If your vehicle has been damaged in an auto accident or due to the carelessness of someone else, feel free to contact our Durham Personal Injury Attorneys or Greensboro Personal Injury Attorneys to help ensure you are fully compensated for the loss of value of in your automobile. Our Durham Personal Injury Lawyers and Greensboro Personal Injury Lawyers can be reached via the free consultation form to the right, calling us at (888) 820 – 5885 or sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have previously written about North Carolina Diminution of Value Claims, North Carolina Diminished Value Claims and North Carolina Diminishment of Value Claims (all the same claim, just different names). We get a decent amount of questions about whether an owner of a vehicle can recover for the loss in value of his or her vehicle after an accident, and it is a commonly overlooked aspect of a property damage case or personal injury case. Most of my prior posts have dealt with a more traditional approach to handling your North Carolina Diminished Value Claim (e.g., get your vehicle repaired, get an assessment of the diminishment of value, negotiate with the insurance company, and hire an attorney to file a lawsuit if the insurance company won’t pay you a fair settlement). Today’s post is going to discuss an alternative method to handling your North Carolina Diminishment of Value Claim. If you have any questions about how to proceed with your loss of value claim feel free to contact our Durham Personal Injury Lawyers or Greensboro Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.
Beginning in January of 2010, you have an alternative method to filing a lawsuit. Prior to filing a lawsuit you can demand the insurance company obtain an appraisal. Below is an outline of North Carolina General Statute 20-279.21(d1), which sets out the new option. If the insurance company has not obtained an appraisal, this is a good option to force them to get an appraisal. Otherwise, if the insurance company already has an appraisal and you and your appraiser just disagree with the insurance company’s appraisal, our recommendation is to forego this alternative method and move straight to filing our lawsuit. If you would like to discuss how to proceed with your loss of value claim, feel free to call one of our Durham Personal Injury Attorneys or Greensboro Personal Injury Attorneys for a free conversation to discuss your options.
First, you and the insurance company must be unable to agree what the difference is in the fair market value of your auto immediately before your accident and immediately after your accident (this is the measure of your North Carolina diminished value claim, by the way).
Second, the difference between your opinion and the insurance company’s opinion of the value of your claim must be greater than $2,000 or 25% of the fair market value (as determined by NADA.com) of your car.
Third, you must send a written demand to the insurance company to select a competent and disinterested appraiser.
Fourth, both you and the insurance company must select a competent and disinterested appraiser (you each pay for your own appraiser) within 20 days after your demand, and you must notify the other of your selection.
Fifth, the appraisers must appraise the loss. If the appraisers disagree on the fair market value of your auto immediately before your accident and immediately after your accident, then the appraisers must select a competent and disinterested appraiser to serve as an umpire (the cost of the umpire will be shared by you and the insurance company).
Sixth, if the appraisers are unable to agree on a competent and disinterested appraiser, then you or the insurance company may request that a magistrate select the umpire. The deciding magistrate must be a resident in the county where (a) the accident occurred or (b) the insurance company’s policyholder’s vehicle is registered.
Seventh, the appraisers must submit their differences to the umpire, and the umpire must prepare a report determining the amount of your loss and file the report with you and the insurance company. In deciding the loss and preparing the report, the umpire shall make no determination of liability and must award damages that are in-between the determinations of the appraiser.
Eighth, you and the insurance company have 15 days from the filing of the umpire’s report to notify the other party of your rejection of the determination and report. If you or the insurance company fail to reject the determination and report within 15 days of the filing of the report, then the determination and report is binding upon both you and the insurance company.
If you have any questions regarding your loss of value claim or property damage claim, you can contact our Durham Personal Injury Lawyers or Greensboro Personal Injury Lawyers by completing the free consultation form to the right, calling us at (888) 820 – 5885 or emailing us at email@example.com.