Indiana has long recognized the idea of diminished value when it comes to property damage. If someone is involved in a car accident, and after the repairs to their car, it is worth less than before the accident, Indiana law says that if someone gets the car appraised and compared to fair market value for a non-damaged version of that car, then they can recover the difference between that fair market value of the car and the value of their vehicle after the accident.
However, as noted above, the thing to take notice of is what you must do in order to prove that your vehicle or other property lost value based on the damage. If someone’s property is damaged, they must get that property appraised by someone else who is licensed to do so, and compare that appraisal price to the fair market value of that same property if it was not damaged.
Shield Global Partners-G1, LLC v. Forster
Recently, the Indiana Appellate Court dealt with a case discussing inherent diminished value regarding property damage. In the case Shield Global Partners-G1, LLC v. Forster, the court discussed what was required to prove a claim of diminished value in Indiana.
In this case, the defendant rear-ended someone’s truck. The truck was repaired, but the interest in the truck was transferred from a GM dealership to the named plaintiff, Shield Global Partners. Shield presented evidence to the trial court that the truck’s value had been diminished somewhere between $4,000 and $7,000. Shield had presented an appraisal that had been done by someone certified to do so. The trial court denied Shield’s claim and stated that Indiana did not recognize claims for diminished value.
However, the Appellate Court noted that this was not correct, and had not been correct for some time. The Appellate Court discussed the case Wiese-GMC v. Wells, which was decided in 1993, and was the first Indiana case to accept claims of diminished value. In Weise-GMC, the court discussed diminished value, and held that Indiana would in fact recognized diminished value in property damage claims.
In the current case, the Court looked back on Weise and noted that these damages could be calculated in three ways:
- Fair market value before minus fair market value after;
- Cost of repair; or
- Cost of repair plus loss to fair market value.
These calculations can be used along with an appraisal of property to show the damages that diminished value can cause. If the fair market value of the property is diminished, as the value of car might be after an accident, with a valid appraisal, you can recover the difference between the value of the car before the accident and after the accident.
Overall, this case further affirmed the fact that diminished value damages can be recovered in a car accident case or a property damage case in general. All someone has to do is prove that the property is worth less than it was before the accident or damage, and by doing this, that person can recover the difference in value.
Have You Been Involved in A Car Accident or Dealt with Property Damage?
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