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#1 Unhappycamper_NV

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:22 AM

In October 2011, my car was involved in a hit and run accident where driver who fled was driving a **** rental car.  The vehicle thathit mine left its license plate imbedded in the drivers side front quarter pannel of my car.  The police tracked the **** rental vehicle to a lot 5 miles away where the cars engine had seized because the earlier impact with my car ruptured its radiator.  The **** car was totaled and the airbags had deployed.


My car required $6000 in repairs. The value of my car determined by the insurance company was $8900 before the accident.  A professional assessment on current value of my car shows the value to be in the range of $4500. I have demanded that **** pay the difference in value through a diminution of value claim.  They have denied my claim.


The driver of the **** car was a Mexican who fled the country after the accident.  The police have determined that **** must accept all liability in the case.  ***** has treated me throughout this entire affair as a nuisance at best and as a liar at worst accusing me of making up the entire accident history and police report.


I need information about several things:


1. Has ***** ever paid a diminution of value claim anywhere at any time?


2. What case law exists in any state that supports diminution of value claims?


This incident occurred in Nevada.


[This post has been
edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator]



#2 LawLeaf

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:43 AM

I would refer you to two separate articles:

http://library.findl...n/1/129412.html

http://insurance.law...shed-Value.html

Good luck
C Espo
LawLeaf
Always consult an attorney regarding your legal need.


#3 Unhappycamper_NV

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:03 AM

Thank you for your response.  The Findlaw article was useful.  I'll keep you posted on the outcome of any legal actions that  may occur.

#4 pg1067

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:10 AM

Unhappycamper_NV said...

I have demanded that [the rental car company] pay the difference in value through a diminution of value claim.  They have denied my claim.

First of all, I'm not sure who "they" are (the rental car company is an "it").  Second, I'm not sure why you think the rental car company has any liability here at all (other than what some cop told you).  Was the driver an employee of the rental car company or a renter?


Unhappycamper_NV said...

The police have determined that [the rental car company] must accept all liability in the case.

I'm not sure where the police get this idea, but it is not the job of police to make determinations regarding civil liability for auto accidents.


Unhappycamper_NV said...

Has [the rental car company] ever paid a diminution of value claim anywhere at any time?

I'm not sure why you think this is relevant or how you expect someone on a message board to have such information.


Unhappycamper_NV said...

What case law exists in any state that supports diminution of value claims?

Since the accident occurred in Nevada, case law from states other than Nevada is completely irrelevant.


I think your best bet in this situation is a small claims action for $7,500 (which appears to be the limit for NV small claims actions).



#5 Unhappycamper_NV

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:12 PM

Dear Page;

Thanks for your response. You must be pretty smart and I appreciate your comments.

I guess I meant "it" when I was talking about the rental car company - my mistake. You're right, a company is an "it" and not a "they". After all, company's are not real people. Sorry for the confusion there. To answer your question; the driver of the car was one of its (the rental car company) clients - a guy who rented a vehicle from the company. Oh, yeah; the rental car company told me they are self-insured, so I figured that if they want to act like an insurance company, I'd treat them like an insurance company. Is that wrong in the legal world?

Concerning your 2nd comment, I guess the police thought that the driver of the rental car was in the wrong and since he ran a red light and broad-sided my car and then left the accident scene, so they (is it correct to use the term "they" in this case since I'm actually talking about the individual police officer?) thought that the driver was in the wrong and therefore responsible for the accident and its consequences. I may gave read more into the statements that they (he?) made - wishful thinking, huh? Wow, English is such a funny language!

Re my question about diminution, I was sort of hoping to see if there were others out there who may have had similar experiences as mine and wanted to share war stories and outcomes. Not sure why I thought that posting an anonymous question to a national website might solicit a response - maybe you're right; it was a total waste of time. Please excuse me for that silly attempt.

And finally, concerning my question about case law in other states, I was just thinking that maybe there were circumstances somewhere that may have a bearing on the situation I am now facing, or that maybe stories from others might give me some ideas on how to better manage my situation. If you think this is completely irrelevant, then since you're obviously much smarter than I am, I guess I'll just take your advice and file a small claims action. Thanks a lot! You've been a huge help!


#6 pg1067

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:50 AM

http://forums.prospero.com/dir-icon/0/5/quote.icon); PADDING-BOTTOM: 5em; MARGIN: 0.5em; COLOR: #666; LINE-HEIGHT: 1.5em; PADDING-TOP: 0.5em; BACKGROUND-REPEAT: no-repeat; FONT-STYLE: italic; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f5f5f5">Unhappycamper_NV said...

[Some employee of] the rental car company told me [it is] self-insured, so I figured that if [it] want[s] to act like an insurance company, I'd treat [it] like an insurance company. Is that wrong in the legal world?

You're free to treat it any way you like.  However, I don't really see the point of this question since the real issue here is whether the rental car company is liable for the negligence of one of its customers, which I doubt is the case.


http://forums.prospero.com/dir-icon/0/5/quote.icon); PADDING-BOTTOM: 5em; MARGIN: 0.5em; COLOR: #666; LINE-HEIGHT: 1.5em; PADDING-TOP: 0.5em; BACKGROUND-REPEAT: no-repeat; FONT-STYLE: italic; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f5f5f5">Unhappycamper_NV said...

Concerning your 2nd comment, I guess the police thought that the driver of the rental car was in the wrong and since he ran a red light and broad-sided my car and then left the accident scene, so they (is it correct to use the term "they" in this case since I'm actually talking about the individual police officer?) thought that the driver was in the wrong and therefore responsible for the accident and its consequences. I may gave read more into the statements that they (he?) made - wishful thinking, huh?

To answer your first question, no, a police officer is a "he" or a "she."  Multiple police officers would be "they" or "them."  As far as what you may or may not have read into what the officer told you, I obviously don't know what he/she told you beyond what you have told us in your posts.  When you relate the facts of your situation, I'm generally willing to accept what you say as true.  However, while cops will sometimes opine about liability, it is difficult to believe that any law enforcement officer or agency would make a "determin[ation]" that the owner of a rental car "must accept all liability in the case."  That's why inquired about that.  Saying that the other driver is "in the wrong" is a far cry from saying that the rental car company is liable or "must accept all liability."


http://forums.prospero.com/dir-icon/0/5/quote.icon); PADDING-BOTTOM: 5em; MARGIN: 0.5em; COLOR: #666; LINE-HEIGHT: 1.5em; PADDING-TOP: 0.5em; BACKGROUND-REPEAT: no-repeat; FONT-STYLE: italic; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f5f5f5">Unhappycamper_NV said...

Wow, English is such a funny language!

Umm...ok.  What I find somewhat amusing is that I made a single, 16 word comment about your pronoun usage, yet your focus on that single comment suggests that you apparently felt it was the central theme of my prior response.


http://forums.prospero.com/dir-icon/0/5/quote.icon); PADDING-BOTTOM: 5em; MARGIN: 0.5em; COLOR: #666; LINE-HEIGHT: 1.5em; PADDING-TOP: 0.5em; BACKGROUND-REPEAT: no-repeat; FONT-STYLE: italic; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f5f5f5">Unhappycamper_NV said...

Re my question about diminution, I was sort of hoping to see if there were others out there who may have had similar experiences as mine and wanted to share war stories and outcomes. Not sure why I thought that posting an anonymous question to a national website might solicit a response

The purpose of these boards is not for folks to "share war stories."  It is for folks to ask general questions about the law.  Note that I am not castigating you for misunderstanding the pupose of these boards, so a long-winded, sarcastic mock apology is unnecessary.


http://forums.prospero.com/dir-icon/0/5/quote.icon); PADDING-BOTTOM: 5em; MARGIN: 0.5em; COLOR: #666; LINE-HEIGHT: 1.5em; PADDING-TOP: 0.5em; BACKGROUND-REPEAT: no-repeat; FONT-STYLE: italic; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f5f5f5">Unhappycamper_NV said...

concerning my question about case law in other states, I was just thinking that maybe there were circumstances somewhere that may have a bearing on the situation I am now facing, or that maybe stories from others might give me some ideas on how to better manage my situation. If you think this is completely irrelevant, then since you're obviously much smarter than I am, I guess I'll just take your advice and file a small claims action.

This isn't about being smarter than you.  Presumably you wanted information from people who know more about the law than you do (just as might be the case from posting on an auto repair or plumbing message board).  When someone asks about "case law . . . in any state," it is, in my opinion, a useful response to say that case law from other jurisdictions isn't going to be relevant.  If you go walking into a court in Nevada taking about a case from Kentucky, the judge is going to dismiss your argument out of hand.



#7 Unhappycamper_NV

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:29 AM

Well - bottom line is that it's a pretty simple situation. But, as an aside, I'm surprised that you have the need to set me straight about so many things including how to use this board.  Geeze, man, get a life!


The facts are the rental company rented to a guy who smashed my car and ran away.  The rental company accepted liability and paid for all damages to repair my car.  The issue at hand has to do with diminution of value, which the car rental company does not want to acknowledge.  The company is, under Nevada law, self-insured and responds to all situations where a renter does not purchase insurance on their own, or where the renter as in my case, behaved criminally, as an insurance company would be required to behave. 


I have no fault in the accident yet, because of the manner in which the insurance company has handled this case, I have experienced a real loss for which I have not yet been reimbursed.  Such losses are recognized as legitimate in some states and jurisdictions.  Nevada lawmakers have not decided on which side of the fence they reside and I therefore have leverage.  I also need information, which is why I came to this site in the first place. 


However, instead of getting information, I get bashed by you because you don't think I know how to write or use a website such as this.  BTW, are you the Findlaw website police?  Or maybe you are just a lurking wannabe legal brainiac looking for ways to sound intelligent.


This all has been real fun but also a total waste of time.  Guess I learned myself a lesson again about the useless nature of websites like this one - you always get what you pay for.



#8 Fallen

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:02 AM

I'm reading a bit of snark in your post, but that's okay.


Ultimately, unless you can establish that the rental car company was negligent somehow in renting to this person and knew he was a terrible driver or likely to hit and run, I don't see a court agreeing that it is liable.  Small claims court is cheap, so ...


"I was sort of hoping to see if there were others out there who may have had similar experiences as mine and wanted to share war stories and outcomes."

It's not really that type of board/forum, I'm afraid.


Doesn't really matter what the law is outside your state.


 


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#9 Fallen

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:04 AM

By the way, if the rental car company said the guy bought liability coverage, while you're free to treat them "like an insurance company" that ultimately doesn't mean that they have to accept this "claim"; ultimately, a court would need to assess liability on the "Mexican" who you assert fled the country (though it's not clear how you know precisely) and then the driver would need to perhaps force the rental car company to cough up to cover his liability.  That coverage doesn't extend to you; you aren't it's customer.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#10 Unhappycamper_NV

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:14 AM

I guess the part about all this that I have the most trouble with is that the rental company agreed to cover all costs of repair when they accepted the fact that the driver of their car was at fault.  They also stated they would pay my costs for renting a vehicle during the time my vehicle was out of commission, however they have yet to follow through with that promisse (I have it in writing that they agreed to cover the costs).  If the rental company really feels that there is no obligation here, then I'm confused about why anything was paid in the first place. 


If you loaned your car to a friend and they caused an accident, and they had no insurance, you'd be on the hook for damages.  In the same manner, the rental car company, by agreeing to be self insured, is also on the hook by allowing someone to drive a vehicle they own and also self-insure.


BTW - I know the driver is a Mexican because he said so in a written statement that also provided his address and phone number in Mexico (in Spanish).  Just a few clues about his nationality that might lead someone to conclude that he's a Mexican.


Also, I noticed above that it states "This is the place to ask questions on accidents and negligence; defamation; identity theft; disputes over money and personal property; and medical and legal malpractice."  If that's true, how come everyone keeps telling me this is not the kind of website to do what I'm trying to do?



#11 pg1067

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:24 AM

Unhappycamper_NV said...


The facts are the rental company rented to a guy who smashed my car and ran away.



Yes, but it's not as though the rental company knew the guy was going to "run away" or encouraged him to do so.


Unhappycamper_NV said...

The rental company accepted liability and paid for all damages to repair my car.

This is a bit of information you didn't provide previously.


Unhappycamper_NV said...

The issue at hand has to do with diminution of value, which the car rental company does not want to acknowledge.

I doubt that the rental company doesn't want to "acknowledge" this.  Rather, it appears that the company simply doesn't believe it has any liability to pay for such damage.


Unhappycamper_NV said...

The company is, under Nevada law, self-insured and responds to all situations where a renter does not purchase insurance on their own, or where the renter as in my case, behaved criminally, as an insurance company would be required to behave.

An insurer, under these circumstances, would have no duty whatsoever to you, as a third party claimant, and a self-insured party does not become responsible to follow rules applicable to insurers.


Unhappycamper_NV said...


I have no fault in the accident yet, because of the manner in which the insurance company has handled this case, I have experienced a real loss for which I have not yet been reimbursed.



First, any loss you suffered was a result of the driver's conduct.  Second, as I'm sure I said previously, "diminution of value" is completely speculative.  What if you eventually decide to put sell your car and ask for the value of the car without taking into account the accident and someone is willing to buy it from you for that price?  In such a circumstance, how exactly will you have suffered any damage as a result of "diminution of value"?  Similarly, what if your car is totalled three weeks from now and the other driver or his/her insurer pays you the value of the car without regard for this prior accident?  Finally, what if you get compensated for such damages but then sell the car for its value without regard to this prior accident?  You will have received a windfall.


In any event, while the rental car company may be willing to pay for your damages, that doesn't mean a court would actually find that it is liable.  That is the rental company's leverage, and I submit that it is FAR stronger than any leverage you might have because Nevada has no statutory law on the issue.  If you push too hard on this, I wouldn't be surprised if the rental company simply tells you to take a flying leap.  As far as Nevada case law, we don't do case research, and I don't believe any regular poster here is a Nevada attorney.  I suggest a visit to a local law library.






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