For many of us a vehicle is the largest purchase that we will ever make in our lives behind buying a house. We work hard to save the money to buy the new car of our dreams or the car that will get us from point A to point B. It runs great. It smells great. And there is no greater feeling than when you get the keys and drive it off the lot knowing it is all yours. However, all that can change in the blink of an eye.
In an instant, your brand new, or late model car can be involved in an accident requiring expensive repairs and worth significantly less than what it once was before the collision. Most cars permanently lose their value after a vehicle accident, even if it has been repaired properly. This is called Diminished Value. If your vehicle has suffered structural or cosmetic damage as a result of the negligence of someone else, you may have a claim. Whether it is your commuter, weekend exotic driver, boat, motorcycle, truck, recreational vehicle, or fleet vehicle, we will help you figure out whether you have a claim.
How Premier Law Group Will Help You
Even if you have used the services of a body shop before, the process can seem foreign and overwhelming. There are many body shops out there but not all are equal. Let the attorneys at PLG help you navigate the repair process from day one so that your vehicle is repaired properly and that you can rest assured that the car is put back into shape as best as humanly possible.
Remember, while insurance companies may “refer” you to certain body shops that they are “affiliated” with, it is your right under the law to choose a body shop of your choice. You also have a right to a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired. That rental vehicle should be of similar type and make as your car. If you do not receive a rental, then you are entitled to recover the cost of renting a similar vehicle for the time that yours is in the shop.
After your vehicle is repaired, we can help you evaluate your claim for diminished value, help you find the right appraiser to evaluate your specific loss, and help you present that claim to the insurance company so that you can maximize your chances at recovering diminished value. No two claims are the same. Do not be fooled by online calculators that claim to use a proprietary formula to calculate your loss. As no two snowflakes are the same, neither are diminished value claims.
Not all claims require hiring an attorney. We will be the first ones to admit that. Let us help you figure out if the costs justify the means.
What Determines How Much My Vehicle Has Lost In Value?
There is no recognized formula in Washington State. However, generally speaking, all appraisers look at a few common factors:
- Is the car new?
- Does it have low mileage?
- Did it suffer frame damage?
- Was there any prior collision damage?
- Is the car a collectable?
- Is the car an exotic?
- Was the vehicle repaired at a certified facility?
If My Car is Damaged by Someone Else, What Should I Do?
- Call 911 and get a police report if possible
- Document the damage to all vehicles
- Immediately call your insurance company to file a claim. Even if the accident was the other person’s fault it is almost always better to use your own insurance company.
- If you do not feel safe driving your vehicle, DON’T. Have the vehicle towed to a body shop of your choice.
- In order to maintain your manufacturer’s warranty, some car companies require that you get your car fixed at a “certified” shop. Not all body shops know how to fix Teslas, Porsches, Audis, Bentleys, or Ferraris for example.
- Make sure you document and keep all estimates and invoices.
- Contact PLG so that we can help you evaluate whether you have a diminished value claim.
Our Diminished Value attorneys have many years of experience fighting insurance company, call us now at 206-2085-1743 to get a FREE consultation.