Filing a diminished value claim in Georgia involves securing an estimate of your vehicle repair costs after the accident and filing a claim with the insurance company. You will need to know the value of your car when you purchased it, as well.
How to Get an Estimate of Your Vehicle After the Accident
You can get an estimate by contacting repair shops with proven records of honesty and charging fairly. You can utilize online reviews from other clients to see what the repair shop’s record is like.
The insurance adjuster might recommend shops. However, these suggestions might not benefit you. Insurance companies are committed to spending the least amount of money on their end and do not always have your best interests at heart.
You Could Visit Kelley Blue Book’s Website
Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has allowed car owners to look up the values of their vehicles. By visiting this website, you can get a general idea of what your car was worth before the collision. You will need to enter your car’s make, model, condition, and year to get an estimate.
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You Should File a Claim with the At-Fault Party’s Insurer
According to the Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, all Georgia motorists are required to carry insurance. Going a step further, Georgia also operates on a contributory negligence system, per O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33. But what does this mean for you? Basically:
- You can pursue damages from the at-fault party’s insurer as long as you did not cause most of the accident.
- You could file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer to recover damages.
- You have the opportunity to negotiate a settlement if the insurer’s offer doesn’t cover your losses.
- You could file a lawsuit against the other driver if insurance negotiations don’t work out.
You should notify the liable insurer as soon as possible following your car accident in Georgia. That way, they have less of a reason to contest certain aspects of your case.
Who Could Be at Fault for Your Accident?
Many parties could hold fault for your losses, including the diminished value of your car. Negligent parties could include:
The Other Driver
You would likely expect that the other driver would hold liability. As noted, you could file your insurance claim with this party’s insurer.
The Other Driver’s Employer
Under the doctrine of vicarious liability, the other driver’s employer could be liable for the accident. You could file your claim against this party’s insurance company if the at-fault driver was working at the time of the accident.
The city might be partly (or fully) liable for the accident, as well. If the city knew about—and failed to fix—a traffic light that was not operable (for instance), they could have contributed to your collision.
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The Types of Damages You Could Collect From a Georgia Car Accident Case
Depending on the severity of the accident, you could have incurred the following losses:
- Property damage expenses. The at-fault party’s insurer should cover all damage to your vehicle up to the liable policy’s limits. This could account for vehicle repairs, replacement, or transportation costs. You could also recover the difference between what your vehicle was worth before the accident versus what it’s worth now.
- Medical costs: You could have required care at the scene, surgery, a hospital stay, or prescriptions.
- Lost income: Your injuries might have prevented you from going to work and earning a paycheck or collecting tips, bonuses, or benefits.
- Reduced earning capacity: You might have suffered injuries (such as a lost limb) or worsened a pre-existing condition (such as chronic back issues).
- Pain and suffering: Your physical pain due to your injuries makes you eligible for an award.
- Mental anguish: Your accident could have led to sadness, frustration, or mental health struggles, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
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Retain Our Law Firm to Handle Your Case
A legal professional could handle the tasks of your case, so you do not have to. This could involve:
- Filing your Georgia diminished value claim for you, along with a demand letter of all your collective losses (past and future)
- Negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement
- Searching for evidence that could support your claim
- Advising you on your decisions
- Protecting your rights
- Telling you about your options
- Making your case in court, if necessary
- Covering court costs until you get your financial award
Your lawyer could use their experience, knowledge, and resources to your benefit.
Call Kaine Law to get Started Today
Call our team at (404) 214-2001 to obtain a free consultation from a member of the Kaine Law team. We can explain in more detail how we could handle your diminished value claim in Georgia.