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When a vehicle is damaged in a motor vehicle accident and subsequently repaired, the resale value of that damaged vehicle is likely reduced. Although we keep our vehicles longer now (due to increased costs to purchase newer vehicles and better technology to maintain vehicles) at the time of the trade or resale, the previously damaged vehicle just does not have the value that is anticipated.

Diminution of value claims are rarely, if ever, approved as a first party claim (against one’s own insurance carrier) due to language in the insurance policy. However, diminution of value claims are recognized as an element of damages against the third party (the “at-fault” party from the motor vehicle accident), as a part of full compensation for damages.

To obtain recovery for diminished value of a vehicle, the party or counsel must be aggressive in the pursuit. Third party insurance companies have no obligation to conduct themselves in “good faith”, and are at no risk in denying the third-party claim. Insurance companies save an incredible amount of money that should be paid to the non at fault party, but merely refuse to do so, requiring the party to litigate this element of damages, with other injury claims, if applicable. Many non-injured parties seeking only property-type damages merely give up and accept repair costs as their only compensation from the at-fault party.

Know your rights and protect yourself with competent legal representation. Attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are skilled litigators and will aggressively pursue all rights and remedies which are available to you. Contact us regarding any claim for damages you may have and wish to pursue. We are here to assist you.

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