Atlanta Insurance Dispute Attorneys
If your vehicle sustained damage in a car accident, you may be entitled to recover the costs of repairs or replacement, as well as the lost value of your car after the accident. Car accident victims rarely consider the value their car loses once an accident occurs, and insurance companies tend to be quiet on the subject because they don’t want to pay.
An Atlanta diminished value lawyer at our firm can recover the money you deserve for all your vehicle damage. Call Buckhead Law Saxton Accident Injury Lawyers P.C. to speak with a member of our team during a free consultation.
Trust Our Diminished Value Law Firm With Over 40 Years of Experience
If you have been involved in an accident and suffered injuries, you may need a lawyer for personal injury to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Our law firm has been serving Atlanta for more than 40 years. We have longevity in the legal world because we put our clients’ needs first. The accident injury attorneys on our team focus on obtaining the money our clients deserve. Our history of securing millions of dollars in compensation in case results for injury victims all over the state shows that we know how to do just that.
We take pride in knowing that hundreds of clients continue to keep in touch with us and refer family and friends to our firm years after we resolve their cases. We want you to be one of them.
If a car crash damaged your vehicle, our diminished value claims lawyer can help by:
- Determining the value of your car before and after the crash
- Calculating the value your car has lost (i.e., its diminished value) to determine the amount of compensation you should receive
- Filing your car accident claim
- Communicating with the insurance company, legal teams, and third parties involved in your case
- Negotiating a fair settlement for your losses and injuries
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit for the compensation you deserve
Diminished value claims can be difficult to navigate when insurers routinely try to undervalue the losses you’ve suffered. If you don’t know the state diminished value laws that govern these insurance disputes in Atlanta, we invite you to connect with us. A lawyer at our firm can represent you in your vehicle damage claim and protect your right to fair compensation.
A Diminished Value Lawyer at Our Firm Can Help at Any Stage of Your Claim
No matter what step of the claims process you are in, our diminished value lawyers can help. With years of experience under our belts, our attorneys are not intimidated by big insurance.
You can turn to Buckhead Law Saxton Accident Injury Lawyers P.C. for help with your diminished value claim if:
- You are initiating a car accident claim.
- You have already filed your car accident claim and are waiting for a response from the insurance company.
- You are facing challenges with the insurer undervaluing your claim.
- Your claim was denied.
What Is Diminished Value?
Diminished value is the value your vehicle loses after it has been in a car accident. It is the difference between what the car is worth before the accident and afterward. The concept of diminished value stems from the reality that a damaged car is worth less than an undamaged one, even if the owner makes repairs.
Assuming the owner wants to sell their car in the future, a buyer would not be willing to pay market value for the car when they know it has an accident history. This is the case even if the repairs are virtually flawless.
The state recognizes that the loss of value is real and that restoring a car to its pre-loss condition does not erase the perception of damage in a buyer’s mind. The law allows you to recover compensation for diminished value and other losses in a personal injury or vehicle damage claim.
Diminished Value Claims Under Georgia Law
In Georgia, the big insurance companies generally use a procedure known as ‘17C’ to calculate damages associated with diminished value. Under the state’s regulations and case law, insurers are required to account for any depreciation (inherent diminished value) that occurs to a vehicle as a result of it simply being in a crash.
It should be noted that these calculations are somewhat opaque. Sadly, insurance companies try to exploit the inherent ambiguity in calculating diminished value, and in turn, try to push accident victims into wholly unfair settlement offers, pocketing the extra money for themselves. You need to know your rights: Under Georgia law, you deserve full compensation for any market value that was lost by your vehicle due to a crash
Can You Recover Diminished Value From Your Insurance Company?
Georgia is one of the select states that allows claimants to collect compensation for diminished value from their own car insurance policy. In Mabry v. State Farm, the court ruled that diminution of value was included in the liability shouldered by auto insurance companies in first-party claims for physical damage.
So, you can claim diminished value when filing a claim with your insurer, but there may be specific criteria you have to meet for the claim to be valid. Our Atlanta diminished value attorney can walk you through the requirements for claiming lost value under your own insurance policy.
You can also claim diminished value in a third-party insurance claim against the at-fault driver.
Three Types of Diminished Value You Can Claim
We find three types of diminished value:
Immediate Diminished Value
As the name suggests, immediate diminished value is the amount your car is worth right after the traffic accident and before any repairs. Some courts use immediate diminished value to compensate accident victims with lost value claims, but insurance companies do not typically use it as drivers opt to repair their cars under applicable insurance coverage.
Inherent Diminished Value
Inherent diminished value refers to the value that is lost automatically upon the car’s involvement in a crash. The mere knowledge that the car has an accident history deters buyers. Some may not consider purchasing the car, while others would only be willing to pay a price much lower than its market value.
Repair-Related Diminished Value
The repairs to your car after accident can also reduce its post-crash value, even if the intent was to restore it to its pre-loss condition. If your car received aftermarket parts rather than parts from the original manufacturer, your car inevitably would not be worth its pre-loss value.
The same applies to the use of low-quality materials to make repairs or poor workmanship. When the repairs are done improperly or simply substandard, it reduces the value of your vehicle.
If you don’t know the type of diminished value that applies to your car damage, our diminished value claims lawyers in Atlanta can review your case. We can obtain the expert opinions of vehicle repair companies or diminished value appraisers to help determine which type of lost value best suits your situation.
How Is Diminished Value Calculated?
The simplest and most straightforward way to calculate diminished value is to subtract the value of your car after the accident from the value of your car before the accident. The difference between the two numbers is the loss of value from your vehicle. However, insurance companies may try to complicate this process. They might add extra variables to the diminished value calculations in an attempt to reduce your payout.
There is no industry standard for diminished value calculations, though many insurers have adopted the 17C formula. This complicated and unfair method of determining your lost value reduces your maximum compensation to 10 percent of your car’s actual cash value and then factors in mileage and damage severity to reduce it even further.
Why You May Want to Hire an Atlanta Diminished Value Lawyer on Our Team
Insurance companies may try to tell you what your diminished value is worth. This amount is almost always well below what you are entitled to recover. Many insurers use the 17C formula to calculate the value and falsely claim that the formula is not only state ordered but also endorsed.
This is a lie by omission as the Supreme Court of Georgia, in Mabry, ordered State Farm to come up with a procedure for calculating diminished value damages and then approved it for use in that specific case, which was a class action suit. The state did not order the use of the 17C formula in all diminished value claims.
Insurer May Use Questionable Tactics
Insurance adjusters may also try to convince you that as long as your car has been restored to its pre-loss condition via repairs, you are not entitled to compensation for diminished value. This is another falsehood.
In the Mabry decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that diminished value is based on the pre-loss value of the vehicle, not its pre-loss condition. If you are not familiar with the case law, insurance companies can take advantage of your lack of knowledge and undervalue your Atlanta diminished value claim.
Do not let an insurer decide what your claim is worth. A vehicle damage claim lawyer at our personal injury law firm in Atlanta may work with the diminished value appraisers and reputable car repair shops to determine the actual diminished value compensation you are entitled to receive.
We Can Hold the Insurance Company Accountable for Bad Faith
The state’s Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner has explicitly ordered all insurance companies to cease and desist any language that asserts or misleads claimants to believe that the 17C formula is the accepted standard for determining diminished value after a car crash. This intentionally misleading information leads claimants to believe that they cannot challenge the lowball settlement offers insurance companies make when, in fact, there are other methods to calculate these damages.
In addition, under state law, car insurance agencies must:
- Adjust all claims both promptly and fairly
- Make a reasonable effort to investigate and evaluate a claim
- Make a good-faith effort to settle the claim
- Pay out no less than the amount reasonably owed to the claimant
The insurance company’s failure to comply with the laws described above and others written in statute constitute bad faith. If the insurer is acting in bad faith, you may have a right to file a lawsuit against the company.
Our diminished value car claim lawyers serving Atlanta can handle the insurance company for you. Backed by the laws of the state, we apply pressure to ensure they pay you what they owe for your vehicle damage and hold them accountable for their misconduct as well.
The Statute of Limitations for Diminished Value Claims
State law generally provides for years to file a property damage claim. If you believe you are entitled to collect compensation from your insurer or a third-party insurance company, you may want to consult our Atlanta diminished value attorney sooner rather than later, especially if you also have other types of car accident damages resulting from the car accident.
Building a proper claim that accurately factors in the total value of your losses takes time. If you miss the deadline, you could forfeit your right to compensation. Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Buckhead Law Saxton Accident Injury Lawyers P.C. can help you repair your car, value your damage, and file a claim so you can obtain the money you need to get your life back on track.
Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers, P.C. – Atlanta Office
1995 N Park Pl SE Suite 207,
Atlanta, GA 30339.
Get Aggressive Legal Help Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Atlanta, you need to take action now. To schedule your free case evaluation, please contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers, P.C. today by calling 404-890-5631.
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