Drivers of expensive cars are frequently undercompensated when it comes to property damage claims after crashes. Attorney Stan M. Doerrer handles diminished value auto claims and can assist you in bringing a diminished value claim to help you recover more from the insurance company. In addition to representing clients for their injury claims, The Law Office of Stan M. Doerrer frequently brings diminished value claims on behalf of its injured clients in courts throughout the region.
Virginia law allows a plaintiff to recover for, among other things: “any property damage  sustained in the incident.” See Virginia Model Jury Instruction No. 9.000. But when a car is not a total loss, most auto insurers typically seek to set the value of property damage claims based on the repair value. They simply pay to have the vehicle repaired. But this is not a complete measure of the property damage suffered. When a car is seriously damaged in a crash, and then repaired, its resale value decreases due to the fact of the crash. This is why, for example, a vehicle’s Carfax report lists whether or not the vehicle has been in a crash. Used car buyers pay less for vehicles that were previously involved in a serious crash. For this reason, the resale value of a vehicle involved in a crash can be severely diminished—even if the vehicle has been repaired so that it looks as good as new. Va. Code § 46.2-1600 defines “Diminished value compensation,” as the “amount of compensation that an insurance company pays to a third-party vehicle owner, in addition to the cost of repairs, for the reduced value of a vehicle due to damage.” Such damages are recoverable in Virginia.
Unfortunately, while the concept of diminished value damages makes perfect sense to people involved in auto crashes and is discussed in the Virginia code, the mechanics of obtaining diminished value damages are difficult. Experienced attorneys know that third-party insurers will not make such payments unless specifically requested and unless the claimant provides affirmative evidence of the diminished value.
In appropriate cases, usually in cases involving serious damage to expensive, high-value vehicles, the Law Office of Stan M. Doerrer works in consultation with expert auto appraisers to diminished value payments for its clients. Mr. Doerrer has frequently obtained such damages for high value late model cars. In particular, Mr. Doerrer has obtained diminished value settlements for numerous clients whose late model Teslas were seriously damaged in car crashes. To bring such cases, Mr. Doerrer retains an expert auto appraiser to review photographs of the vehicle, as well as the car repair estimate and final invoice. Using this data, experts are able to compare the expected trade in value of the car both before and after the crash and the relevant repairs. For high value cars, the difference can be substantial.
If you were injured in an automobile crash that was not your fault, and your expensive automobile was damaged—contact the Law Office of Stan M. Doerrer for a free consultation. In appropriate circumstances, we represent clients for both their bodily injury claims as well as their diminished value claims.