How do I get the insurance co. to pay the diminished value of my vehicle after their insured hit my vehicle? They have payed for the fix but that’s it.

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How do I get the insurance co. to pay the diminished value of my vehicle after their insured hit my vehicle? They have payed for the fix but that’s it.

I purchased my 2016 truck new from the same dealer that fixed it after the accident. I furnished the paperwork from the new car dealer showing the diminished value with before and after evaluation but the state Farm insurance refuses to pay and just want me to go away.

Asked on November 7, 2017 under Accident Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In theory, you can sue for the diminished value; that would be the only way to get this amount, and be warned, it can be a very difficult claim to successfully make. You would need not just the copies of the valuation, but need an actual car expert to come to court and testify live (written evidence from people not testifying in court is almost always "heresay" and would not be admissible). The person would have to have examined your car thoroughly after the accident and be able to convince the court that based on his/her training, experience, examination and specific issues they identified, that the value is lower by $X. Only in very clear cut, persuasive cases might you win--the courts don't like diminished value cases, since they are so inherently subjective and subject to unknowable events in the future. (For example, since cars depreciate over time, the longer you own it, the lower its value *and* the lesser the difference in value due to the damage; if the car is in another accident in the future, that could moot any damage from this accident; etc.) But you'd presumably have to pay the expert to examine your car and testify, which could cost many hundreds of dollars. So you could spend a reasonable amount of money on a case which courts don't like and which is not guaranteed to win.


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