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Diminished Value of Automobiles 
Even though the public is becoming more aware of diminished value, the majority of Americans still do not realize what diminished value is.  Furthermore, most Americans do not realize they can collect for the diminished value of their vehicle especially if the accident was not their fault.  In Georgia, you can collect even if the accident was your fault.

The basic tort law is,
The difference in the market value of the vehicle in question immediately before the occurrence in question and immediately after the necessary repairs were made to the vehicle.

“Market value” means the amount that would be paid in cash by a willing buyer who desires to buy, but is not required to buy, to a willing seller who desires to sell, but is under no necessity of selling.

#1. Inherent Diminished Value: This is the automatic and unavoidable loss of market value simply due to the fact than a motor vehicle has been involved in an accident. It's often mandatory that previous damage is made known to a prospective buyer.
#2. Insurance Related Diminished Value: This comes to pass due to oversights or omissions by the insurance company on their appraisal. And also, because of the use of “Imitation Replacement” parts.
#3. Repair Related Diminished Value: This is the amount which the motor vehicle was depreciated due to improper or incomplete repairs, poor quality repairs, or un-repaired items that were compensated for within the insurance appraisal.
Auto repair shops (even the most advanced) do not have access to the type of equipment. Because of this it’s impossible for them to afford such technology that a manufacturer can.
And (that being an absolutely provable case) you’re not going to be returned your motor vehicle in the perfect value it was when it came off the assembly line!
It’s a fact of life that should a potential buyer discover the motor vehicle one is about to buy has been in an accident that it’s going to be worth less money. Almost every damaged motor vehicle will have some possible inherent “Diminished Value” which can evolve into an actual loss to the consumer.

PLUS THERE ARE OTHER “REPAIR PROBLEMS”: The following are 5 of the most potential of them bubbling and boiling - - just under the surface:
#1. Most consumers don’t know what kind of parts they’re getting. They (incorrectly) assume their motor vehicle will be restored to its pre-crash condition.
#2. Too often the “Imitation Parts” don’t match the car’s contours leaving an impossible mess to correct.
#3. When it comes to fenders there are “Fit Problems”. Some require widening the holes or using shims. Many don’t match the contour of the car and require significant reworking..
#4. Replacement bumpers (more often than not) need to be re-drilled or widened leaving large gaps or uneven surfaces.
#5. Structural welds need to be inspected to verify the welding was performed properly.  It will never have the same robot weld as the manufacturer but there is a proper way to weld.  There are butcher jobs being performed everyday to vehicles across the country.
For more information, contact the premier Diminished Value Company in the nation, AVR Group Auto Appraisal Services (avrecovery.com).

By Jeff Hamilton
Board Member
The American Society of Certified Auto Appraisers