Diminished Value in Georgia
Why you should not accept the insurance company's first offer.
Have you been in a car accident where your car sustained property damage to your vehicle? If so, you may be entitled to the “diminished value” of your car even if the accident was your fault. While the insurance company will pay for the repairs to your vehicle, they also owe you for what is called “diminished value”. In other words, you car is worth less now than it was before the accident even if it was perfectly repaired.
Look at it this way: If you were going to buy a certain make and model vehicle, and there were two identical vehicles available, but one had been in an accident and one had not, which one would you buy? Of course, you would buy the one that had not been involved i n an accident. In order to get someone to buy the car that had been in an accident, the owner will have to reduce his asking price. This reduction in price is the diminished value. When your vehicle has been involved in an accident, it is worth less and the insurance company may owe you this diminished value.
Under Georgia law, insurance companies are required to pay diminished value, but they either don’t mention that to you or they send you a low-ball offer, or even an unsolicited check. However, they use a formula for determining diminished value that always favors them, not you. The Georgia Insurance Commissioner has stated that there is no specific formula to be used in determining diminished value, that each car is different.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Norman Miller, Attorney at Law
Norman Miller has been practicing law for nearly 30 years. He is the owner and founder of Miller Legal Services, LLC. He began his legal career in the public sector, working for the Jones County District Attorney's Office, and later the Fulton County Solicitor's Office, where he obtained invaluable trial experience prosecuting criminal cases.
In 1989, Mr. Miller began representing major insurance companies such as Liberty Mutual, Wausau, One Beacon and Prudential, adding 18 years of experience defending personal injury cases. Mr. Miller knows how insurance companies and their adjusters operate and knows how to get an optimum settlement for you. If your case should need to go to trial, Mr. Miller has tried more than 100 jury trials in his career, with a success rate of well over 90%.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.