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How to choose a diminished value attorney

by on May 4, 2012 » Add the first comment.

Diminished value attorneys help clients obtain proper compensation for the diminished value of their wrecked vehicle. Generally, if a vehicle is in an accident and any incurred damages are repaired, the vehicle is still worth less money than it was before the accident occurred. Individuals may file a diminished value claim with the help of an attorney, given that multiple factors affect the diminished value of a vehicle, including the vehicle’s condition before the accident, the vehicle’s age, mileage, prior accidents, extent of damage, and marketplace demand. Below contains some key advice on how to choose a reputable diminished value attorney.

  1. A diminished value attorney or a personal injury attorney who has experience handling diminished value claims should be chosen, and individuals should not choose a general attorney because they may not be up-to-date on the latest diminished value laws. Without a diminished value attorney, insurance adjusters may refuse to pay diminished value or offer significantly less money than individuals may be entitled to.
  2. Individuals can locate diminished value attorneys in their area by calling their local Bar Association or by logging into the American Bar Association’s website, where they can search for attorneys who handle diminished value claims. Both the American Bar Association’s website and individuals’ local Bar Associations will be able to provide background information on most attorneys, including education details and length of practice.Alternatively, if individuals have their own personal attorney, they may request referrals to reputable diminished value attorneys who may be able to handle their claims successfully.
  3. Individuals may also be able to locate attorneys who handle diminished value claims by searching for well known attorneys from local advertisements, and viewing their background information on the American Bar Association’s website. Friends and family who have used diminished value attorneys in the past may also be of some assistance.
  4. Once a few attorneys who practice in diminished value cases have been selected, individuals should set up meetings with them. When meeting with prospective attorneys, individuals should take detailed notes that allow them to cross-compare the attorneys’ prices, professionalism, background and personal demeanors at a later time.
  5. Because each attorney has his or her own system of billing clients, individuals should inquire about all fees. Most diminished value attorneys, however, work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they only receive payment if an individual’s diminished value claim is successful, and the payment is usually based on a percentage of the total amount of money recovered. If no money is recovered, then all attorney costs are generally waived.
  6. Any prospective diminished value attorneys should be effective in dealing with insurance companies, given that they must directly negotiate with the insurance company. Individuals should ask to view past diminished value claim awards as well as the average percentage of diminished value claims recovered successfully.
  7. Any prospective diminished value attorney should also have trial experience, given that they may pursue the claim in court if warranted. Therefore, the attorney should know how to handle a diminished value claim should it end up going to court.
  8. It is important that individuals get along well with their diminished value attorney, ensuring that they are able to communicate easily with him or her. Individuals should also ideally take the time to learn about, and interactive with, the attorney’s staff before committing to him or her, given that they may have to work with staff members frequently.
  9. Once individuals have hired a diminished value attorney, they should be patient and request regular updates, since most diminished value attorneys have multiple cases going on at the same time.
  10. It should be kept in mind that once a diminished value attorney has been hired, individuals are not stuck with them – they may fire an attorney at anytime if they prove to be incompetent and neglectful.

If these above tips are followed, then individuals are on the right track to finding a high quality, reputable diminished value attorney to handle their claims. Individuals should always bear in mind that they cannot rely on insurance adjusters to adequately compensate them for the diminished value of their vehicle. Instead, with the help of a diminished value attorney who can call in appropriate experts and gather supporting evidence individuals can receive full compensation for their diminished value claims.

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