Currently, there is no absolute answer. Whether diminished value is recoverable depends on several factors. The initial question to answer is in which U.S. State did the accident occur? The second is whether you are the at-fault driver or the person who was hit.
Whether you can recover diminished value for your automobile depends on each state's law -- and different legal principles apply if you seek to recover as the victim of the accident or the at-fault driver. As a general rule, your right to recover from the person who hit you is governed by tort law (think negligence). If you try to recover for the decreased value of your own car as the at-fault driver, your ability to collect is typically governed by contract law.
Please realize I have provided this for information purposes and it should never be considered a substitute for legal advice.
The bottom line is If you were not at fault in the accident, the at-fault party (or their insurance company) owes you money. This is true in all 50 states. There is over 75 years of case law to back that up. If you live in the state of Georgia,Kansas, North Carolina and Washington you can also collect your diminished value from your own insurance company, whether you were at fault in the accident or not. This is based on a class action lawsuit in 2001 (Mabry v State Farm).
Do I Qualify?
Georgia courts have said that vehicles involved in an accident suffer a reduction in value.
The courts have said that efficient repair of any vehicle damaged in an accident may not have returned that vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
The vehicle has current market value.
The vehicle does not have a branded or salvage title.
The vehicle was not declared a total loss.
The accident happened less than 18 months ago.
The vehicle is NOT a lease.
In Third Party Diminished Value Cases you can file in every state except for Michigan
In Georgia,Kansas, North Carolina and Washington it makes no difference who's at fault when filing a DV claim.
Your insurance rates will NOT go up due to a Diminished Value payout.
By law, insurance companies are required to pay Diminished Value.
You don't need to hire an attorney to help you collect Diminished Value.
The insurance company cannot drop you for collecting Diminished Value.
$15,000 is the maximum you can sue for in a GA small claims court.
You can deduct diminished value off your taxes. See IRS form 4684.
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