Many people ask me everyday if they can file for diminished value without an attorney and/or without any help at all. The simple answer is yes, if you have enough proof but the issue is the insurance company makes the burden of proof so much that an average person is not able to collect all the information alone and if they get an offer it is not a suitable amount that they would have got if they had enough proof.

The average person wants to file for diminished value without getting proof, they simply say I am owed diminished value and that is true but what is also true is you are a third party claimant and have no rights directly with the insurance company. The insurance company has contractual obligations to settle only when the policy holder can be sued because of the claim exceeding policy limits for property damage which covers diminished value.

It is a right you have in tort law but tort is litigation, court not a “right” like “repairs” and they will not hand over money during the process of a claim unless they know you have enough to win a lawsuit.

The newest trend we have seen in the later months of 2015 and in 2016 is the insurance company asking for accident repaired comps for sale on top of the diminished value report. You might be thinking? I can get a trade in appraisal or a print out from KBB or NADA and they must pay, that is not true and secondly a trade in appraisal does not meet the burden of proof. The trade in appraisal is an addition to the main proof, remember that a dealer is biased because they want to pay as little for your car as possible and also you printing something off doesn’t make you an expert overnight. Car owners are emotional by nature especially when they believe they are owed money, so it is also biased.

A diminished value claim must be made with sufficient proof that the insurance company says we have a problem, this car has diminished value and we will end up spending more money in court defending our client which caused the accident. The insurance adjusters answers to multiple departments and most proof is not enough to justify giving thousands of dollars to everyone that files a claim and that is why 90% of claims are denied when third party claimants try to file a diminished value claim without the proper documentation.