Diminished value and medical claim questions

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 5:55 am   Post subject: Diminished value and medical claim questions  

I was in an accident with a 15,000 lb truck with defective brakes. I have a 2007 very low mileage Mustang GT California Special (pristine condition). The repairs are totaling about $11,000. Entire backend, passenger side and front damaged and unibody/frame bent. (he hit me from behind, swerved right, hit curb, bounced back and hit me again in front and then the car in front of me). Lucky no one was hurt badly (we were stopped, he was going < 30 mph).



I asked about Diminished Value and was told they generally pay 10% of REPAIR total but alluded that there was something else I could do and said a supervisor would call (which they didn't). So about the $1100, in my opinion, that is laughable, but that's why I am on this forum, to find out. The adjuster estimated the car to be worth $21,000 as they were trying to determine whether to total it.



So questions:

1) is $1100 fair for DV? Should I get written quotes from dealers/Carmax, etc. and submit? Can I compare to Nada/Edmunds (that's where the adjuster got $21k)? I want to be fair but not ripped off. (I don't want to deal with lawyers or scam websites)



2) I had minor soft tissue injuries, visit to hospital, doctor, etc. Probably totaling around $1000 (before my medical insurance). Can I claim the full amount or do I have to claim my actual out-of-pocket amount? Can I claim pain and suffering? How much is a good rule of thumb? Definitely not worth calling a lawyer, but again wondering what is fair to me.



3) I assume this will show up on a CarFax, when would it show up? Should I use that to help my case?



thanks

dmcane
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 10:25 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
So questions:

1) is $1100 fair for DV? Should I get written quotes from dealers/Carmax, etc. and submit? Can I compare to Nada/Edmunds (that's where the adjuster got $21k)? I want to be fair but not ripped off. (I don't want to deal with lawyers or scam websites)
Check your state dept of insurance web site see if your state has any regulations on the books regarding DV claims...I agree you can do this yourself..just research it..all states handle this a little differently...but no 1100 doesn't sound right to me either...but again, check your state.



Quote:
2) I had minor soft tissue injuries, visit to hospital, doctor, etc. Probably totaling around $1000 (before my medical insurance). Can I claim the full amount or do I have to claim my actual out-of-pocket amount?
Should be full amount, unless you're in a PIP state, and it could differ then...
Quote:
Can I claim pain and suffering?
again, if you're not in a PIP state that requires your injury reach a threshold before an injury settlement is available...
Quote:
How much is a good rule of thumb?
There isn't a rule of thumb someone might try to tell you 3 times specails (med bills) that's bunk..they owe your medical bills, loss of wage...and then a injury settlement..you'll have to determine how long you were in pain, or couldn't go about your daily routine...remember when they make an offer of settlement they will have already determined a 'range' and most certainly will start at the bottom of that range..(i'd guess from what you have posted 500-1500 above your bills...in my area that would be about right...again location matter soo..)
Quote:
Definitely not worth calling a lawyer, but again wondering what is fair to me.
I agree you don't want to give an attorney a third of this...What's fair to you is what you feel is fair...injury claims are very subjective..personally I'd make them make the first offer (NEVER bid against yourself)...then you'll have an idea where they are placing the range...I'd then counter alittle higher than I thought they'd pay...etc..you get the picture...feel free to come back and ask us any questions as the claim proceeds we'll be happy to try and help in any way we can.



Quote:
3) I assume this will show up on a CarFax, when would it show up? Should I use that to help my case?


sure...it also will show up on ISO, and some other data bases insurance companys use....



Might want to let us know your state...or the state this accident occured in...have they mentioned an injury settlement yet at all? do they know you were injured?


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Last edited by Lori on Fri May 22, 2009 1:31 am
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 1:42 pm   Post subject:   

Good info. Accident occurred in Texas. I was told by my insurance agent to ask for DV. She said that it is law in Texas for 3rd party claims. Of course the other insurance company never mentioned anything about DV and wouldn't have unless I did my homework...still waiting for them to call me back - might be time to start calling them every day Wink



What is PIP?



The insurance company asked if I was injured. I told them yes but didn't give them details. They did ask if I was taken in ambulance and if I had any fractures (no on both). I am supposed to fax them the bills. I have not yet as I did not know how to proceed with asking for the injury settlement (this part has not been discussed). So I should ask them to make an offer on injury claim?

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 4:28 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
I asked about Diminished Value and was told they generally pay 10% of REPAIR total but alluded that there was something else I could do and said a supervisor would call (which they didn't). So about the $1100, in my opinion, that is laughable, but that's why I am on this forum, to find out. The adjuster estimated the car to be worth $21,000 as they were trying to determine whether to total it.





What they are basing their DV amount on is a formula devised in Georgia in which even the Georgia courts have stated is not the sole measure of determining DV. It was devised to use in lieu of other more accurate metodology. It's the very least they owe you.



Quote:
The so-called “17c” formula is extremely erroneous – maximizing the loss of value at 10% is patently

illogical. A $40,000 vehicle with 200 miles, in brand new condition sustaining $29,999 worth of damage

would have severity “multipliers” of 1.0 in all categories according to the calculation method. Therefore, a

new $40,000 vehicle would be multiplied by 10% - resulting in an initial loss of value of $4,000. That

$4,000 would then be multiplied by a factor of 1.0 in all of the subsequent categories, resulting in a final

loss amount of $4,000 – meaning the vehicle should be worth $36,000 after the repairs. Certainly no

rational person would pay that much for a vehicle that had previously sustaining such a severe amount of

damage. Clearly anyone can see the absurdity of this flawed formula.

It is frequently claimed or suggested that the 17c methodology, also known as the “Mabry” methodology,

was approved by the Superior Court of Muskogee County. This is only partially true – the Court approved

that particular calculation in the absence of other evidence as to the amount of the loss.
In Mabry v State Farm, the trial court’s order required State Farm to include an evaluation of diminution in

value in its standard assessment of damages, just as it evaluates other elements of damage, and to adopt a

suitable methodology for doing so. Thus, the trial court’s order did not mandate any certain claims handling

procedure, only that State Farm start actually handling its claims in accord with its contract, without

refusing to consider some elements of loss.

While reviewing the case history for diminished value claims in Georgia, the court found that the basic

holding establishing the measure of damages and the effect of a limitation of liability provision appeared

several decades ago in U.S. Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Corbett, 35 Ga. App. 606 (1) (134 SE 336) (1926),

where the Court of Appeals held that the undertaking of the company to insure the owner against “actual

loss or damage” must be taken as the primary obligation, under which the measure of the liability would

be the difference between the value of the property immediately before the injury and its value

immediately afterwards.

The reasoning of the Court of Appeals in that case was expressly adopted by this Court in Dependable Ins.

Co. v. Gibbs, 218 Ga. 305, 315 (127 SE2d 454) (1962). The Court of Appeals addressed the issue again in

Simmons v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 111 Ga. App. 738 (2) (143 SE2d 55) (1965), clarifying the

effect of a limitation of liability clause:

“[T]he defendant insurance company here had an option to pay for

the loss in money, to repair the vehicle, or to replace it with other

property of like kind and quality, but the contract requires that no

matter which alternative is chosen, the market value of the property

plus $100 [deductible] after payment must equal the market value

before the loss. This is the rule generally with this type of policy.”

Although the Simmons case clearly held that the measure of damages is based on value, the Court of

Appeals found it necessary four years later in State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Smith, 119 Ga. App. 447

(1) (167 SE2d 610) (1969), to reiterate that point and to distinguish “condition” from “value.” The Court of

Appeals explained State Farm’s contractual duty and the effect of an election to repair:

The obligation of an insurer under a contract containing such

language as is set forth above, where the insurer elects to repair, is

“to pay for the loss caused by collision and the correct measure of

that loss would be the difference in the market value of the

automobile immediately before the collision and its market value

immediately after being repaired.” Thus an insurer under a

policy such as the one in this case has three basic options, to wit: (1)

To replace the property with other of like kind and quality less

depreciation and deductible, (2) pay the loss in money (the loss




Poster if you would like to leave me a private message I would be happy to make a recommendation for a diminished value inspector in your area that would actually be available for deposition or court if the insurer refused to believe what is actually owed.


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 4:43 pm   Post subject:   

According to that formula, their offer is beyond absurd. They offered me 10% of REPAIR bill, not based on value of my car. The value of my car (pre-wreck) was approx. $21,000, which according to the formula would amount to $2100 (already $1000 over their initial offer). I guess they think everyone is stupid. Sad, that we all have to do so much "homework" just to get a fair deal. I've been more than fair with them. I could have called an ambulance chaser, but that's not my style.

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 8:54 pm   Post subject:   

insurance company called, they said since a lot of the replacement parts are new, etc. shouldn't be much loss. Told to wait til I get car back (tomorrow) and see if the body shop did a good job, etc.



Then they want me to send my medical bills in so we can settle this all together. Getting the run-around, aren't I?

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 8:57 pm   Post subject:   

The next message after you get your car back, will be,,,,we paid an amount sufficient to restore your vehicle to pre accident condition. Your problem must be with the repairer or bodyshop you selected. I believe your loss of value is more in the 6500 to 10,000 dollar range depending upon considering trade in, retail, or private party sale loss of value regardless whether the vehicle had immaculate repairs.



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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 1:37 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Then they want me to send my medical bills in so we can settle this all together. Getting the run-around, aren't I?
Not as far as your injury claim is...they will need your medical bills, and they should also request that you sign a medical authorization...(so they can get reports etc) however since it's a small BI claim, they may not...send them your med bills..



Re: DV claim...views differ on this...as a claimant I understand you want all you can get...I'll leave it to Mike to discuss, (we don't agree on this Wink )...I would point out that a DV claim in the amount Mike is saying on top of your repairs would total your vehicle..


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 8:32 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Not as far as your injury claim is...they will need your medical bills, and they should also request that you sign a medical authorization...




Is there a threshold upto which the bodily injury claim settlement wouldn’t require signed authorization from the claimant to review his medical records?

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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 10:48 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Is there a threshold upto which the bodily injury claim settlement wouldn’t require signed authorization from the claimant to review his medical records?
No Jane, it's a company to company thing, some carriers wouldn't require a rep to do so if it's just an ER visit, or maybe a couple of doc visits...others require it on all injury claims..


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 2:57 pm   Post subject:   

The injury thing, I'm not worried about that as long as they pay the bills (again not trying to rip off the insurance company, that does cost us all money in the long run).



I highly doubt I would get anywhere near those amounts that Mike quoted and I don't think I should have to pay anyone to fight for it. I am not trying to get money out of this, just fairness. I just think they are trying to give me nothing which I don't think is fair either. This will be on CarFax, etc., obviously the car won't sell for the amount it was worth pre-accident.



What I'll do is take it to a dealer and see what they quote me, then at least I'll have an idea. Won't cost me anything and will be a real price that I could see my car for. I am actually thinking of trading it in.



What I was really wondering is what the insurance company would need as proof for DV and they are not forthcoming on that issue. They have already said there shouldn't be any DV if the car was fixed properly, but I'm talking "inherent value" not low quality repair.



thanks for all the good advice so far.



Oh one more q, I do have an extended warranty (in fact car is still under manufacturer warranty). I'll ask if that is void, although part of it should be still in force, should I ask insurance company to compensate me for that (even if only part if void)?

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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 4:33 pm   Post subject:   

Take you car to a car-max lot and let them give you a trade in value. They put them on a lift and check for frame clamp marks and other things. I would be surprised if they give you half the trade in value of the normal acv of a non wrecked vehicle.



However, I am reconsidering a lot of new claims because used car prices are increasing (non wrecked and previously wrecked and repaired) and if your car is a fuel saver, it value to a prospective private party buyer might be more. A used car salesman is always going to give you the implication that your vehicle with accident history will have to be sold at auction or they can only put it on a tote the note lot as they do not want to have any rebuilt wrecks on their primary lots.



The same adjusters that tell you we owe you no loss of value until you sell your vehicle and realize the loss at that time, will be the same ones that will tell you we can't help it because you are a bad negotiator and didn't get fairmarket for your trade.



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:51 pm   Post subject: update on claim  

Hi all:



I have an update on my claim.

My medical bills were $2000.

Car repair bills: $11,000 (car was worth around $22k)



Medical: they are giving me a total of $4000 (2k for bills + 2k for pain/suff).

On dimished value, they are giving me $3500.



Does that sound fair?



They said that is most they will give me outside of litigation.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:05 pm   Post subject:   

You did a whole lot better than those that do not feel they are owed anything for a DV loss and do not ask, but not as much as one might have received with a good report and a competent attorney.

It's fair, if you feel you were made whole regardless of what another may have recieved for the same amount of damage.



A good test would be a trade in offers. Disclose the amount of damage and allow the dealer to inspect and see what they would offer you on trade in value. Check that in Nada or Edmunds online to see if adding 3500 would get you excellent trade in value. You would have paid one third contingency fees to an attorney and assessment fees. 3500 is two thirds of 5250, then add about 250 to 350 for an assessment depending on a post repair inspection for quality of repairs and the amount would have been 5500 to 5600 in total DV.



I personally feel your DV was much higher than the 3500 and about a third of what I would have assessed especially with rear frame rail replacement on a mustang. Just curious, did they replace your seat belt and buckle on the front seats or have your upper back seat frame inspected?



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