Summary – Alabama Diminished Value Claims
Statute of Limitations: 2 years
Third Party Diminished Value Claim: Yes
First Party Diminished Value Claim: No, most insurance policies will exclude diminished value
Alabama Property Damage Minimum Limits: $25,000 in coverage
Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Diminished Value: No coverage
Underinsured Motorist Coverage for Diminished Value: No coverage
Alabama Small Claims Court Limit: $6,000, attorney representation and appeals are permitted
Alabama Diminished Value Law
In Alabama, diminished value has been recognized as a measure of damages when an action is brought by a third party.
King Motor Co. v. Wilson, 612 So. 2d 1153 (Ala.1992) is a supreme court case where experts agreed that the previously damaged automobile was worth less than an automobile that had never sustained damage.
Coffee County Comm’n v. Smith, 480 So.2d 1194 (Ala.1985) the court found that the proper measure of damages was the difference in the value of the property before and after the damage.
Those third-party court cases are governed by the tort principle that compensation should make the injured party whole. Moebes, 709 So.2d 477,478 (Ala.1997) compensatory damages are designed to make the plaintiff whole by reimbursing him or her for the loss or harm
How to File a Diminished Value Claim in Alabama
To file a diminished value claim in Alabama, you first need to know the actual reduced value of the vehicle.
To do this, you must work with an independent auto appraiser who will review the damage and provide an accurate, reliable assessment of the vehicle. Working with an appraiser is far more reliable than formulas or online calculators, which are often disregarded by the insurance companies.
Once you have a number for the diminished value claim, you will need to contact the insurance company of the at-fault driver and inform the company that you will be making a claim. You may have to cooperate with the company and provide information, then you will wait for the insurance company to complete their review process.
Once they have completed their investigation, you should receive a check for the diminished value on your vehicle.
Alabama Diminished Value Claims and Getting Full Compensation
If you live in Alabama, you have a legal right to diminished value compensation if the accident wasn’t your fault.
“Diminished value” simply means the difference between the vehicle’s previous (pre-accident) value and its current (post-accident) value. For example, if your truck was valued at $30,000, but after an accident it is only valued at $23,000, the “diminished value” is $7,000. This creates obvious problems when you try to sell the vehicle; through no fault of your own, you have lost $7,000!
But you have a right to recover this loss through a process called a “diminished value claim.”
Diminished value claims in Alabama are not paid by your insurance company, but the
insurance company of the at-fault driver. However, the insurance companies do not make it easy to file a claim and receive full compensation. This is why you need the support of an
independent auto appraiser.
Working with a professional appraiser like DVCHECK gives you the best chance towards full compensation. If you have any questions, please call us at (850) 201-1950 or complete a free estimate form to get further assistance with your Alabama diminished value claim.