Auto body shops can make your vehicle look aesthetically pleasing, repair it to guidelines perfectly but they cannot bring that vehicle back to the “state” it was before the loss. Once the structural integrity of a vehicle has been compromised its very possible that it will not perform the way the manufacturer intended it to. Minor accidents: if a vehicle has a collision or previous damage to the next prospective buyer, its has a stigma attached! Which in turn lowers the value of the vehicle. Its your right to be paid for that loss. Get an auto appraisal expert that knows these facts!
Just because a vehicle “looks” good after a proper repair doesn’t mean that it will be as safe as it was or hold up to a subsequent accident as well. When a structure is intended to crush a certain way or a frame has specific pressure points that when impacted bend in a specific manner(potentially saving the interior passenger compartment)the factory has created an optimum environment as best as circumstances can prevail. When those points have been altered, even by minimal damages, this could create a weakness in the structure compromising the engineering of the vehicle creating irreparable damages.
Collecting Diminished Value on a leased vehicle is an option. The vehicle doesn’t know its a leased vehicle, all it knows is that is has lost value!
Determining what the cause and effect of your case will be another story. Lets look at an example below of Lexus Financial allowing one of my attorney clients collect Diminished Value on Lexus’ behalf.
As you can clearly see in the above letter Lexus Financial has issued the letter allowing the client to collect Diminished Value on the leased vehicle providing the proceeds for the Diminished Value portion go to LEXUS.
How does this help you?
1. If you intend to buy the car out at the end of the lease and you collected DV, the finance company will put the money on your account and add it to your total depending on the size of the claim it can substantially reducing your balance. This could be a worthwhile venture and prove to be financially prudent.
2. Bargaining tool 101. When an insurance company denies your claim due to non-ownership you now have the rights to fight. Although you might not be the collector in the end you still have the right to collect. This along with any other loss tied into the claim might be used as a bargaining tool to resolve your issue.
3. Several factors will determine your course of action but in a hypothetical claim where a claimant was hit by an “at fault” party and is entitled to recover all losses stemming from that negligence they can pursue as follows:
a. Diminution of Value = $__,____
b. Loss of Use = $__,____
c. Appraiser fees = $__,____
d. Expenses related = $__,____
Any items of this hypothetical situation can vary depending on the claim. Hence, having substantial proof behind each one of these areas will help recover your losses. Also, mediating a deal with the insurance company is a possible bonafide option when you have backing behind each area. Once again, I am not a lawyer and if you are looking for legal advice you must contact a lawyer in your state.