A Basic Overview
|Is there a statutory basis controlling diminished value claims ?||
|Is there favorable Reported case law for Diminished Value Claims ?||
|Can my Collision Coverage cover the Diminished Value of my vehicle ?||
|Can my Uninsured Motorist cover my Diminished Value ?||
|What is the small claims court authority limit ?||
|What is the Statute of Limitations to recover my diminished value ?||
|Are “iCan” appraisals accepted into evidence ?||
An Objective Overview of
Diminished Value Laws
in Tennessee as reviewed by
J. D. Howard
TENNESSEE CAN BE A PROBLEMATIC DIMINISHED VALUE RECOVERY STATE … (See "UPDATE")
There is an over-abundance of Diminished Value appraisal services being promoted on internet search engines. Sadly, too many of those sites are run by unqualified hustlers out for a quick buck. There are only a hand full of qualified service providers that know what they’re doing and can be relied upon to tell the truth. This web site is among that hand full.
As noted above, Tennessee is an Evolving Diminished Value Recovery State. If your vehicle sustained collision damage due to the negligence of the other party, that other party (by and through their insurance company) owes you any Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value to your vehicle. IF the at-fault party is Not insured, and you have Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage on your own auto policy, you may recover your vehicle’s Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value from your own insurance company. NOTE: Some sub-standard insurance companies have begun to put Limits on their UMPD coverage - Read Your Policy !
A Diminished Value Appraisal is only worth the cost, when it is a persuasive document leading to the recovery of Diminished Value damages ... A Diminished Value Appraisal "Estimate" ... Honestly Expressed ... and combined with knowledge of the Diminished Value LAWS in a consumer's given state, are necessary elements of consideration to evaluate pursuing a Diminished Value recovery ...
Though there is no Reported Case Law precedent in Tennessee, that assures your Right to recover your Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value, there is a record of a Class Action certification hearing wherein a standard for recovery of Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value was defined. That hearing involved the matter of … GEICO v. Bloodworth (WL1966022 - Tennessee Appellate Court) circa 2007.
UPDATE ... GEICO v. Bloodworth (2007) contained an ambiguity that allowed an interpretation favoring the consumer's interests ... Since then, there has been a subsequent case ... "Grimes v. Hancock" (2012) ... that resolved the ambiguity against the interests of consumers ... To quote from Grimes v. Hancock ... "the measure of damages is either repair costs or the difference in market value immediately before the accident and that immediately after the accident. It is not both. Unlike the Restatement provision, decrease in value measured after the repair is not a recognized element of allowable damages in Tennessee". Because of this "UPDATE" ... Our Fee Refund Benefit does Not apply in Tennessee !
Thank Goodness for some Small Claims Court Judges who, when faced with the obvious "entrapment" (lack of full disclosure) conduct of some insurance companies, have taken the latitude to embrace the cause of accident victims !
NOTE: Check with your tax advisor. You may (operative word “may”) be able to deduct your Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value from your income taxes as an “Uncompensated Casualty Loss”.
NOTE: IF you have a companion Personal Injury claim, arising from the same accident, DO NOT file suit solely for your Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value. Tennessee does NOT allow a plaintiff to “Split” their causes of action. Seek Further Advice !
Truth . . . MATTERS !
Notwithstanding what other web sites may have you believe, there are only 3 (yes, only 3) general categories of Diminished Value that impact consumers …
- Immediate / Inherent Diminished Value is the Loss of Value of a damaged vehicle immediately upon infliction of the damage.
- Post-Repair Residual Inherent Diminished Value is, as the title implies, that portion of the Inherent Diminished Value that was Not restored through the repair process.
- Repair-Related Diminished Value is that portion of a vehicle’s Loss of Value that is directly related to a less-than-optimal repair work product. Repair-Related Diminished Value is Not owed by the at-fault party. After all, it is not their fault that repairs to your vehicle were defective. UNLESS …
- The insurer of the at-fault party directed the repairs to a specific repair facility (or influenced your selection of repair facility). At that point, the insurance company is on-the-hook for repair defects and it becomes more of a Repair Warranty claim than a Diminished Value claim.
- A Repair Warranty claim would require physical inspection of the repaired vehicle. We may be able to recommend a local resource to help you facilitate your Repair Warranty claim.
FYI . . . DRP Agreements . . .
DRP (Direct Referral Program) Agreements do exist (in writing). Under the terms of a DRP agreement, a body shop surrenders virtual control of their facility, to an insurance company, in exchange for that insurance company’s promise to promote that body shop to their insureds and claimants. All decisions as to method of repair and parts to be used are dictated by the insurance company. We’ve actually read DRP agreements that stated “the vehicle owner shall remain ‘Blind’ as to any difference of opinion that may arise between [insurance company] and [this] shop”.
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