Small Claims Lawsuit – Diminished Value

[This is a transcript is a result of automated audio transcription from the video posted below. For help from The Small Claims Lawyer, visit or call 888-632-6623. Grammatical errors may be present in the transcript below. This transcript is for informational purposes only and may not be relied on as legal advice.]

Hey everyone this is attorney Brian Russ, coming to you again. The Small Claims Lawyer, visit me on my website You can reach out to me by phone, 888-632-6623, as I say in all my videos I’m a small claims lawyer in California helping California clients with California cases. Today’s video is focused on small claims diminished value property damage claims. The long way of saying, you know, do you get some recovery If your car is messed up in a car accident? Right, diminished value basically is the idea that, say you’re in a car accident. You’re in a vehicle accident you’re driving on I-5, you’re driving on The 405, you’re driving somewhere right you get rear ended, and you know that the other party then has to pay for your vehicle to be repaired. Right, so fender bender, they fix the fender, well now that your vehicle has been in a car accident it’s going to be reported to the DMV and your Carfax report, it’s going to say that there was an accident. And now if you go to sell your vehicle, you’re not going to get as much money for it, for the same vehicle that you’re going to get as compared to the same vehicle that had no accident history. So diminished value is a, you know an area where you can recover some more on your claim. And I want to talk to you about it.

I will talk to you about how you can do the small claims process in California, but first before we get any further, I got to give you my disclaimers. First, this video is not legal advice, this is for informational and educational purposes only. This is not legal advice it’s not being made for any particular person or any particular situation, this is not legal advice. If you do have a case for diminished value I recommend you retain an attorney to help you with your situation to give you that legal advice to help you maximize your chances for recovery. Or likewise if you’re being, you have a claim brought against you for diminished value retain an attorney to help you to protect your interest so you know, make sure you retain an attorney to help you. Next, no attorney client relationship forms by the viewing of this video, I don’t know who’s viewing this, I’m not your attorney, I’m just a guy on YouTube, who happens to be an attorney, giving you information about diminished value. Finally, to the extent this video can be considered an advertisement, it should be considered an advertisement. I’m an attorney I sell my services, I probably will sell you my services if you give me the opportunity, like I said, visit my link above, where you can give me a phone call 888-632-6623, and we’ll see if  we can help you with your diminished value case.

Key points to the diminished value small claims case, first point is that recovery for diminished value is allowed in California, it is. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve helped people win cases on diminished value. I know, years ago, diminished value is kind of looked down upon, you know some people some jurist, some, you know, when I say jurists I mean judges right they would say, “Well, essentially, you know, you pay to repair the vehicle. Therefore, you know the, there’s no damages left.” Well that view has slowly eroded over time and now I think it is widely accepted that your diminished value or dimunition in value is, you know, damage, essentially you can recover on it so it is allowed in California I want to always make that clear.

Next, you know a diminished value claim can be brought in addition to personal injury right so just like we talked about before where you can get repair, you know, maybe you’re gonna get some, some recovery for personal injury, you can also get it for diminished value and I see this happening a lot where attorneys do not want to go after diminished value property damage, because it’s a low dollar amount. You know, it can cost you know maybe the your vehicle is worth $27,000 Before the accident, you know at the end of it is worth $20,000 and the spread there is $7,000 and maybe attorneys aren’t gonna want go after that and so a lot of times they will ignore it, they won’t even tell you about it because, Quite frankly, it costs them more to try to recover on it.  But I’m telling you, diminished value is, is I think one of the most under recovered aspects of economic damages. In, in at least you know the car accident arena right now.

And I’ve seen this happen a lot too, especially once you get a higher end vehicle oh my gosh the diminished value just goes, goes, goes nuts, you know, you get a Tesla, or you know you get all these Ford Mach-E Mustangs, you know, you get a fender bender, people aren’t gonna want to pay the premium that they’re gonna pay for a car that has not been through the same exact thing.

So you know just because you bring a personal injury claim, or you bring another property damage claim for repair. It doesn’t disallow you bringing a claim for diminished value diminished value is a real thing, like I said, if you have if you have the same vehicle, you know, and, and it one’s been an accident and the other has not been in an accident, the one that has not been in the accident, all things being equal, always sell for more, it’s a very simple proposition, do you want to cause an accident or not. Well, you know, you’re probably going to go with one that hasn’t been in an accident if you can get for the same price but you know, again, the one spin in an accident will always sell for less, and that that, that nexus that you know that delta I should say.

That’s the recoverable damage, and a lot of times I see this happen in small claims cases because usually, you know, a vehicle in California, you know, on average, you know you’re not going to get really above the $10,000 limit for diminished value. And so, you know that it’s right for small claims, I would say, you know, always be careful. If a company if offering, you know, offering you a settlement agreement, and you haven’t recovered for a diminished value that you know, you’d look at it. Again, this isn’t legal advice is just information you should look at this stuff and figure out what’s going on. Again I’m not – I don’t know your case – I don’t know what’s going on your situation. If you want to talk to me about your case if you want to retain me to help you in your case I’m happy to discuss. Contact information is above.

And finally, one of my key recommendations for diminished value, is that you get a professional appraisal, because that I’ve seen this happen so many times where people lose cases in small claims, where they just show up and say hey judge my car’s not worth this much, and the judge says, Well, how much was it worth before and how much is it worth now and they go “I don’t know – 500 bucks?” and the judge says you know basically like the judge can’t make a finding on that, you know it’s not, it’s not good enough to meet the burden of proof.

And so what you can do you can go online, you can find these auto appraisers. To give an appraisal on diminished value they say you know, based on the market value of vehicles without accidents, this is what it is, here’s some other vehicles for sale similar make model mileage, and they have been an accident, here’s what they’re for sale, you know, and they give an approximation and these appraisals, I mean that they’ll run you 200 bucks 300 bucks, something like that, but it’s well worth it because if you go from, you know, not being able to recover six grand to then being able to recover six grand, because you pay 200 bucks for professional appraisal I mean it’s absolutely worth it so you know I always say get a professional appraisal, it’s also going to help you, because if the appraiser comes back says oh you know your diminished value is like 500 bucks, well then you’re going to kind of do the math here and say, Well, is it worth the 500 bucks to go after this person in small claims. And maybe, maybe not so that’s it, like I said if you have a diminished value claim in California, if you’re in Los Angeles, if you’re in San Diego, San Francisco, you know, Sacramento, you know, Redding, I don’t care. I serve everybody in California I serve every single county in California in small claims cases be happy to help you with your small claims diminished value property damage, vehicle accident claim in California, just reach out to me, like I said, the URL is above the small claims lawyer, calm, and I’ll talk to you guys later.

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