1988); Moran v. California Dep’t of Motor Vehicles, 139 Cal. App.4th 688 (Cal. App. Dist. 4, 2006).