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Car hit cedar fence, ins. won't pay

#1
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Illinois A person hit my cedar fence and ins. company will only pay 50% because fence is 6 years old and they are depreciating it. Can I successfully sue them in small claims court to pay 100%. Thanks, Mark.
 

Zigner

Senior Member
#2
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Illinois A person hit my cedar fence and ins. company will only pay 50% because fence is 6 years old and they are depreciating it. Can I successfully sue them in small claims court to pay 100%. Thanks, Mark.
You are due the value of a 6-year old cedar fence, not the value of a brand new cedar fence.
 
#5
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Illinois A person hit my cedar fence and ins. company will only pay 50% because fence is 6 years old and they are depreciating it. Can I successfully sue them in small claims court to pay 100%. Thanks, Mark.
You need to get statements from fence companies regarding the useable life of your fence. Cedar fences can last up to 30 years, depending on the species and maintenance.

If you can show your fence was expected to last more than 12 years, they would be liable for a higher percentage of the repair.
 

Zigner

Senior Member
#6
You need to get statements from fence companies regarding the useable life of your fence. Cedar fences can last up to 30 years, depending on the species and maintenance.

If you can show your fence was expected to last more than 12 years, they would be liable for a higher percentage of the repair.
Good advice.
 

latigo

Senior Member
#7
You are due the value of a 6-year old cedar fence, not the value of a brand new cedar fence.
I must respectfully disagree.

The only practical way to measure the value of fencing is the cost of installation in material and labor.

Consequently the legal measure of damages for the negligent destruction of a fence would be reasonable costs of labor and material to restore it to the condition it was in immediately prior to the accident.

The same as if the insured had side swiped the OP's legally parked vehicle.

If the defendant wishes to attempt to reduce the OP's claim for damages by proving a lesser cost of repairs by employing 6-year old cedar fencing material, good luck!
 

Zigner

Senior Member
#8
Consequently the legal measure of damages for the negligent destruction of a fence would be reasonable costs of labor and material to restore it to the condition it was in immediately prior to the accident.

The same as if the insured had side swiped the OP's legally parked vehicle.
I can see your point, however, your analogy is wrong. In the case of a legally parked vehicle, the damage would be capped at the value of the vehicle, regardless of the cost to "...restore it to the condition it was in immediately prior to the accident." In other words, if my 6-year old car were sideswiped while it was legally parked and sustained $20,000 worth of damage (yes, very unlikely), but it's only worth $10,000, then I'm not entitled to $20,000.
 

Stevef

Senior Member
#9
I can see your point, however, your analogy is wrong. In the case of a legally parked vehicle, the damage would be capped at the value of the vehicle, regardless of the cost to "...restore it to the condition it was in immediately prior to the accident." In other words, if my 6-year old car were sideswiped while it was legally parked and sustained $20,000 worth of damage (yes, very unlikely), but it's only worth $10,000, then I'm not entitled to $20,000.
But.... It's probably quite possible to replace your 6-year old car with a similar 6-year old car for $10,000. I think you'll have a tough time finding a 6-year old cedar fence for sale.
 
#11
I can see your point, however, your analogy is wrong. In the case of a legally parked vehicle, the damage would be capped at the value of the vehicle, regardless of the cost to "...restore it to the condition it was in immediately prior to the accident." In other words, if my 6-year old car were sideswiped while it was legally parked and sustained $20,000 worth of damage (yes, very unlikely), but it's only worth $10,000, then I'm not entitled to $20,000.
But if it was worth $20,000 and recieved $10,000 of damage you are due the cost to repair the damage irrespective of the value of age of the car.


But just the same, if I have a carpet that is new and a person damages it I’m due a new carpet but if it’s 50% depreciated I only get that depreciated value regardless that it costs twice that to replace

And realize that with the carpet the entire carpet must be replaced but with the car it is limited to repairing only what is damaged in the accident.




So which situation applies


Consider and return with your arguments.


Additional arguments:

Is a person who recieved a new fence to replace a 50% deprecisble fence the beneficiary of unjust enrichment? After all they are ending up with more in value than they had prior to the damage.
 

Zigner

Senior Member
#12
But if it was worth $20,000 and recieved $10,000 of damage you are due the cost to repair the damage irrespective of the value of age of the car.


But just the same, if I have a carpet that is new and a person damages it I’m due a new carpet but if it’s 50% depreciated I only get that depreciated value regardless that it costs twice that to replace

And realize that with the carpet the entire carpet must be replaced but with the car it is limited to repairing only what is damaged in the accident.




So which situation applies


Consider and return with your arguments.


Additional arguments:

Is a person who recieved a new fence to replace a 50% deprecisble fence the beneficiary of unjust enrichment? After all they are ending up with more in value than they had prior to the damage.
Again, as I mentioned in my reply to latigo, I see that point. To be more clear, I agree with it with regard to the fence in this case.
HOWEVER, the same cannot be said for a car. As we ALL know, the amount that can be recovered for a car is the value of the car at the time of the accident. Let's lower the numbers a bit. Let's say the car is worth $1,000.00 at the time of the accident, but $2,000.00 worth of damage is done to it. If that's the case, then all that can be recovered is $1,000.00
 

adjusterjack

It's a Dry Heat
#13
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Illinois A person hit my cedar fence and ins. company will only pay 50% because fence is 6 years old and they are depreciating it. Can I successfully sue them in small claims court to pay 100%. Thanks, Mark.
To clarify the other responses:

If a section of the fence was damaged (8' for example), it's a repair, and you are entitled to the cost of repair.

If enough of the fence was damaged to require replacement of the entire length of fence then you are entitled to the replacement cost LESS depreciation.

I do agree that, in court, you are likely to be awarded more than 50% on a 6 year old fence. Cedar has a very long useful life.

But if you don't want to hassle with the driver's insurance company and/or court, make the claim on your homeowners policy, then let your insurance company deal with the other insurance company. You'll have a deductible but your insurance company will refund it to you when it collects.
 

latigo

Senior Member
#14
Again, as I mentioned in my reply to latigo, I see that point. To be more clear, I agree with it with regard to the fence in this case.
HOWEVER, the same cannot be said for a car. As we ALL know, the amount that can be recovered for a car is the value of the car at the time of the accident. Let's lower the numbers a bit. Let's say the car is worth $1,000.00 at the time of the accident, but $2,000.00 worth of damage is done to it. If that's the case, then all that can be recovered is $1,000.00
I would agree were you to qualify your statement to the effect that the "maximum" amount that can be recovered for the damage to a car is its market value Otherwise the measure of damage is the cost of restoring the goods to the condition that existed immediately prior to the accident.
 

Zigner

Senior Member
#15
I would agree were you to qualify your statement to the effect that the "maximum" amount that can be recovered for the damage to a car is its market value Otherwise the measure of damage is the cost of restoring the goods to the condition that existed immediately prior to the accident.
I agree with your qualification of my statement :)