Calculating Diminished Value in Georgia
November 25, 2022
If you were involved in a car accident in Georgia, part of your insurance settlement might account for the diminished value of your car. This part of the compensation is designed to pay you for the loss in value of your car even after repairs are made.
The concept is subjective. Insurance companies can use various calculation methods to determine diminished value. It’s essential to say that these methods are not always accurate and fair.
Due to property loss value after being affected in a motor vehicle accident, reselling your car may be difficult. However, you can file a diminished value law suite to prevent such losses.
Under Georgia law, you must file a lawsuit for the insurance agent to recoup lost value due to an auto accident. At Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C, our personal injury attorneys can help you with your personal injury claims, and assist you with your diminished value claims. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation! You pay nothing, unless we win!
What Does Diminished Value Mean?
If you were ever interested in your car’s value, you probably know that the survey asks if your vehicle has ever been in an accident.
If your answer is yes, even if you have since repaired your car and it looks and drives as new, it will still consequently drop the value of your car. This happens because the accident diminishes the value of a car, sometimes by thousands of dollars- regardless of the quality of repairs. In most cases, buyers are less eager to purchase a car that has been in a collision.
This leads us to diminished value, a future loss all accident victims should consider when calculating damages. For this reason, the at-fault drivers or insurance companies should be held accountable for repaying this loss. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand or haven’t heard of Georgia’s diminished value law and are unaware they allow insurance companies to keep the money.
It’s important to note that insurance companies rarely offer to pay you for the diminished value of your car unless you ask. Insurance adjusters will keep the information to themselves if you don’t bring it up.
Unfortunately, insurance companies probably have kept millions of dollars from claimants by failing to disclose Georgia diminished value law. They know that almost no driver mentions the diminished value during a claim, often because drivers don’t know about it or don’t know how to ask for it. It’s up to you as a claimant to understand the law and the diminished value claim and act on it.
Here at Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C., we understand that diminished value claims may be confusing. Still, you can pursue fair compensation for your claim with the right personal injury lawyers. Our legal team is ready to navigate the system and work on your behalf. We handle personal injury cases and believe in personalized solutions tailored to our client’s unique needs. Contact our office right away if you have a personal injury claim, and if you have a diminished value claim on your hands, we can assist you with this along the way.
Insurance Companies Have a Duty to Pay Diminished Value Claims
In State Farm vs. Mabry, the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that automobile insurance companies must pay a diminished value of their cars after an accident above and beyond paying for the car’s repairs.
However, the court did not require insurance adjusters to notify the claimants of this type of damage. Because of this loophole, insurance companies most often choose not to tell people about the compensation’s availability.
One thing is for sure – insurance companies are very likely to offer much less than your diminished value claim is actually worth. Because of this, it is critical to have a skilled and compassionate legal team by your side to negotiate on your behalf and hire the additional experts to help your case out. Our law firm is here to fight for your personal injury claims and get you the money you deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation.
Reasons Why You May Not Qualify for Diminished Value
Your diminished value claim could be denied if you do not qualify for a payout. This may happen if your car:
- Has been declared a total loss
- Has sustained significant damage from other previous accidents
- Is ten years or older
- Has more than 30,000 miles per year
- Was not very expensive to begin with (under $7,000)
- Didn’t suffer any significant damage from the collision (generally less than $500)
The 17c Formula
While determining that insurance companies have a duty to cover the diminished value of your car after being involved in an accident, the Georgia Supreme Court also developed a formula to calculate diminished value.
The Formula is known as 17c and is often used by Georgia insurance adjusters to evaluate the value of a car. However, the action in the Mabry case was a unique situation. The Georgia insurance commissioner instructed insurance companies not to address the 17c Formula officially as a legal or determinative diminished value calculator.
Steps on Calculating Diminished Value in Georgia
Many insurance companies use the 17c formula to place arbitrary limits on the amount of compensation you could seek for a claim. However well intentioned it was, we at Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C. believe that sometimes this formula can be unfair. It too often results in lowball offers. Here are some steps on calculating diminished value in Georgia:
#1. Calculate Your Car’s Value
When calculating diminished value in Georgia, the first step is determining your auto vehicle’s market value. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) could be a good starting point and will provide an estimate based on your car’s year, condition, make, model, mileage, engine, color, and wheel type.
#2. Apply a 10% Cap to Your Car’s Value
The 17c formula multiplies the retail value by .10 to determine the base loss of value. Unfortunately, there is no justification for this 10% gap, and it is generally in the insurance companies’ best interest to use it.
#3. Apply a Damage Multiplier
At this stage, you have to adjust the base loss of value to account for any car’s structural damage. This may depend on whether parts have to be repaired or replaced in your car, as insurance carriers only cover what cannot be fixed with a new part.
To apply a damage multiplier, please take the amount from step 2 and multiply it by the following number that best describes your car’s damage:
- 0.00: No structural damage or replaced
- 0.25: Minor damage to structure and panels
- 0.50: Moderate damage to structure and panels
- 0.75: Significant damage to structure and panels
- 1: Severe structural damage
#4. Apply a Mileage Multiplier
The mileage multipliers work the same as the damage multiplier. The mileage multiplier will eliminate the base loss of value depending on how many miles your engine has on the odometer. That means that an older car’s worth is generally smaller than that of a newer one.
To determine the final diminished value of your car, you need to multiply the amount from step three by the mileage multiplier, as follows:
- 0.00: 100,000+ miles
- 0.20: 80,000-99.999 miles
- 0.40: 60,000-79,999 miles
- 0.60: 40,000-59,999 miles
- 0.80: 20,000-39,999 miles
- 1.0: 0-19,999 miles
During the final step of the diminished value calculation, the insurance company double dips, as in the first step, the vehicle’s mileage is already accounted for. Because of this, the mileage multiplier will discount the diminished value claim depending on mileage. If you have over 100,000 miles, your claim will be reduced to zero.
After you have determined the diminished value of your vehicle, you have to list it with the other damages in your personal injury claim. From this point forward, the insurance company will start reviewing your claim and decide how to respond. They can either accept your claim, deny it, or offer a lower settlement.
To increase the chances of getting a fair settlement, it’s in your best interest to immediately contact a Georgia car accident attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C. can examine your personal injury claims and assist you with the diminished value claim along the way.
Types of Diminished Value Claims
There are three things to keep in mind, as they can reduce the value of your vehicle. This can occur either before or after your car is repaired. They are:
Immediate Diminished Value
The immediate diminished value refers to the loss in the resale value of your car before repairs. Most courts use this method as the primary measure of damage when seeking reimbursement for damage from a reckless or negligent party. However, as courts are rarely the chosen venue for compensation, the immediate diminished value is rarely employed in resolving claims.
Inherent Diminished Value
The inherent value is given after a car is repaired following damage in an accident. The claim argues that your vehicle’s value is still diminished from its pre-collision value, even after you had car repairs. This method is the most widely accepted form of diminished value.
Repair-related Diminished Value
In some cases, your car repairs do not restore the car to its like-new condition, and you might still be able to see some damage or structural issues. Some damages cannot be fixed as if nothing ever happened, even with the most competent repair shops. These less-than-optimal, incomplete, or incompetent repairs can diminish your car’s value.
How Long Do You Have to File Your Diminished Value Claim?
Under Georgia law, you have four years to file your personal injury lawsuit pursuing compensation for your car’s diminished value. After this deadline, the insurance company won’t negotiate with you, as they have no legal obligation to offer you a payment after the statute of limitations runs out.
There are, however, some expectations for the four-year rule. In some instances, the period may be extended if you are under 18 years of age at the time of the accident, you are legally determined to be incompetent due to a mental illness, or the at-fault party was outside Georgia’s state for any portion of the four years.
Our legal team at Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C. understands that personal injury claims can be overwhelming. That’s why we want to help you or those who suffer injuries from a motor vehicle accident. If you were recently involved in a car accident and suffered injuries, contact us today to determine the amount of time you have to file your claim. Speaking to our personal injury lawyers as soon as possible after the accident is vital to ensure you are not leaving any money on the table, and ensuring that you will focus on recovery.
Why Providing an Alternative Estimate Is Vital
It is usually in your best interest to set up your own valuation besides the calculations made by the insurance companies. While they rely on the 17c formula, you need to understand that these values are not legally binding.
Most cars have unique factors that can make the valuation through 17c inaccurate. For instance, a mistake in your car’s initial valuation can continue to skew the calculation results through every step. Many specific issues with this formula can favor the insurance companies. As mentioned, the 17c formula considers mileage twice in the base estimation of your car’s value and then reduces your car’s value once again.
Providing your own valuation can give you a starting point to negotiate from. Rather than simply rejecting the insurance company’s offer, you can counter with your own calculation. You may be surprised to see that offering an alternative estimate could improve your chances of settling your case in a good way.
Relying on these estimates could become helpful tools in your case and assist your personal injury attorney with recovering a diminished fair value of your car. If you want to pursue your personal injury claim and receive compensation for everything you are entitled to, let the personal injury lawyers at Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C. handle your case and help you see maximum compensation.
When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
If the insurance company offers you a small amount for your personal injuries and for diminished value, but you think that your personal injuries and diminished value claim could be worth far more, you may need to decide if working with a car accident attorney is worth it in your situation.
At a minimum, you owe it to yourself to negotiate the insurance company’s first offer for your car’s diminished value. Under no circumstances should you accept the first offer, as it’s always an offer far less than the actual worth of your claim. Moreover, don’t let them convince you that 10% of the repair costs is all that the insurance company can pay you. It is not.
At Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C., our personal injury team will provide you with trustworthy legal advice while fully explaining your legal options and rights. Personal injury claims and the diminished value process can be challenging to understand.
However, our attorneys’ commitment to client relationships is paramount, and we believe in personalized solutions tailored to our client’s unique needs. Rest assured that we will help you and your vehicle get back on track!
We will determine the true amount of your personal injuries, pain and suffering, medical bills, and assist you with your vehicle’s diminished value, discuss and negotiate with the insurance company, and file a lawsuit against them if necessary.
Contact Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C. Today
Under O.C.G.A. § 33-4-7, all insurance companies are legally required to compensate qualifying claimants for diminished value. However, this doesn’t mean that such claims are easy to handle.
Our personal injury attorneys know the loopholes that most insurance companies use to get out of paying claims and will work hard to ensure the compensation you deserve. At Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C., we are committed to ensuring that you will get compensated for your injuries appropriately, and this includes receiving the true value of your car after being involved in an auto accident.
We apply compassionate and dedicated representation for our personal injury clients, aggressively fighting to get them the monetary amount they are entitled to for their injury and property damages.
If you were involved in a car accident due to another persons negligence, you should consider filing a personal injury claim and a diminished value claim with the at-fault’s insurance company immediately after the car crash. Waiting to file your claim could only make it challenging to gather evidence.
Your medical bills will pile up and your car could depreciate. Instead of suffering through the insurance companies’ tactics of intimidation and manipulation, please call our law firm to handle your personal injury case, and let us assist you with your diminished value claim as well! Who knows what other damages you are entitled to without you knowing. Contact our office for a free consultation on your case to find out! You won’t pay a dime, unless we win.
Do I Need an Appraisal Before Contacting Your Law Firm?
While an appraiser can make our job a little easier by offering a sound judgment, you don’t have to have an accurate appraisal on your vehicle before contacting us. Our personal injury attorneys have many years of experience and skills in valuing cars and can do this for you. But if an appraisal can affect your valuation dispute in your favor, our car accident attorneys in Georgia can also contact an appraiser on your behalf.
What Does It Cost to Learn More About My Case?
At Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C., we offer a free and no-obligation first legal consultation to all injured victims of negligence, so if you want to learn more about your case, it doesn’t cost you a thing. We’ll provide trustworthy legal advice and explain all the legal options and rights to you. If you believe you have a personal injury claim, don’t hesitate to contact us today to fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve. Apart from this, you don’t have to pay a thing unless we win.