In this case, Vic was struck by a vehicle owned by Carmella and driven by Dan. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that it was not Vic’s fault in any way. So who does Vic make a diminution of value claim against? Dan was driving, but he was driving Carmella’s car. Let’s look at the possibilities. If Dan had the permission of Carmella then her insurance might cover Dan while he was driving her car.
The second mistake most do-it-yourself claimants make is to give the diminished value report to the insurance company that they want to pay the claim. Obviously, the claimant has to back up his claim with something, but once the report is submitted to the insurance company, it sets the ceiling for the negotiations that will occur. If the do-it-yourselfer takes the first diminished value report he gets and gives it to the insurance company there’s no chance of demanding more than that.
Vic has a number of questions to answer for his claim. But the first step, which is where most people start, is to research the claim online. It’s certainly helpful, but much of what one reads online is wrong, or at least misleading. So Vic read online about the claims and set out to make his claim by himself. Unfortunately he made the same two most common mistakes most do-it-yourself claimants make.
Think that diminished value claims are easy? I’m dealing with one now that will change your mind. As of now, my client, let’s call him Vic, as in innocent victim, was driving home through Pennsylvania in winter. He pulled off on the shoulder of an on ramp to an interstate highway. He was nervous about the road conditions and he wanted to wait until the weather cleared up.
Here’s a situation involving a first party claim and a diminished value claim.
I bought a 2010 Subaru Forrester in Oct 2010. I paid $20,000.00 in cash and traded in my old car that was worth about $5,000. 10 months later, I got into a bad accident involving 6 cars under an underpass. I was at fault for the collision in front of me, but other cars hit me from behind and I am not at fault for that.
Here’s a link to an interesting case involving diminished value for cars. It’s a Washington State case, and also a class action suit. The court upheld the consumers right to diminished value under a Washington insurance policy.
If you have a property damage claim, here’s an important book to read. “Delay, Deny, Defend” by Jay M. Feinman. An article about this book appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The author is Jeff Gelles, a reporter for the paper.
I just settled a property damage claim for a married couple who pursed a property damage claim for a car accident but not a personal injury claim. No other lawyer would take it because these claims are so small compared to personal injury claims. Normally, I would decline the case too, but the case was referred to me by a colleague, so I agreed to accommodate them.
Michael Vick was in the news today, but not for dog fighting or football. It was for his bankruptcy case.
People may wonder why a highly paid professional athlete who was once the highest paid athlete in the NFL would need to file a bankruptcy case. As the old saying goes, people who earn a lot spend a lot. But, though the headline said that the judge handed Vick a victory, it is not clear that it was anymore of a victory than an ordinary debtor would get.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the 3 year decent in home prices appears at an end. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported pretty much the same story that day. Today it was reported that foreclosures are on the rise in areas that were previously unaffected by the housing industry decline, and that this is due to declining employment, rather than trouble loans. This all has implications for people considering bankruptcy to protect their homes.