How do I know if I’m owed diminished value compensation for this

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I know if I’m owed diminished value compensation for this

First off, this occurred about 5.5 years ago, so I have no idea if it’s too late anyway to claim anything. However, 5 1/2 years ago, I had bought a brand new vehicle. Then 4 days later, my car was parked while my wife and I were holding a fundraiser for our veteran friend at a park, when a man who was very intoxicated on alcohol crashed into my car causing about $9,000 in damage. The driver was arrested on scene because he passed out, and I believe was convicted. Fortunately, he was insured. However, I didn’t know this until I had already filed a claim with my insurer because it took a couple weeks for his insurance to find me. So I finished the claim through my insurance, and his company reimbursed me for my deductible. At the time, my insurer said it wasn’t worth going after them for diminished value because there was no frame damage to my car. However, several years later when I traded in the car, the dealer low-balled me because of the report showing several thousand dollars in damage. Fast forward a few more years, and I am now upside-down in my current car loan because that diminished value kept carrying forward. I’m curious if I can go back to my, or his insurer to claim the diminished value since it’s very obvious now that it was diminished.

Asked on January 6, 2017 under Accident Law, Colorado


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You won't be able to file a claim for diminished value with the insurance company or file a lawsuit against the at-fault party because Colorado has a three year statute of limitations for a property damage claim / lawsuit in an auto accident case.
Even if the statute of limitations had not expired, you would not be able to file a claim/lawsuit because when the property damage  (cost of repairs) to your car was settled, you signed a release of all claims in order to receive the settlement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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