Monday, April 23, 2012
The Acura MDX auto property loss claim hasn’t made much progress, sadly. I called the adjuster to say that her breakdown is not really important to us. I did not get through to her, and she did not call back. The reason that her breakdown is not important to us is that a court is not bound by the insurance company’s policy on what to pay for a diminished value recovery. If that were true, there would be no need for courts. The court is bound by the Pennsylvania diminished value claims law and in this case that means if the defendant has conceded liability, we can claim any damage we can prove, regardless of what the insurance company wants to pay. So, if they offer $1,000.00 based on their procedures, and we can prove $10,000.00 in damage, we are very likely to get a lot more than they offer. We can prove our loss by a dealer estimate, an appraisal or an actual sale of the vehicle. Probably the best is an actual sale, because the best was to establish the market value of property is an actual transaction on the open market. In this case we have a trade in, as the owner didn’t want to wait for the case to be resolved before getting a new car. This case is likely to be a contest over competing valuations, but the actual transaction will probably be more persuasive than an internal valuation by the insurance company for many reasons. Among them, the insurance company didn’t inspect the actual car, they just used some internal method to make an offer, and the insurance company has an obvious bias, i.e. the less they pay the more they keep for themselves. That cannot be said by the dealer who took the car in trade. The dealer has an interest in making money, but they do not have an interest in overstating or understating the value of the trade in car. Instead, they have an interest in being as accurate as they can because of market pressures. We’ll see if the adjuster is reasonable.
- Alfred Abel, Esq
- Before entering the practice of law, the founder, Alfred M. Abel, ran a family business in Northeastern Pennsylvania. After the business was sold, he went to law school and entered the practice of law. As a result of that business experience, he brings a unique perspective to representing clients. Often, a practical, common sense solution is quicker and more beneficial than a protracted, legal battle. After working for a firm in Philadelphia, he started his own law practice in 1982. The focus of this practice has been representing individuals, families and businesses in the areas of Real Estate, Business, Personal, and Corporate Bankruptcy, Debt Collection, Import and Export cases, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Professional Negligence, Consumer Protection, Wills, Estates, Trusts, and Entertainment. He has been married for 20 years and has one daughter. Bar Admissions: Pennsylvania, 1981 U.S. Federal Court, 1981 Federal Courts - Third Circuit Bar Associations: Pennsylvania Bar Association Montgomery County Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Association