“Diminished Market Value”

Let’s say you’re driving your 2020 Ford F-150.  It’s only got about 10,000 miles on it, and it’s clean as a whistle.  Kelly Blue Book says it’s still worth about $32,000 on the used car market.  “Wham!”  Some negligent guy runs a red light and really bangs up your truck.  Fortunately, you’re not injured, but your truck is a mess.

The negligent driver’s insurance company agrees to pay for the repairs, and the shop does an OK job.  But since your truck has now been “wrecked and repaired,” it’s no longer worth $32,000.  Why?  Because when compared to a similar 2020 F-150 with no “damage history,” your truck is less desirable, and therefore less valuable.  Your vehicle has a “diminished market value” despite having been properly repaired.  This additional financial loss might be several thousand dollars.

Ohio courts have held that you should be compensated for diminished market value.  The bad guy’s insurance company should be fixing your vehicle AND writing you a check for the lost value of your truck.  But some insurance companies in Ohio wrongly deny these claims. Their claims representatives (“adjusters”) incorrectly say that “Ohio law does not require us to pay for that.” If you are the unlucky victim of one of these sub-par insurance companies, do not accept their nonsense.  They are trying to mislead you so they can close your claim for less than they owe.  Demand to be treated fairly.  If you’re not, call a trusted lawyer.

PRACTICAL POINTER: If your car gets wrecked and repaired, see if someone at your dealer, or some other knowledgeable person (e.g., a used car sales manager), can give you a brief written statement confirming how much market value has been lost.  With that evidence in hand, the other guy’s insurance company should step up and do the right thing.  Finally, keep in mind that the rules are totally different when you are dealing with your own insurance company.  They are only required to pay for what is required by your insurance policy – which typically does not include DMV.

To discuss your case, call or text 513-287-7447, or email [email protected].

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