Understanding the diminished value process will go a long way in helping you resolve your claim. Listed below are five (5) tips that can help you to resolve your diminished value claim – North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer.
Appraisers cost money, and some can be relatively expensive. Therefore, it is important for you to understand that, in some instances, it can actually be harmful to your claim to hire an appraiser. In some cases, hiring an appraiser could absorb the majority of your diminished value amount. Thus, it is very important that you are conscientious of your diminished value claim’s worth.
Several factors help to determine your diminished value claim; however, one of the most important factors in determining the value is the age and condition of the vehicle. For instance, if you are in a wreck while driving a 2000 Honda Civic that has 150,000 miles, your diminished value claim will likely be low in value. If you drive a high mileage, older vehicle, hiring an appraiser may not be in your best interest.
Knowing when to invoke the appraisal clause can be an effective tool in resolving your claim in an efficient manner. Generally, whenever the adjuster for the at-fault driver’s insurance company wishes to hire his or her own appraiser, you should consider invoking the appraisal clause. This is partially due to the fact that you will need to hire your own appraiser, as you will not want to rely only on the insurance company’s appraiser’s report. Furthermore, by invoking the clause, the insurance company must hire a disinterested third-party appraiser; whereas, if not invoked, the insurance company could use an appraiser who works within their organization.
When you present your claim to the insurance adjuster, be sure to do so in writing. Include a time limit for the insurance company to respond, and be prepared to take your case to small claims court from the beginning. Although it may be a small claim, you likely are entitled to some amount of compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle.
It is important to note that diminished value claims are generally low in value. While it is possible to have a relatively substantial claim, most are not. We are all guilty of believing that our vehicle is worth more than it really is, but in order to efficiently resolve your claim, it is important to keep realistic expectations. While diminished value claims are negotiable, the value is generally set by an appraiser. Recognizing early on that an appraiser will likely set the value of your diminished value may help your claim to be resolved in a timelier manner. Therefore, it is also important that you understand that the value set by an appraiser is negotiable, which means that you should be willing to negotiate from the appraisal amount.
Claims adjusters negotiate insurance claims as a profession, and, unfortunately, their job is not to settle your claim at a fair evaluation. In fact, their goal is to settle your claim for as little as possible. Most people are not professional negotiators, and even if you are a skilled negotiator, unless you also happen to be a personal injury attorney, you probably do not have a good sense of how litigation costs and processes affect the negotiations process. Claim adjusters generally do not like to pay diminished value claims, and as such will try to control the process in order to pay as little as possible.
Therefore, it is important that you are aware of adjusters’ tactics and come prepared. The best way to do so is send your written demand with a valuation report prepared by a State Certified appraiser. Furthermore, while you should be willing to negotiate, do not be afraid to hold your ground, invoke the appraisal clause or file suit.