In the State of Georgia, diminished value can apply to damage sustained to vehicles in automobile accidents as well as damage to real property as the result of something like a chemical spill. In simple terms, diminished value refers to the perceived loss in value of a vehicle or real property as the result of accidental damage. When something is damaged, understandably it is worth less than it was prior to the damage. This is true even if it is repaired professionally and is functionally the same as it was before. The reduced value can, of course, be problematic when the owner attempts to sell the damaged property.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to recover the lost value by filing what is known as a diminished value claim. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to receive compensation for this type of claim, and not everyone qualifies. Whether you are thinking about filing a diminished claim relating to an auto accident or you want to file a claim to make up for diminished property value, here is some helpful information to help you determine whether you qualify. Keep in mind that each state has its own qualifications. The ones outlined below apply to Georgia residents.
Qualifying for Diminished Value in Georgia
In Georgia, there are strict laws that regulate what insurance companies can and cannot do regarding diminished value claims. They are required to pay diminished value, and they are not permitted to increase your premium or cancel your policy due to a diminished value claim. In cases involving car crashes, you can file a claim for diminished value regardless of whether you were at fault.
It’s important to note, though, that there are several circumstances that could disqualify you from obtaining diminished value. For starters, your vehicle most likely needs to have a market value of at least $7,000 dollars and be less than 10 years old in order to qualify. You may also be disqualified from making a diminished value claim if your vehicle has a salvage or rebuilt title, has excessive mileage, has been in multiple crashes with greater damage or was declared a total loss. Keep in mind that you also likely do not qualify if you have already signed a release of liability form or the statute of limitation for filing a claim has passed.
Calculating Diminished Value
To determine the diminished value of your property or vehicle, you’ll first have to determine regular market value. Then, have the value evaluated based on the current condition. The difference between the normal value and the value of the property of vehicle in its current condition should give you a rough idea of the diminished value. You can also seek a professional evaluation from a company that specializes in diminished value insurance valuations.
Keep in mind that if the amount of the diminished value is less than $500, it will likely be considered to be too insignificant to qualify for a claim.
Filing a Diminished Value Insurance Claim
Even if you qualify to file a diminished value claim, getting the compensation you deserve can be tricky. While insurance companies are required by law to disburse payment for qualified claims in Georgia, they may not agree with the payment amount, or they may try to say that you are not qualified.
When filing a diminished value claim in Georgia, it never hurts to consult with an experienced attorney. Whether you have a vehicle that is worth significantly less following a car crash or your property values have dropped as the result of a water leak, a chemical spill or many other types of damage, your attorney can help you file a claim with your insurance company. He will also provide representation and help you get the compensation to which you are entitled under the law if your insurance provider refuses to pay.
If you are unsure of whether you qualify for a diminished value claim in Georgia, Kopelman Sitton can help. We will assess your situation and determine whether you are entitled to compensation and, if so, help you file a claim. If needed, we will work with your insurance company to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled under state law. Please contact us today to request a case evaluation.