Diminished value pertains to the economic or market value that your car loses after being involved in a car accident. Even if your vehicle undergoes a complete restoration to its pre-collision state, potential buyers are likely to appraise its value lower than a comparable vehicle with no accident history. Diminished value, also known as diminution of value, represents an economic loss for which you can seek compensation from the responsible driver or their car insurance company in accordance with Colorado law. Typically, your pursuit of compensation will commence as an insurance claim. For more information on how to submit a diminished value claim to Liberty Mutual in Colorado, explore the details further.
what is Diminished Value?
Diminished value is the reduction in a vehicle’s market value due to its involvement in an accident, even after being fully repaired. This reduction occurs because potential buyers are often hesitant to pay the full market value for a vehicle with a history of accidents, regardless of how well it has been restored. There are three types of diminished value:
- Inherent Diminished Value: This denotes the decrease in a vehicle’s value simply because it has been in an accident.
- Immediate Diminished Value: Occurring immediately after the accident, this involves the reduction in the vehicle’s value due to the visible damage sustained.
- Repair-Related Diminished Value: This refers to the reduction in value attributed to the quality of repairs, encompassing any cosmetic or structural imperfections that may persist.
In accordance with Colorado diminished value laws, you are eligible to pursue one or more types of claims against third parties only. It is not possible to file a diminished value claim against yourself or your first-party insurance coverage, and compensation cannot be obtained from your collision or comprehensive coverage. If your car sustains damage from an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver, you have the option to pursue a claim under your uninsured motorist property damage coverage, provided you have such coverage in place.
3 Ways to Submit a Diminished Value Claim with Liberty Mutual
Before initiating your claim, ensure you have all necessary information and documents, including a copy of the police report and a detailed account of the incident, as these will be crucial during the filing process. Here are three methods to file a car accident insurance claim with Liberty Mutual:
- Call (877) 501-2467: Report the accident by phone, clearly indicating your involvement in a car accident and expressing your intent to file a claim. Depending on the circumstances, this may be either a first-party claim (if you have Liberty Mutual and caused the accident) or a third-party claim (if you’re not at fault, and the other driver has Liberty Mutual Insurance).
- File Online: Visit the Liberty Mutual website to file a claim online. If necessary, utilize the chat feature for expert assistance. For a head start, download and complete any required forms, such as the hospital visit form and accidental injury form.
- Use the Mobile App: Download the Liberty Mutual app on your smartphone by scanning the provided QR code on the company’s claims information page. The app allows you to file a claim and upload photos of your property damage directly from your phone.
Once your claim is filed, a claims adjuster will investigate the accident to determine liability. If they find the policyholder at fault, your claim will be accepted, and a settlement will be offered. Otherwise, your claim may be denied.
Navigating Diminished Value Claims with Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual, akin to other insurance providers, acknowledges diminished value claims in Colorado, though their approach may diverge. It is imperative for policyholders to grasp the process and prerequisites involved in filing a diminished value claim with Liberty Mutual:
- Determining Eligibility: Liberty Mutual entertains diminished value claims for vehicles involved in accidents where the policyholder is not at fault. If you were at fault, pursuing a DV claim may pose more challenges.
- Gathering Documentation: To fortify your diminished value claim, assembling documentation is crucial. This includes repair invoices, before-and-after photos, and any estimates or appraisals highlighting the decrease in your vehicle’s market value.
- Obtaining a Diminished Value Appraisal: Liberty Mutual might mandate an independent appraisal to assess the diminished value of your vehicle. Hiring a qualified appraiser experienced in diminished value claims can bolster your case.
- Submitting a Claim: Once all requisite documentation is compiled, submit your diminished value claim to Liberty Mutual. Prepare to furnish a detailed explanation of the accident, the repairs made, and how these factors contributed to the diminished value of your vehicle.
- Negotiation and Settlement: Liberty Mutual will scrutinize your claim and may engage in negotiations over the settlement amount with you. If an agreement is reached, you will receive compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle.
- Litigation, if Necessary: In the event that a satisfactory settlement proves elusive, you may opt to file a lawsuit against the liable parties, allowing a judge or jury to determine the value of your case.
Effectively Communicating With A Property Damage Claims Adjuster
The initial claim you submit serves as an initial report of the car accident, and it’s crucial to emphasize that you aren’t required to provide all the details at this stage. However, it’s of utmost importance to refrain from admitting fault or discussing injuries with the claims adjuster until you possess a comprehensive understanding of the incident.
Your primary objective should be to safeguard your legal rights right from the beginning when dealing with a Liberty Mutual insurance claim. This entails exercising caution in your conversations with the adjuster. If you find handling interactions with the claims adjuster challenging on your own, it’s essential to remember that you have the option to seek the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer in Denver, Colorado. They can take charge of the claim filing process, overseeing your entire car accident case and working towards achieving the most favorable outcome.
FAQs About Liberty Mutual Diminished Value Claims
How long do I have to file a diminished value claim with Liberty Mutual?
Diminished value claims follow the same legal deadlines as other car accident claims. The general rule in Colorado affords you three years from the date of the collision to resolve your claim. Some car accident claims have a shorter deadline. It is in your best interests to pursue your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you exceed the statute of limitations for your claim, you lose the legal right to pursue the liable parties for damages.
Will Liberty Mutual pay DV if I am at fault for the auto accident?
Diminished value claims follow the same liability and compensation rules as other tort claims. Colorado is a fault state which means the liable parties owe the victims for the damages they cause. Colorado also follows modified comparative negligence rules, which means you can recover a portion of your damages if you are partially at fault for your own damages. Insurance companies follow the same rules.
What happens if I cannot settle my case with Liberty Mutual?
If you do not receive a satisfactory offer, you can continue to negotiate your claim until the adjuster says they offered their best offer. At that point, you must choose to accept the offer or file a lawsuit.
How much is my diminished value claim worth?
A DV claim value depends on a number of factors including the age of your car, mileage, severity of damage, whether the repairs restored the cosmetic and physical condition and pre-crash market value. Each claim will be different based on the specific facts of your car accident and your vehicle.