Another Diminished Value Claim

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Nov 7, 2019
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#1
Hi all,

Found myself in a predicament I didn't anticipate; It was nice to read some of the related threads.

Long story short: on a semi rainy day, I pumped the brakes four times to stop the rental car to avoid hitting the person in front of me and the brakes did not engage. The damage to the rental car inclusive of diminution of value and damage was ~19k. I went through my credit card company (Chase Sapphire) and they agreed to pay $13k--they would not pay diminished value claims

I was contacted by Rockport Auto and told that if I didn't pay the balance, it would be sent to a collection agency with a 30% premium.

I then spoke to my insurance company: my home state coverage policy does not cover diminished value, but they are checking if the state of the accident does.

I'm not paying the rental car company 6k in damage no matter what. Should i get an attorney to fight back?

Thanks!!
 
Likes: calihankl
Jun 12, 2019
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#2
Hi all,

Found myself in a predicament I didn't anticipate; It was nice to read some of the related threads.

Long story short: on a semi rainy day, I pumped the brakes four times to stop the rental car to avoid hitting the person in front of me and the brakes did not engage. The damage to the rental car inclusive of diminution of value and damage was ~19k. I went through my credit card company (Chase Sapphire) and they agreed to pay $13k--they would not pay diminished value claims

I was contacted by Rockport Auto and told that if I didn't pay the balance, it would be sent to a collection agency with a 30% premium.

I then spoke to my insurance company: my home state coverage policy does not cover diminished value, but they are checking if the state of the accident does.

I'm not paying the rental car company 6k in damage no matter what. Should i get an attorney to fight back?

Thanks!!
What is their support for the DM claim? Normally you will need to show that the vehicle is worth less than 6k for a similar vehicle without the repaired damage. Some rental company just add DV claims, loss of use and admin fees to get more money. You can question how they derive the DV. Was there frame damage that would show up on a Carfax? Prove it! How would the new buyer know that the vehicle has been repaired back to the pre-accident condition? Prove it! What kind of vehicle are we talking about here?

The reason your insurance denied this claim is that DV claims are specially excluded from collision claims. I checked on the Chase Sapphire site and DV is specifically excluded . Ask Chase or your insurance company if they would give you some assistance if you were sued by the collection company. They would need to take you to small claims first before they can put you into collections. This might be where they would stop since DV claims is not easy to prove. They will need to show as a direct result of the accident, they got paid less for the value of the vehicle.

Once again, ask for the documentation that the DV claim is worth 6k. If they do, then you will have what you need to see if an attorney can assist you. This will most likely go to small claims, so you would need to represent yourself. Some courts allow a free mediation service on the day of the lawsuit that might help.

I wish you luck and keep us informed (until you get that attorney).
 
Likes: smd and VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
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#3
What stands out to me from your post is this:

"I pumped the brakes four times to stop the rental car to avoid hitting the person in front of me and the brakes did not engage."​

That is a clear indicator of a defective vehicle, which should be your position I think.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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#4
What stands out to me from your post is this:

"I pumped the brakes four times to stop the rental car to avoid hitting the person in front of me and the brakes did not engage."​

That is a clear indicator of a defective vehicle, which should be your position I think.
Cars 2014 and newer has a sort of a "black box" that records crash data. Certain vehicles 2013 and older have it too (http://harristechnical.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/HTS_CDR_List.pdf )If you are going to allege a defect you might need to get an attorney that will specialize in car defects and get a court order to get this info as this is not your vehicle.

You should mention this to the company that paid the 13k. They have subrogation (collection) rights since they paid for the vehicle's damage and have a vested interest in knowing if there was improper maintenance or manufacturer's defect. If they do subrogate, then you would not have to get an attorney yourself as they will pay for the whole process. A process where they will need to know exactly when you pumped the brakes and if they failed. They will need your cooperation and in turn, keep you informed.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
Cars 2014 and newer has a sort of a "black box" that records crash data. Certain vehicles 2013 and older have it too (http://harristechnical.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/HTS_CDR_List.pdf )If you are going to allege a defect you might need to get an attorney that will specialize in car defects and get a court order to get this info as this is not your vehicle.

You should mention this to the company that paid the 13k. They have subrogation (collection) rights since they paid for the vehicle's damage and have a vested interest in knowing if there was improper maintenance or manufacturer's defect. If they do subrogate, then you would not have to get an attorney yourself as they will pay for the whole process. A process where they will need to know exactly when you pumped the brakes and if they failed. They will need your cooperation and in turn, keep you informed.
I appreciate your always informed responses . . .
 
Likes: calihankl
Apr 10, 2017
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#7
What stands out to me from your post is this:

"I pumped the brakes four times to stop the rental car to avoid hitting the person in front of me and the brakes did not engage."​

That is a clear indicator of a defective vehicle, which should be your position I think.

You are not supposed to pump ABS brakes. You should apply firm, constant pressure.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
As not a frequent flyer mentioned, pumping brakes should not be done with ABS brakes.

Without knowing the type of car, the driving conditions (aside from rain was the traffic congested so there was tailgating?)

Once there is damage there is a loss in value. There is no way to credibly argue that the value would be the same— would anyone here pay the same money for a car that had been in a collision versus the exact same car that had not been in a collision?

The extend of the loss is debatable and that is when it is a battle of the experts.

Consult an attorney.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#9
In order to curb the possibility that this may drift into a "to pump or not to pump" discussion, I will clarify my reason for quoting this portion of @italian150's post. The focus should be on the phrase "the brakes did not engage". This is an indicator to me that the brakes "failed" in that moment. Four times!

In my opinion, that points to defective brakes (vs. ones that simply locked up), which would shift the focus of the investigation to the vehicle.
 
Nov 7, 2019
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#10
What stands out to me from your post is this:

"I pumped the brakes four times to stop the rental car to avoid hitting the person in front of me and the brakes did not engage."​

That is a clear indicator of a defective vehicle, which should be your position I think.
Hi all---thanks for the replies!

I'm learning so much here.

Yes---that's the position i've kept. They had a shop analyze the brakes and say there are "normal." I live out of state to where the accident occurred adn I can't do much about that.

I spoke to my insurance company again today, they will NOT cover diminished value claims. They suggested I speak to the rental car company's representation to see if the fee can be reduced.

5k in diminished value plus a 1k "administration" fee is ridiculous---I know that is padded.

At this point, I'm going to engage a lawyer to fight back.
 
Nov 7, 2019
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#12
Hey all---just an update---retained an attorney. My understanding is that if a rental company uses the collection agency, they either sell the debt and make very little or they get less than half after the collection agency gets involved. I'm astounded that they are trying to stick it to me with $1000 admin fees plus >5k diminished value on a car with >40k miles in 1 year after getting paid $14k from my insurance company.