Diminished Value, when you go after it, most likely you will be forced to go to Small Claims court and will end up in Superior Court. This in order to get the money the CA Law states you are entitled to get as long as the accident was not your fault and the vehicle has been repaired.
You will have a loss of value when you sell or attempt to trade it into a Dealership, the loss will be anywhere from 10% loss to as much as 90% loss, 80% loss is the industry standard maximum allowable damage before a vehicle should be Totaled out or Junked out.
Some shop will work it so the 80% will not matter as long as they get the work, they will give a lower estimate of repairs and then after the vehicle has used that estimate of repairs a new estimate of repair may be given pushing the 80-% off the scale, your loss their gain and it is your loss when a vehicle should be Totaled and junked out but not and repaired.
Truth is, not all Judges you stand before are real Judges but what is called a Pro-Temp Judge who does know or may not know the law listed as 3903J Jurors Instruction and will not apply it even as it is the law.
I met one Pro-Temp Judge who is an embarrassment to the law. On my Diminished Value case he laughed at it with the Ins Co man and we lost the case. This Judge refused to acknowledge the 3903J Juror’s instruction to give Diminished Value, he sided with the Ins Co man over the law and agreed with him as Diminished Value being a Stigma, he was wrong. That is the reason you can lose your case as I have personally witnessed, I should have taken the advice and files a complaint against him but he is so old he would likely be dead before the filing went through and I don’t see the need to but a black mark on his records this late in his life.
First let me explain the law states it very clear that you are entitled to get Diminished Value when you are in an accident not your fault and your vehicle is repaired. This law 3903J backed by CA1 and CA2 is making sure the Judge knows the plaintiff is to get that Diminished Value when the accident in their your fault and the vehicle has been repaired. This law can be verified by searching the courts information on line.
I have prepared many Diminished Value report for people as far away as N.Y., NV, AZ and CA from 65% in NV to 75% in NY and 80% in CA for loss of value. The Diminished Value loss determined by each states anywhere from 65% as much as 80%. I have been doing this work mostly for law firms.
So far all of our cases won in Small Claims Court but one and all in Superior Court all in CA where we went to court for the clients. The one and only case we lost was due to a Judge in San Jose, CA who made a joke out of Diminished Value and laughed at us with the insurance adjuster calling it a Stigma. The Pro Temp Judge was an embarrassment to the courts and good attorneys so be aware of whether or not he knows the 3903J laws.
My point is if the Judge does not know to enforce 3903J, you have the right to ask to go in front of a real Judge who does know the law and will enforce it.
Here is the Judge’s, jurors instruction to the Jury 3903J:
Damage to Personal Property (Economic Damage) [Insert number, e.g., “10.”] The harm to [name of plaintiff]’s [item of personal property, e.g., automobile]. To recover damages for harm to personal property, [name of plaintiff] must prove the reduction in the [e.g., automobile]’s value or the reasonable cost of repairing it, whichever is less. [If there is evidence of both, [name of plaintiff] is entitled to the lesser of the two amounts.] [However, if you find that the [e.g., automobile] can be repaired, but after repairs it will be worth less than it was before the harm, the damages are (1) the difference between its value immediately before the harm and its lesser value immediately after the repairs have been made; plus (2) the reasonable cost of making the repairs. The total amount awarded may not exceed the [e.g., automobile]’s value immediately before the harm occurred.] To determine the reduction in value if repairs cannot be made, you must determine the fair market value of the [e.g., automobile] immediately before the harm occurred and then subtract the fair market value immediately after the harm occurred. “Fair market value” is the highest price that a willing buyer would have paid to a willing seller, assuming:
1. That there is no pressure on either one to buy or sell; and
2. That both buyer and seller have reasonable knowledge of all relevant facts about the condition and quality of the [e.g., automobile].
When we at Lemon Protection write a Diminished Value report we make sure to cover each thing the court requires to prove your case and if we go to court with someone as their expert we prepare a Brief for the Judge so he will have a clear understanding of your Diminished Value.
Good Luck, let someone know there is help and they are entitled to get Diminished Value, any question let me know,