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Anyone have a successful Diminished Value / Loss of Use Claim?

finout

Member
Jan 5, 2011
87
11
Hi, I'm looking for advice around a potential Diminished Value Claim on my 2015 Model S.

About a month ago, my vehicle was hit in a parking lot. The other driver left the scene (hit and run). Fortunately, my dual dash cam recorded everything:
- He hits my car in his heavy pickup truck
- He gets out and pretends to leave a note. Puts a blank piece of paper on my windshield - and then removes it.
- He drives away.

The dash cam is HD, and shows a very clear picture of the pickup and its license plate, and the driver's face as he pretends the leave the note. He was cited for reckless op and hit and run (arraignment in a couple weeks in Denver court). To date I have not posted the video publicly but I'll bet a news outlet would run it on the air - they love to run "red handed" videos like this.

Anyway, the damage looks like it will be substantial. At this point, I'm assuming I'll be without the car (which is driveable now, and I'm still driving it) for several months once I bring it to the shop. Rear quarter panel and bumper cover are badly damaged; but also, body no longer lines up - trunk is offset, and trim inside the trunk is no longer attached. Probably frame damage.

I'm in Colorado, where LOU is specifically laid out as recoverable in the law, but DV is established by legal precedent and not as clear.

For the record, I would have some level of sympathy for someone who hit my car and was up front about it. In this case, where I had to build a case myself for the police to find someone who tried to stick me with fixing my own car when he hit me, I have no qualms about pursuing all the remedies I am entitled to under the law.

So based on this, I was wondering three questions:

1) Is there anyone here who has successfully pursued a Diminished Value, and Loss of Use, claim, on a model S? If you have, would you mind PMing me?

2) Does anyone (in particular @nybw51mr42 - you said in a post that you are a litigator willing to provide limited advice) have legal advice about how to deal with the defendant's insurance company? Does accepting their rental with Enterprise just so that I have a car to drive harm my LOU claim? I can rent a car myself, but A) it will cost more (I don't get their rates), and B) It will be more of a risk in case I don't win a LOU claim.

3) Is anyone aware of any Colorado cases where DV and LOU was awarded to a Tesla owner? I've read about some really high numbers (as high as $25K in DV and $10K in LOU) but I have no idea what a realistic expectation is.

4) My plan is to submit a DV and LOU report (which I'm happy to pay for) to the insurance company when the repair is done. Assuming they will refuse to pay any of it, or offer to settle at 25% or something, I will probably need to hire an attorney and go after attorneys' fees due to bad faith on the part of the insurance company. Does anyone know of an attorney in Colorado willing to take a smaller tort case that doesn't involve personal injury?

Sorry, that's a lot of asks, but I welcome any advice, particularly based on your own experience in a situation like this.
 

jjlawyer

Member
Nov 8, 2018
36
20
Los Angeles County, CA
I recently (obviously) handled a DV and LOU claim for a model 3 here in CA, which I settled for $13,000ish. I used a report from an expert who I have used in the past who estimated both components of the claim. This is a state law claim so my demand letter would be of no use to you since it cites to CA law. My opinion is that you need a lawyer even if you have a report or they will deny your claim - unless you file and serve.
 

Litigate28

Member
Feb 18, 2018
366
148
Los Angeles, CA
Thanks for reaching out @finout. I'd love to help you and give advice, but as jjlawyer pointed out above I can't really offer any significant advice as I'm in CA as well and we operate under different laws. That said, generally when dealing with insurance companies just presume they are going to low ball you as much as they can. With respect to the LOU claim and taking a rental - and again generally since I am not familiar with CO law - your LOU would be reduced by the delta between the rental car compensation and what your car's daily use is worth, whatever that may be.

Best of luck, and if there are other questions I can help with I'll be more than happy to try.
 

spooky981

Member
Aug 27, 2016
112
111
Washington DC
The laws are ultra-specific to the state. I've successfully been awarded diminished value three times (never in my Tesla) without ever hiring a lawyer. But those were in cars worth $10k-$15k.

Given the value of your car my only advice is that you are 100% in lawyer territory here. Do not try and do this yourself.
 

Eric Meyer

New Member
Aug 17, 2016
3
0
Los Gatos CA
Based on my knowledge you need an expert appraisal to make a claim. You can do this as self service if your willing to follow-up with the other driver and their coverage. DV and LOU would be due if you can find the driver. DV coverage on your own policy is not covered in CA or your state.
 

Eric Meyer

New Member
Aug 17, 2016
3
0
Los Gatos CA
I recently (obviously) handled a DV and LOU claim for a model 3 here in CA, which I settled for $13,000ish. I used a report from an expert who I have used in the past who estimated both components of the claim. This is a state law claim so my demand letter would be of no use to you since it cites to CA law. My opinion is that you need a lawyer even if you have a report or they will deny your claim - unless you file and serve.

I agree working with expert and attorney will yield fair results. I have been involved in many Tesla claims.
 

finout

Member
Jan 5, 2011
87
11
The other party's insurance company has taken full 100% responsibility for the wreck. I'm sure they will fight my LOU and DV claims, so I need a report written by someone who can show up in a Denver court when I have to take them to court.
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
510
295
HOU
I'm in the process now, but speaking to your points 3) and 4)...

3) My vehicle's accident involved airbag deployment but was NOT totaled, and as such the DV appraisal came back with a significant value, so I would not be surprised with a number such as you quoted.

4) It is certainly possible the independent appraiser may know of legal firms/teams that work DV claims outside of a bodily injury claim (if they've been called as a expert witness many times and have seen the same legal counsel, for instance). I'd ask the question when picking an appraiser.
 

MXMS

Member
Jan 24, 2019
5
0
Southern California
I recently (obviously) handled a DV and LOU claim for a model 3 here in CA, which I settled for $13,000ish. I used a report from an expert who I have used in the past who estimated both components of the claim. This is a state law claim so my demand letter would be of no use to you since it cites to CA law. My opinion is that you need a lawyer even if you have a report or they will deny your claim - unless you file and serve.
Can you share the name/company of the expert you used for the DV claim?
 

vadim-modelx

Member
Feb 11, 2012
55
18
Maryland
I’m not thread hijacking but I’m in a similar situation in Maryland. Would appreciate if anyone had a referral to a good lawyer here. The insurance company of other driver is USAA and they claimed full responsibility after jerking me around for a whole week. To the point that I paid out of pocket for some of my repairs just to get the car driving again.
 

BurntOC

Member
May 27, 2018
57
17
SoCal
I'm in CA and I have a mid-2018 model S that got rear-ended in a parking lot. It was a pickup truck and while it was low speed it dented the hatchback, scuffed the rear bumper pretty good, and pushed the left part of the rear bumper out of line. It appears the other guy's insurance is going to cover everything, but I haven't had it appraised yet. I would think there's always diminished value when a high value vehicle goes from no accidents to having one and if any of you CA guys could help me figure out how to calculate that as well I'd appreciate it greatly.
 

trident

Member
Feb 11, 2019
170
151
Dallas, TX
Several years ago, I filed with the insurance company of the person that hit our Prius with his bike. $3,500 damage, had a professional adjuster prepare his report, $300.00 and sent it certified mail to the insurance company with my DV claim. The insurance company called and said in Texas, DV doesn't exist. I responded, all correspondence must be in writing. I submitted the Texas Supreme Court decision and restated all correspondence must be in writing. Difference was only $1,600.00, but after a month they paid. My neighbor, borrowed all my correspondence and submitted a claim on his Mercedes and settled for DV of $6,000.00. Insurance companies don't want anything in writing and want to get the claim off their desk. Never take their first offer, time is on your side. I am not an attorney, just a guy with a lot of time to waste. The guy was on a bicycle, ran a red light and hit the front driver door, caved in the passenger door, caved in the rear pillar and scraped the rear hatchback as he flew over the car. He wasn't hurt and in Texas a bicycle is considered a motorized vehicle.
 
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Letmee

Member
Jan 4, 2019
6
0
USA
I recently (obviously) handled a DV and LOU claim for a model 3 here in CA, which I settled for $13,000ish. I used a report from an expert who I have used in the past who estimated both components of the claim. This is a state law claim so my demand letter would be of no use to you since it cites to CA law. My opinion is that you need a lawyer even if you have a report or they will deny your claim - unless you file and serve.
My Model 3 was rear ended 2 weeks ago in Littlerock, CA and I'm going thru my insurance because the other party's insurance is limited. Since I'm going thru my insurance, does that mean I cannot claim DVC?
 

SilverSp33d3r

No Longer Silver
May 23, 2018
610
415
LA
My Model 3 was rear ended 2 weeks ago in Littlerock, CA and I'm going thru my insurance because the other party's insurance is limited. Since I'm going thru my insurance, does that mean I cannot claim DVC?
That’s what happened to me no DV due to using my uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance. If you find a way please let me know.
 

Litigate28

Member
Feb 18, 2018
366
148
Los Angeles, CA
My Model 3 was rear ended 2 weeks ago in Littlerock, CA and I'm going thru my insurance because the other party's insurance is limited. Since I'm going thru my insurance, does that mean I cannot claim DVC?

Generally speaking, any DV claim is against the 3rd party. Your own insurance is by contract and most insurance companies exclude themselves from having to pay DV claims. Check your policy and see what it says. You can go through your own insurance for the repairs and through the 3rd party for DV. It all depends on the property damage limits in the policy of the driver that hit you.
 
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FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
510
295
HOU
Check your state's laws. For my state, you CAN collect diminished value from your uninsured/underinsured portion of your insurance (if you've filed suit and been awarded a diminished value judgment that exceeds the at-fault drivers policy limits). YMMV.
 
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