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Attorney Tom Olsen is host of the Olsen on Law Radio Show on FM 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. You can reach Tom at 407-423-5561 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tom has been answering legal questions on his radio show for 26 years and has been practicing law in Orlando, Florida for over 30 years.
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Attorney Tom Olsen: Let’s go to Mark in Oviedo. He’s got an insurance question. Mark, you’re or News Talk WDBO. Go ahead.
Mark: Yes, hey guys. Quick question at the regards to diminished value of a vehicle. If we got rear-ended and the other guy’s at fault, is the other guy’s insurance company responsible to make this right as far as that vehicle not being what– the same as it was prior to the accident.
Attorney Tom Olsen: All right, so Mark, that is a great question and something that’s come in to relevance in the last few years, and that is diminished value, meaning that, you’ve been in an automobile accident, it was not your fault, they repair your car but still you’ve got a car that one time was in a wreck and your future buyer’s going to know that, so how often is diminished value being offered, colonel?
Attorney Colonel Airth: Well you cannot get it from your own insurance company, your own insurance company is not liable, it’s called diminution of value, they’re not liable for that damage, however, the at fault driver is, and what you’re talking about is the situation where you have a $12,000 car, you look up on the car mags or the blue book value, it’s $12,000, but if you have an accident, they fixed it, then the next month they have that same car, practically the same mileage, it looks exactly the same, but suddenly it’s only worth $10,000 because anybody who checks he’s going to see it was in an accident, and it’s just simply not worth as much money as it was before.
That’s diminution in value. The issue usually is how much is that value, is diminished, but the at fault driver is liable for that diminished value, and it is part of what you have to argue with about usually to get a determination as to what your total value of your damages claim is, that is cost of repairs, your loss of use, and now diminished value.
Attorney Tom Olsen: And that would come from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, is that right?
Attorney Colonel Airth: That’s correct.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Very good.
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