We had a Christmas party about 10 days ago. On the way home, one of the secretaries (Sharon) had a small issue with the car in front of her. This was the result.
But that is just the start of the problem. It never rains but it pours.
She’s had this car for 6 months. She bought it used for about $17K. The damages estimates (subject to change after they “get in there”) are all hovering around $9K. She thinks it’s a total loss – the engine subframe may or may not be mangled. The airbag discharged. Regardless, once fixed, she will have a repaired, post-airbag deployment Nissan that is worth nothing close to what it was worth when she got to the party, let alone what she owes on it. Depending on where she trades it in, she will have to disclose the accident. She’ll have to disclose the airbag deployment. Some dealers will just take a pass on the car entirely, knowing that info.
The repair shops and her insurer disagree that it should be totalled. “That’ll buff right out” is essentially their position. So what can be done?
Tony Rached is a Licensed Car Appraiser located in Atlanta, Georgia at Diminished Value Atlanta. DVA is a local (ATL), licensed and insured car appraisal company. This is the type of service Sharon needs to engage.
DVA appraisals are completed to USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) standards, which means acceptance by insurance companies, courts, charities and the IRS.
Two types of DVA appraisals would come in handy for Sharon.
Diminished Value Appraisals Diminished Value is the loss in resale value a vehicle suffers after an accident. Let us help you maximize your loss in value payout from the insurance company.
Total Loss Appraisals If your vehicle was declared a total loss and you’re disputing the insurers valuation amount, you can hire us to conduct an independent appraisal and present you with a true market value of your vehicle.
Ultimately, either the Altima is totalled, and the insurers just need some objectivity to see it, or the insurance company needs to be called on the diminution in value from the fact of the accident. Just fixing the damage does not make her whole.
Like our friends at the PI firms say – “in a wreck? Get a check.” [Ed.: no idea if this applies retroactively.]