Our Durham Diminished Value Claim Attorneys and Greensboro Diminished Value Claim Attorneys are often asked about what formula is used to determine the diminished value of your car (for some background on North Carolina diminished value claims, click on the following links (which are links to prior blog posts that discuss diminished value): diminished value car claims in NC, diminished value claim lawyer NC, diminished value claim North Carolina, diminished value claims in NC, diminished value laws in North Carolina, diminished value of vehicle in North Carolina, diminished value vehicle North Carolina, diminishment of value in North Carolina). A lot of folks believe that the diminished value is based on a percentage, and we get the number 25% a lot. To be clear, there is no formula used in North Carolina to determine the diminished value of your vehicle, and 25% is not a common number in diminished value claims (we think 25% comes up because that is the threshold used in the North Carolina Damage Disclosure Law, which is an entirely different concept (you are required to disclose damage exceeding 25% of the value of your car when you sell a car 5 years old or newer)).
The value of your diminished value claim is equal to the difference between the fair market value of your property immediately before it was damaged and its fair market value immediately after it was damaged. Fair market value is defined as the amount which would be agreed upon as a fair price by you when you wish to sell, but are not compelled to do so, and a buyer who wishes to buy, but is not compelled to do so.
To get an idea of how damages are calculated in a Diminution of value case, look at the following cases: Cockman v. White, 76 N.C. App. 387, 391, 333 S.E.2d 54, 56 (1985); U.S. Fidelity and Guaranty Co. v. P. and F. Motor Express, Inc., 220 N.C. 721, 18 S.E.2d 116 (1942) and Roberts v. Pilot Freight Carriers, Inc., 273 N.C. 600, 160 S.E.2d 712 (1968). If you can’t find a copy of the cases, send us an email and we’ll send them to you in an email.
Unless you had an arm’s-length contact to sell your property immediately before your property damage and immediately after (I’ve never seen this), then the main way to determine what the fair market value (according to the definition above) of your car was prior to it being damaged is through an appraisal (either from a licensed motor vehicle appraiser or even better a used car dealer’s opinion on what your would have sold for).
Coming up with a value for your diminished value is not easy, and is always disputable. Therefore, the more evidence you can gather the better. Get quotes from dealers, list your car on craigslist.com for sale, get a motor vehicle appraisal or two (but these can be expensive), run book values (nada.com, edmunds.com, kbb.com, etc.). Get as many values as you can, and get it in writing.
If you are seeking assistance with your North Carolina diminished value claim, our Durham Diminished Value Claim Lawyers and Greensboro Diminished Value Claim Lawyers are available to assist you. If you’d like to talk with one of our Durham Attorneys or Greensboro Attorneys at no charge to you, you can call (888) 820-5885 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our Durham Attorneys or Greensboro Attorneys will contact you the same day.