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

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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

 

 

Lemon Law Case Won on Electrical Issues

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Ford Explorer Electrical Issues

I am a Lemon Law Expert Witness and was thinking of a case I did a few years back on a Ford that was having Electrical Issue. The attorney’s client called me and I was told she was having electrical; issue with her Ford Explorer and needed an inspection. We agreed to a time I would be able to see her vehicle for the inspection.

On the day of the inspection I met with this lady and took her keys and started my inspection. I took pictures of the outside of the Explorer and the VIN numbers and the odometer for documentation. I examined the underside and photographed the oil leaking at the engine and transmission as well as found the tires were wearing on the inside. I checked the fluid levels and checked for loose parts in the steering system before I started my road test.

After I started the engine the first thing I observes was the instrument cluster started flashing off and on after I started the engine and was driving. I ran a scan for trouble codes and several trouble codes came up for control modules. I continue my road test and also observed the Transmission was jerking at times and I recorded the times it was jerking which was during the up shifts. I also checked the steering and the vehicle pulled left indicating an alignment issue. I made notes as I always do on my finding and continue the inspection road test.

When I ended the road test, I took a photos the odometer to show how many miles I had driven and then the inspection was over. I went back to my office and wrote my report and turned it over to the attorney and waited. Several months later we had a trial on the vehicle. I was on the witness stand and was asked what happen during my inspection and explained that to the Jury. I had photos and videos I made when I was doing my road test and proved he lied when the videos were shown.

The expert for Ford also did his inspection and to my amazement stated he did not witness any concerns and the vehicle was working as designed which was a lie, this is when I learned what goes on in a court room. The attorney called me after the case ended, I ask about the other expert and was told yes they will lie and do anything they can to win a case but the Jury saw what I had gotten during my inspection and believed be, we WON hands down based on the evidence.

You can win in a lemon law case as long as you have it together, this customer had good records showing she had complained several times for her complaints and the fact is the factory will not make repairs unless it is a proven defect and repair attempts were made several times.

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.

 

Jackie Winters

Lemon Protection

800-700-0109 with any question.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Inspect A Used Car

      If you follow this step by step simple instruction you will have a better chance of getting a good used vehicle. Beware, some people will purchase vehicle from auto auction and repair it and some of the vehicles have not been reported as having accident damage. When you see the vehicle you want, look it over and take notes. The notes you took will remind you of the entire thing you will need to seek information about before you pay the cash. Also beware of buying from E-Bay, I once sold a car on E-Bay and the buyer sent me a certified Bank of America check but the amount was $2,000 more than I wanted. I called the buyer and he said I am sorry I sent you over payment and if you don’t mind just cash the check and send the difference back to me. I felt suspicious and went to B of A and they told me the check was forged and not real. I called the person back and he really got mad, I told him I will turn the check over to the FBI. I just saved myself $2,000, so be very careful, if you do accept a check from anyone you must insist they wait at least 30 days for the check to clear and be cleared. One story I heard was a person waited two weeks and then sent back the over payment and then one week later was told the postal money order he cashed was forged, so be very careful.

1) Do a CarFax and/or a CarCheck to look for unseen accident damage.

2) Inspect the vehicle or have it inspected by a certified mechanic with a written report.

3) Look at the vehicle for oil, water and any fluid leaks and write the area down.

4) Check all lights for operation as well as all electrical working parts, including the seats and cigarette lighter.

5) Check for broken parts and worn rubber parts.

6) Feel of the hoses for soft spots and look for cracks or damage.

7) Look at the body parts where they meet for proper alignment, the parts lines must be equal on all places like the left and right fender should align with the hood front to back and be at the same height.

8) Look at the tires for uneven wear, edge wear, feathering and knots is a suspension and alignment issue, be sure to look at the front and rear because sometimes a person will put the rear on the front to make it look better and to hide a problem..

9) Look at the radiator for rust, the coolant should be green on older cars and red on newer cars, rust is a sign of poor maintenance and will likely show up as a leak later after you drive for awhile.

10) Check the engine oil it should be clean and dark black is a sign of lack of poor maintenance, also look under the oil fill cap before and after you road tested the vehicle, look for a milk color a sign of an internal coolant leak (very costly repair).

11) Check the transmission fluid for smell, it smells burned then it likely has a transmission slippage problem, the fluid should be bright red, look for leaks as well.

12) Check the power steering it should be at the full line.

13) Check the brake fluid and see if it is low, low fluid may indicate worn brake pads or a leak, if it is low look at the inside wheel at the brake caliper for brake pad wear, if the pads are good look at the rear of the brake booster for paint peeling, a sign of a leaking brake master cylinder, another place to look is at the inside floor area for wetness of brake fluids another sign of a leaking brake master cylinder.

14) Step on the brake pedal and see if it sinks to the floor, if it does under a firm pressure then a brake master cylinder is likely the cause (a safety issue).

15) If all check out so far then move on to start the engine and then watch and listen.

16) You be best to have another person with you when you start the engine, have him stand behind the car/truck and when you start it look for smoke, blue is oil burning even if only for a second, black smoke is too much gas another smog related concern and white if goes away in a few minutes is water and is OK but a long and steady white smoke is internal leakage of coolant.

17) Listen to the engine for a knocking sound, if it goes away and then stops knocking there is worn bearings and a possible repair will be needed sooner than later, a steady knock can be lifters, tappets and or rod or main bearing knocks a certified pro can tell you what it is.

18) If at all possible have a shop run a scan for trouble codes that may have been erased and write down all the code numbers (the internet will tell you what they mean).

19) Watch for engine light, an engine light is a warning something is wrong, an ABS is a warning the brakes have a problem and the SRS warning is a sign the air bags have a problem be watchful when you drive and when you start the engine. All warning lights will come on when you start the engine for up to 6 seconds and then go off if all is well.

18) Pay attention on how smooth the engine runs both in P and D/R gears, a rough running engine that jerks or stalls is not good and an engine warning light will likely be on.

19) Be aware of how the transmission engages when you put it into gear on automatics, the transmission should engage with a soft feel and when it shifts it should be soft as well (not jerk hard), when you drive the transmission should not vibrate when moving from a stop or up-shifting or downshifting (a concern to worry about), if the transmission shifts smooth and no vibration or jerking is felt then it is likely OK.

20) For a stick shift transmission, the transmission should go into gears without a grind (a grind is a gear concern and expensive repair). When pulling away from a stop it should be smooth and not jerk or chatter, both are a sign of a worn or defective clutch (a costly repair), there should not be any noise when driving as well.

21) Stopping is important, listen for squeaking, grinding and vibration when stopping are all signs of brake problems (have a pro check it for you to be safe).

22) CAUTION: THIS IS A TEST FOR PROFESSIONAL ONLY, because a person may get run over or you may have an accident if you try this test. Steering is also a concern if your Technician finds a problems, he should check for wobble and or vibration at high speed 40mph plus, he should check for alignment pull or drift to one side, he would check the alignment for drift or pull, he will need to go to speeds of 25mph on a flat road and be sure there is plenty of room, he should hold his hands a few inches away from the wheel and let go, he should count to 1thousand1, 1thousand2, 1thousand3, 1thousand4, 1thousand5 and 1thousand6 if the vehicle drifts to one side or the other before that time limit then an alignment issue is likely there and he will know that, he should also inspect the tires before the road test for proper pressure (see door panel for proper pressure) as well as for uneven spots like tire separation.

23) Listen for clunking noise when turning and braking, a sign of suspension and or brake concerns and will cause alignment issues.

If you are going to purchase a new vehicle then I would suggest you get the book “Lemon Protection Identifying A Lemon” on Amazon.com, it is a very helpful book and small in size but filled with information. I will also publish the book “Lemon Protection How to Inspect a Used Vehicle” and “Lemon Protection Communicating With Your Mechanic” in the next few weeks and it will also be on Amazon.com. Thank you for your time and God bless you, please refer or tell a friend if you like this write up.