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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 4 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.
 


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