If you've been injured as a result of this accident, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. Diminish value claim could be dealt with as part of your case. Otherwise, you can contact third party insurance adjuster to see if diminished value is explicitly excluded from their policy. California Department may also be able to help you in this matter.
You can definitely make a claim for diminished value as part of your case. It is usually more appropriate for newer cars with a significant value, as disputing diminished value on older, less valuable vehicles may cost more than you'd ultimately get in recovery. But an experience personal injury lawyer can advise you on all that. Good luck!
This comment is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by way of this communication.
These are very difficult to pursue and usually require the opinion of an expert and are speculative.
You can ask the carrier to pay you for diminished value but 99.9% of them will not offer you a penny.
If they deny your claim you can always try suing the responsible party in small claims. You might get lucky with a compassionate judge. There is a formula out there that is named after a southern state, but the name presently escapes me. It isn't used in California but you can try it.
Know that dv experts aren't cheap, but a dv lawyer can investigate.
The answer is a qualified "yes." The law in the State of California (it may be different in different states so please consult your attorney) is "When the damaged property cannot be completely repaired to its pre-accident state, the measure of damages is the difference between its value before the injury and its value after the repairs have been made, plus the reasonable cost of making the repairs." This comes from an old case 1946 which is STILL GOOD LAW today! (For reference, Merchant etc. Assn. v. Kellogg E. & D. Co. [28 Cal.2d 594] (1946) 28Cal 2d 594, 600).
Here's what all of this legal mumbo jumbo means: If the vehicle cannot be restored to its original value (which is almost always the case in a car accident), the owner can collect not only the cost of repairs but the difference between the vehicle's value before the accident and after the repairs were made UNLESS the cost of repairs was greater than the decrease in value.
Example 1: YES!!! You Can Be Compensated
Example 1: Say your car was worth $30,000 before the accident and it cost $5,000 to fix it. But now if you went to sell your car today (after the accident), you could only get $20,000 because of the accident, you're entitled to an additional $5,000 for diminution in value!
Example 2: NO! You Cannot Be Compensated
Example 2: Now let's say your car was worth $30,000 before the accident and it cost the same $5,000 to fix it BUT now if you went to sell your car today (after the accident), you could still get $27,500 for it, you are NOT entitled to any more money.
Diminution in value is a question of fact. This means that you must have objective evidence to prove your car's value before the accident and your car's value after the accident. This can be determined by a qualified appraiser and is an issue that should be discussed with your attorney.
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