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 Texas as reviewed by
J. D. Howard
TEXAS IS A SERIOUS DIMINISHED VALUE RECOVERY STATE …
After an Accident, your car suffers a reduction in value. That reduction is typically referred to as Diminished Value. Over the past Ten  Years, there has been an Explosion of Diminished Value appraisal services being promoted on internet search engines. 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 (as well as any web site we may reference herein) is among that hand full.
As noted above, Texas is a SERIOUS 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 ... 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 ...
The Reported Case Law precedent in Texas, that assures your Right to recover your Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value, is … Parkway Co. v. Woodruff (901 S.W.2d 434, 441) circa 1995. That position is further supported by Texas Department of Insurance Bulletin #B-0027-00.
For the average person, enforcing their Right to Recover their Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value is most easily pursued by utilizing the Small Claims Court (kind of a Judge Judy type of environment) system. No attorney is necessary. The Rules of Civil Procedure are more informal. Costs are more reasonable (recoverable with judgment) and the process is faster. Small Claims Court authority was just recently increased to $20,000.00. Recovery of that amount + costs + potentially our appraisal fee, can be preferable to filing in District Court and have your case drag out for years.
NOTE: If the accident were your fault ... 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. Texas does NOT allow a plaintiff to “Split” their causes of action. Seek Further Advice !
TEXAS OPTION . . .
While our persuasive Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value reports come with our negotiation “Coaching” advice, we are also aware of some who would prefer to simply turn over their claim to a direct negotiator that will cover the cost of your Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value appraisal report … and … Handle all direct negotiation contacts with the insurance company. We know of such a service, supervised by a licensed Texas attorney, that can handle all aspects of your claim settlement process for you. If you are interested in exploring this option . . . CLICK HERE !
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, 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.
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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