Diminished Value and Loss of Use Utah
What is a Diminished Value Claim in Utah?
A diminished value claim or a diminution claim is a rarely used tort in personal injury law. Utah law allows for such claims, but they are hard to prove in cases involving automobile value.
Imagine that you have a new minivan, and someone on their phone hits your driver’s side door. You take the van in to get repaired. The body shop does good work. The van runs well and looks great. It seems as if you have been made whole, which is the goal of all PI claims.
However, it may not be over. Less than three years later, when you try to sell the van, you cannot receive the same price for your van that would for a van that had not been involved in an accident. The fact that the van had been involved in an accident diminished the value of the van.
A diminution claim allows you to sue the at-fault driver for the difference in price. If you could have sold your un-wrecked van for $10,000.00, but were only able to sell your wrecked version for $8,000.00, you may sue the at-fault party for the $2,000.00 difference.
Be wary. Diminution is a complicated claim. It can also impact the rest of your PI settlement. You may not be able to sue for diminution if your property damage and bodily injury claims have settled.
How Does Loss of Use Claim Work in Utah?
If you have been in a car accident, you may need a rental car to help get around while your vehicle is being repaired. Who should pay for that? Can you receive compensation for the loss of the use of your car?
The answer is that you can receive compensation for losing the use of your vehicle, and it most often occurs in the form of rental-car coverage from an auto insurance company.
If the accident was your own fault, you can use your own auto insurance to pay for a rental car, so long as you have coverage. If you were not at fault for the accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company should pay for your rental car. Insurance companies usually cover about $25 dollars a day to rent a compact sedan.
For some reason, if the at-fault party’s insurance company does not or cannot cover the expense needed to get use a replacement vehicle until your vehicle can be repaired or replaced, you may have a loss of use of vehicle claim. You can ask the at-fault party and their insurance company to reimburse you for rental expenses or public transportation expenses incurred because you could not use your own vehicle.
A loss of use claim must be made in conjunction with your other claims regarding the accident. You cannot ask for more money after you have received a settlement.