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Getting paid on an auto diminished value claim

Vic’s auto diminished value claim has been concluded – mostly. If you’ve been following these posts you know that we’ve been working on a small auto accident property damage claim that we won in court, and the insurance company lost and then appealed. They missed some deadlines, and made other mistakes, so we filed papers in court to strike the appeal. The insurance company tried 4 times to get the appeal reinstated, and each time violated local court rules so the judge never made a ruling. He just filed an order that the reinstatement would not be considered until the insurance company followed the correct procedure. Finally, this week, we got an order that the reinstatement was denied. Then next day, the insurance company called to ask where to send the check for the full amount of the auto property damage, plus court costs from the small claims court. Furthermore, we incurred some costs during the appeal, and the insurance company has not indicated whether they will pay the additional costs.

This claim originally started in the summer of 2011, and here it is April of 2012 and the payment is not here yet. Diminution of value claims like this are not always for the do it yourself claimant.

Another example is the case I first wrote about on 3/31/12. The client has a car accident property damage claim for $10,000.00 and the insurance agent for the at-fault driver has offered roughly 10% as a settlement. We rejected it and sent the claims adjuster the written car damage estimates, the actual trade in documents from the damaged vehicle, and the Pennsylvania diminished value law that is in our favor. The adjuster again sent forms for us to sign to accept the low ball offer. Then, the adjuster sent a letter stating that they would send a breakdown of their offer. This is not uncommon. Insurance companies are in business to make money, and they do that by paying as little as possible to victims. The next step will be to try to talk to the claims manager or supervisor to persuade them they’re going to lose this one.