Diminished Value Claims in Oregon

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In a decision filed Oct. 23, 2008, Jose Gonzales v. Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon, 210 Or App 54, 150 P3d 20 (2006), the Oregon Supreme Court stated that insurers in the state must return a vehicle to its pre-loss condition or, if unable to do so, must pay the difference in the vehicle's fair market value before and after the collision. The decision stated this would apply to all insurance policies that do not explicitly exclude diminished value as a covered loss. This applies to first-party claimants, or those people making DV claims against their own insurance policies.

Oregon Statute § 20.080 applies to all small claims tort cases, but has an impact on Diminished Value claims. The statute declares that in some cases you are entitled to receive not only your DV settlement but also reasonable attorney's fees for the prosecution of the case. The amount of the claim must fall under a certain threshold. The threshold varies depending on several circumstances, including the date your case was filed.

According to the Insurance Consumer Advocate Network, it is generally accepted in all states, including Oregon, that you are entitled to receive a Diminished Value settlement if you are a third-party claimant. In other words, if you are not responsible for the collision that caused your vehicle to lose value, you can typically make a Diminished Value claim against the responsible party's insurance policy. You must still prove the lost value to the insurer's satisfaction.

Diminished Value Oregon Facts
First Party Covered NO
Third Party Covered YES
Statute of Limitations 6 YEARS

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