I was in an accident in July 2010 that deployed three airbags and caused over $19K in damage to my vehicle (a 2009 Nissan Murano with 11K miles on it at the time of the accident). The guy that hit me ran after the accident, but luckily we were able to track him down (of course, after I had already initiated a claim with my insurance company for the accident). He did not have a license, but the vehicle he was driving was insured and their insurance company finally accepted liability and reimbursed my insurance company for the vehicle repairs.
I got an estimate/ quote from the dealership I purchased the vehicle from that listed what my vehicle would be worth if it had not been in an accident, as well as what it is worth now after the accident. The dealership reviewed the repair bills and determined that had I not been in an accident, my vehicle's wholesale value would be around $33K, but after looking at the extensive damage and repairs, now is only worth $15K, so the value of my vehicle diminished by around $18,000 because of this accident.
In an attempt to settle without litigation, I sent the other party's insurance company a demand letter for a settlement of the property damage portion of this claim and diminished value of my vehicle, and received notice yesterday that they were issuing a check for $2,080.50 for the diminished value of my vehicle. Their argument is that the repairs completed should bring my vehicle up to the same condition it was in before. The car works fine, but there is no way the value was restored, as demonstrated in the written quote I was given by the dealership.
Is it worth it to go through obtaining additional quotes from other dealers and countering with the insurance company to try and recoup some of my losses? Should I obtain counsel to pursue this for me, or should I accept their offer and write the loss of value off on my taxes?
I have been able to find very little case law about third party diminished value claims in Colorado that will help my case/ argument with the insurance company, any thoughts/ suggestions would be greatly appreciated!