Diminished Value of Wrecked Auto

You have been in a car accident. Not only have you sustained injuries but your car also incurred expensive damage. Depending on the year, make, model, condition, purchase price and mileage of your vehicle (along with other factors), you may have a claim against the negligent motorist’s insurance company for permanent diminution in value to your car. Diminution is a fancy way of saying that the value of your vehicle has decreased.

The reason why your vehicle has decreased in value is because your vehicle incurred damage from a car collision, and because damage-free cars sell for higher resale values than damaged cars. If your vehicle sustains frame damage, the decreased value in your car could be even higher. The higher the damage, the higher the value for your vehicle.

The battle between accident victims and car insurance companies as to the value of a crashed car’s decrease in value has been contentious. In 1999, the Georgia Supreme Court held in Mabry v. State Farm that auto insurance companies must reimburse/pay the owner of a vehicle for the lost trade-in value. The Court used a numerical formula to determine the loss in value. The problem with this formula was that it did not reflect the actual permanent diminution in value to the victim’s auto. Yet, most auto insurers use this formula as the basis for paying car owners today. However, this particular formula is not the only way to determine the loss in value and the formula was limited to this particular case.

In other words, even though insurers attempt to cloak their low ball offers under the guise of the Mabry decision, the Mabry decision was only limited to that actual case and is not controlling to all other vehicles that have lost value on the roads of Georgia due to the carelessness or negligence of motorists. In fact, in 2008, the Georgia Insurance Commissioner, stated in a directive that: "The Department has never promulgated or produced by regulation any formula for use in the determination of diminution of value as it relates to physical damage claims, nor has the Department endorsed any specific formula or method." It also gave insurers instructions to: "… take into consideration all relevant information in the evaluation of diminished value claims including, but not limited to, relevant information provided by an insured regarding diminution of value."

Fast forward to the present. The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford helps car owners achieve the full-lost value of their vehicles in car accidents by challenging the auto insurers and using the law and appraisals to reflect the total true lost value. Using an experienced personal injury attorney that does not charge clients up front and uses the best appraisal experts in Georgia helps to make sure that “Aggressive Attorneys Get You Maximum Possible Settlements”! And, if need be, Attorney Kevin Ford, will file suit on your behalf against the auto insurers and use the law to its fullest potential to ask the judge and jury to force the auto insurers to pay for your loss in value as well as penalties equal to 50% of the loss of value or $5,000.00, whichever is greater, along with requesting that reasonable attorney’s fees be paid by the insurer.

Don’t delay and contact the Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford today! Don’t be an uninformed auto owner that leaves money lost of claims that otherwise would be uncollected by the auto owner. After all, the loss in value to your damaged vehicle is legally owned to you and you deserve it!

The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford have over twenty years of experience in handling the claims of auto accident victims, and if you or your loved ones have been the victims of an accident and/or loss in value of your car in Georgia, we can help you, too. Contact us today, to speak to an attorney right away. As always, the consultation is free, and there is no obligation. Call us, or use the online form. We are available to answer all your questions.

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