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Collision, Repair and DV/LoU Lawsuit: My Nearly 500 Days of Fun

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
517
304
HOU
DISCLAIMER: All information in this post represents my opinion. Any reference to legal matters should not be considered legal advice.

TL;DR:
119 days from collision to return of vehicle.
492 days from collision to receipt of Diminished Value payment (as a result of mediation after filing lawsuit).
Insurance refused to negotiate DV in good faith.
After lawyer and court fees, still walked away with higher payment than any insurance offer but lower than my initial negotiations floor.
Try having the vehicle totaled from the start by reminding the adjuster of the repair costs, rental reimbursements and diminished value pay out of a vehicle repair.
Research your DV appraiser before hiring/paying.
Check if the DV appraiser has legal contacts you can reach out to.

Intro

Below is my direct experience as it relates to a 2015 Tesla Model S 85D involved in a collision in Houston TX.
I try to cover the scope and timeline of the repair process, the diminished value (DV) process and legal proceedings following repairs.
Feel free to ask questions, as this is a condensed post/timeline (even if it doesn't feel like it!).
As a h/t to Hot Fuzz, I refer to the incident as a collision, because "accident implies no one is to blame".

Collision

On Fri08Jun2018 during my morning commute, a car failed to yield and turned left in front of me, causing a collision with my front end and her front passenger wheel. My speed at time of impact was likely in the 20 mph range (brakes applied before&up-to impact). Two airbags in the Tesla (steering wheel and driver knee/leg) deployed rendering vehicle undrivable. No injuries. Tesla detected the impact, disabled the vehicle, called my cell to confirm everyone was ok, and sent a list of approved body shops to my email. The Tesla was towed to a lot, pending insurance liablity decision (the other driver had insurance with company named Germania Insurance). Other driver was ticketed at the scene.
On Wed13Jun (+005 days), insurance company accepted liability. Of the three Tesla approved shops, we agreed to send the vehicle to the largest of the three (Service King). They agreed to provide a rental, but only through Enterprise (their preferred) or rolling the on-my-own rental I had made in the interim at Hertz if Hertz would accept the max Enterprise rate of $29.99 a day. They offered to reimburse my two days of personal rental. Hertz agreed to move the rental to the insurance system. At this point we were expecting a totaled vehicle.
On Fri15Jun (+007 days), the Model S arrived at the correct "severe" service shop (was incorrectly towed previous day to a "minor damage" service shop).
On Mon18Jun (+010 days), assigned a repair service advisor and work authorization signed.
On Fri22Jun (+014 days), the estimate was available from the shop: $15k in repairs. Changed expectations from totaled vehicle to repair of vehicle.
On Mon25Jun (+017 days), insurance representative traveled to view vehicle.
On Tue03Jul (+025 days), insurance approved a modified estimate replacing OEM headlamps with refurbs. I was not notified of the change. Shop ordered all parts as listed on the approved estimate. HID headlamps were the single most expensive part on estimate.

Total time from collision to insurance approved estimate: 25 days

Repairs

On Mon09Jul (+031 days), emailed advisor asking status of estimate. Told of headlamp swap, approval and ordering of parts. Requested switch back to OEM, told "we've ordered the parts, unless there is something wrong with them we can't return them". Mentioned this was in violation of the TX Dept of Insurance (TDI) Consumer Bill of Rights Item 27 (Choice of Repair Shop and Replacement Parts) and was concerned about premature yellowing of the HID headlamps, told there was nothing I can do. OEM headlights never ordered. Contacted TDI, told "unless this is a claim with your own insurance company, we cannot help, you have to resolve in the courts".
On Fri27Jul (+049 days), all parts received except grill and frame (pre-refresh vehicle), airbags, airbag switch and 12v battery.
On Thu09Aug (+062 days), all external repairs completed and car painted; waiting on 12v battery, airbags and airbag switch.
On Fri31Aug (+084 days), car moved to Service Center for 12v battery, airbag programming and brake booster replacement (issue discovered during shop test drive).
On Tue18Sep (+102 days), car returned to repair shop awaiting final part (battery disconnect switch).
On Wed03Oct (+117 days), following an incorrect switch being delivered, the correct switch arrived, vehicle in final checkout.
On Fri05Oct (+119 days), pick up repaired vehicle from shop. Final invoice of $18k, an increase of 20% over initial estimate.

Total time from approved estimate to repaired: 94 days
Total time from collision to repaired: 119 days


Diminished Value Negotiations

Week of 22Oct (+136 days), contacted adjuster for DV. Told "a vehicle with previous damage is not eligible for DV" (for a pre-existing paint scrape above the passenger wheel well; I had Service King repair it at the same time as collision repairs). I cited the difference in magnitude of repair costs ($300 for the scrape vs $18k final repair bill), told to reach out to an adjuster manager with DV experience.
Week of 29Oct (+143 days), contacted adjuster manager. Offered $2000. Countered with "this should be $6000 minimum" based on a pre-collision guess of $60k actual cash value (ACV) and online research for a DV thumb-to-the-wind "10% minor, 20% significant, 30% severe of ACV". Told "we are worlds apart, we will never get there".
Week of 13Nov (+158 days), searched TMC posts and reach out to TMC members. Saw multiple recommendations for Petty Details, who had helped in both insurance negotiation and lawsuit situations.
On Wed05Dec (+180 days), received appraisal from Petty Details (two days after paying) for approx $17,800* in DV. NOTE: Petty Details provided two reports; he issued a rev'd appraisal after finding an error in comparables. The final report was $14,800.
On Mon10Dec (+185 days), emailed DV appraisal to Germania.
On Tue18Dec (+193 days), Germania answered "we've now increased our offer, best and final, $2500." (15% of the emailed DV appraisal)
Petty Details was able to provide an area attorney he had worked with in the past. I reached out and consulted his opinion on pursing a case, his experience, etc. Also discussed with family/friends over the holidays if the hassle of a lawsuit was worth the risk of a higher (or negative, after legal fees!) payout than the Germania offer.
On Mon14Jan2019 (+220 days), sign with attorney. The CarFax for the Model S was updated to show an accident with airbag deployment in its history, so we decided we would not accept a lowball offer of $2500.

Total time from vehicle pick-up to signing with attorney: 101 days
Total time from collision to signing with attorney: 220 days


NOTE: All following references to Germania can be considered as "Germania and its contracted legal team". Communications at this point were restricted to my lawyer and the lawyer assigned the case by Germania's contracted legal firm in HOU.

Lawsuit / Mediation

On Tue05Feb (+242 days), filed tort lawsuit in Harris County civil court seeking DV and Loss of Use (LOU). Because the amount sought was over $10k, small claims court (known as Justice Court in TX) was not an option. In TX, the lawsuit must be filed against the driver and not the driver's insurance company. DV damages calculated using Petty Details appraisal; Loss of Use damages calculated using Enterprise Exotic's Tesla Model S rental rate of $1800 per week for 17 weeks, less $29.99 daily rental cost already paid by Germania. Because case was in county court, discovery was allowed.
On Mon08Apr (+304 days), a settlement offer of $4500 came from Germania, based on a DV appraisal from Houston Auto Appraisers. We declined and sought a deposition of the appraiser given our opinion of the appraisal report being of low quality.
On Fri10May (+336 days), case assigned trial date and a court-appointed mediator named. Unfortunately, the mediator had a history acting as counsel for Germania in previous cases, so a new mediator was sought.
On Tue11Jun (+368 days), deposition of Houston Auto Appraisers' Roy Bent Jr by plaintiffs occured.
On Tue16Jul (+403 days), deposition of Petty Details' Justin Petty by defense occured.
On Fri26Jul (+413 days), deposition of the plaintiff (me) by the defense scheduled but did not occur - opposing counsel failed to schedule or confirm a court reporter for the session (all other parties had arrived). Quote from my lawyer - "in my 30 years of practice, this is unprecedented."
On Fri02Aug (+420 days), half-day mediation with a new mediator occured. Settled at $13000. Germania held steadfast no loss of use was owed (not even the fuel for an ICE rental vs electricity costs) and $4500 was a fair DV appraisal, i.e. they felt they were overpaying by $8500. Settlement agreement dictated the release paperwork and payment to be provided to our lawyer in 21 days.

Why did we accept a settlement much less than our initial filing? Factors and risks related to the TX courts.

A) The presence/absence of insurance is not admissable. All references to the insurance company cannot be made in court.
B) The ticket from the traffic collision was resolved with defensive driving; it was not admissable (meaning the defense could argue about liability).
C) The jury pool was Harris County (containing the city of Houston), a large and diverse county. HOU is the largest truck/SUV market in the US by % of sales. HOU is a Big Oil city. Would the jury of six people be filled with luxury vehicle drivers who could sympathize? Filled with pickup/SUV drivers or oil workers who enjoy punishing EV drivers? Civic/Corolla drivers who balk at DV and LOU claims with a $ value higher than their car's value? (I have coworkers who fit each of these categories!)
D) Mediation revealed the defense's strategy to pitch the case to the jury as "greedy entitled millenials vs sympathetic divorced middle-aged mother" given absence of insurance or police ticket references.
E) Proceeding to trial would incur additional fees. Filing to strike the opposing expert witness, subpoenaing Tesla to testify about their trade-in valuation process (as part of discrediting the expert witness' deposition testimony), potential depositions of new expert witnesses, etc.
F) Proceeding to trial could have work and home impacts. How many days off work to attend trial (and what tasks would be impacted); would court adjourn in time to get kids from daycare; would slips in court docket lead to schedule/travel conflicts; etc.
G) The settlement was 87% of DV appraisal. Proceeding to trial would be beneficial ONLY if we thought we could get LOU awarded by a jury. The defense had stated at mediation they would move for partial summary judgment of $0 on the LOU claim. What is the judge's background/viewpoints** on such claims? If the judge did allow the LOU claim to come forward, what would a jury award? TX court precedent allows recovering the "reasonable rental cost of a substitute vehicle". I could not find a TX precedent for defining "reasonable", although several other US states have court opinions saying "similar vehicle". Would that legal argument hold sway with this court/jury? The most likely grounds of appeal for insurance to pursue.
H) If a jury awarded the full judgment, we were told by the mediator to expect an automatic appeal by the defense/insurance given the large value.
I) If a jury awarded the full judgment and the judgment withstood appeals, we would need to employ our own insurance policy's Underinsured Motorist coverage, as the judgment would exceed the property damage liability coverage of the other driver. What unexpected issues would pop up?

**NOTE: We did not have insight into the judge's viewpoints, because the judge assigned to the court changed. A wild side story - the original judge accidentally resigned himself, asked the county commission to keep him in the position until a special election could be held, but instead a new judge (with no bench experience/history) was appointed with only 30 min from public submission to commissioner vote.

Total time from case filing to settlement agreement: 178 days
Total time from collision to settlement agreement: 420 days


Breach of Settlement

On Wed21Aug (+439 days), release paperwork from Germania received by our lawyer for review (but not payment as required per settlement agreement).
On Mon09Sep (+455 days), discussed Germania's breach of the settlement agreement by failing to provide payment (for hold in our lawyer's trust account until release was signed). After debating whether to resume the original tort lawsuit due to the breach, contacted Germania reminding of payment due.
On Fri13Sep (+459 days), Germania refused to honor settlement agreement, resorted to name-calling in communications with our lawyer, and requested mediator become involved again for review of releases and processing of payments.
On Fri20Sep (+466 days), revised/reviewed/agreed release documents available. We were away from home and unable to notarize/return.
On Tue01Oct (+477 days), able to sign/notarize release forms.
On Mon07Oct (+483 days), suit dismissal processed by court.
On Wed16Oct (+492 days), funds remaining after lawyer and court fees deposited.

Mindset after the breach of settlement by the defense by not providing the settlement payment within 21 days:

A) We could have been released from this settlement and proceeded with the original tort lawsuit, but the breach would not be admissible (we'd be facing the same circumstances as before mediation).
B) To make reference to the breached settlement, the original filing would have to be amended to include a charge of fraud. The burden of proof would be showing the defense had no intention of paying at the time of signing the agreement. Could we prove this?
C) The defense breached the settlement agreement by not paying in time, so I would expect a similar tactic for a court judgment owed, meaning more legals fees to enforce payment.

Total time from settlement agreement to funds received: 72 days
Total time from collision to settlement funds received: 492 days


Takeaways / Recommendations

(REMINDER: This post and all information contained is my opinion/experience. I am not an attorney. Consult your own legal counsel.)

If I had it to do over again, I would...
A) contact my insurance demanding they total the vehicle and seek subrogation, so I am out of a car less than a week and eventually get my deductible back. If that failed...
B) contact other insurance demanding they provide a Tesla rental while prepping to total vehicle. If that failed...
C) after liability accepted and estimate available, demand total of vehicle, using 90-day repair estimate, Tesla rental estimate and 20/30% DV estimate. Have legal contact on hand to mention upfront the pursuit of Loss of Use and DV if vehicle not totaled or Tesla not provided.
...but I don't think any of those actions would have changed the course of events in my specific case of dealing with Germania.

Here were the "tricks" used by Germania and/or its contracted legal firm I experienced that you should prepare for from other insurance companies:

Delay accepting liability
Delay delivering & inspecting vehicle
Refusal of >$30 daily rental rate
OEM parts swapped with refurb without consent
Initial denial of DV
Unrealistic/lowball DV offer after disputing denial of DV
Dismissal of professional DV appraisal report and continued unrealistic/lowball DV offer
Upheld use of DV appraiser despite poor deposition/testimony (we would have filed a motion to strike the expert witness and were very comfortable of succeeding in that action)
Scheduled my deposition solely to inconvenience me (time off work, ~125 miles traveled)...I can't prove this, but subsequent actions show this deposition was unnecessary
Bad faith mediation (increased settlement offers in increments of 1% lawsuit value)
Breached settlement agreement (did not provide payment in time, openly disputed the wording of the agreement they signed)

Collision to return of the vehicle for me was 4 months, with 1 month being delays by insurance and 3 months being Tesla parts holdups.
I went from immediately thinking I'd be buying a new car (the airbags went off!), to nearly 500 days of quagmire.
I erred (not legally, but practically) by not demanding a Tesla immediately when they accepted liability, and not re-demanding when it shifted from total to repair situation.
DO: Check with your insurance if a claim with your policy and subrogation is an option. My company said "if you don't have rental we won't subrogate any rental costs. If you do have rental we would only subrogate to the max of your policy, and I don't know if you'd get DV or further loss of use through subrogation". YMMV.
DO: Check-in daily between an estimate being available, the estimate being approved and parts being ordered to try and avoid any refurb parts being snuck in.
DO: Have proof of denial of a Tesla rental vehicle from the insurance company (via written confirmation or verbal recording). The absence of this evidence will prompt insurance to claim "no loss of use is owed because no request for a Tesla was made". This was a factor in my situation - I never asked because I knew the answer was no (they disclosed their cap of $29.99 a day, regardless of company), but didn't know in June 2018 I would have to prove their refusal in Aug 2019. This was an area we did not know how the judge/jury would rule.
DO: Consider Petty Details for a DV appraisal.
DO: Consider Service King. The parts manager decision to order without confirming was an issue, but the service adviser was helpful, receptive to communication and went out of his way to stay after-hours so I could pick up the car (the shop was 55 miles away).
DO: Maintain fuel receipts and electric bills, in the event the insurance company will consider fuel reimbursement if they don't provide an EV rental. Germania claimed "we've never faced this possibility before", and then proceeded to deny it.
DON'T: Use logical thought. Insurance companies will act (in lawyers' words) illogically.
DON'T: Rent a Tesla out of pocket because you think you have to. The TX courts have precedent that you do not HAVE to have paid for a rental to seek loss of use. The questionable aspect of my case was if you accept a rental that is not a Tesla, will the difference in loss of use be awarded.
DON'T: Consider Houston Auto Appraisers (or any company that cites the IACP or BOCAA appraisal standards) for a DV appraisal. The deposition of the owner of Houston Auto Appraisers lasted over three (3) hours and did not reflect well upon the quality of his work.
DON'T: Expect a timely resolution.
DON'T: Expect a totaled vehicle just from airbag deployment. States set the threshold % of car actual cash value the repair cost must exceed for the car to be totaled. For TX, the threshold is 100% (a common threshold is 75% or 80%).
DON'T: Do business with Germania Insurance. They unnecessarily spent an extra $10k+ on this case and I still walked away with more than any pre-mediation offer but we both would have been better off had they negotiated in good faith at the start.

TX Legal Cases of Note:
Mondragon v Austin - do not need to have out-of-pocket expenses to claim loss of use, i.e. your financial ability to rent/not rent a Tesla during repairs should not factor in whether you are owed loss of use
Luna v North Star Dodge - "reasonable rental cost of substitute vehicle" and "period deprived of use of the vehicle" is reasonable estimate of loss of use damages
Metro Ford Truck Sales v Davis - loss of use damages CAN exceed total actual cash value of property damaged
 

MyWifeandI

Member
Oct 31, 2014
43
11
Phoenix
You wrote:
If I had it to do over again, I would...
A) contact my insurance demanding they total the vehicle and seek subrogation, so I am out of a car less than a week and eventually get my deductible back. If that failed...
Your insurer will not do this under any circumstances. However, had you obtained a Diminished Value and Loss of Use Report prior to starting repairs and presented that info to Germania - THEY might have decided that it would be in their best interests to total the car.
B) contact other insurance demanding they provide a Tesla rental while prepping to total vehicle. If that failed...
They will not provide a Tesla but you can recover the cost of renting one by filing a Loss of Use claim.
C) after liability accepted and estimate available, demand total of vehicle, using 90-day repair estimate, Tesla rental estimate and 20/30% DV estimate. Have legal contact on hand to mention upfront the pursuit of Loss of Use and DV if vehicle not totaled or Tesla not provided.
...but I don't think any of those actions would have changed the course of events in my specific case of dealing with Germania.
None of the less-than-honorable insurers would comply with this, you are correct.

Having seen the diminished value report that is prepared by Petty Details, it's important to realize that their report does not list the names and contact information of the dealers they supposedly queried. That is tantamount to those independent appraisers that use "proprietary algorithms" to determine your car's diminished value. If an appraisal company is using the opinions of sales managers at dealerships, the names of those managers and their phone numbers must be listed in order to add validity. Did these names come up during the trial? Was there a transcript of what was said?

It's unfortunate that this happened even though you did your best to push Germania to the limit. For everyone else following this thread, you need two things in order to succeed, a good appraisal that can't be refuted and persistence.
 
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FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
517
304
HOU
A) contact my insurance demanding they total the vehicle and seek subrogation, so I am out of a car less than a week and eventually get my deductible back. If that failed...
Your insurer will not do this under any circumstances. However, had you obtained a Diminished Value and Loss of Use Report prior to starting repairs and presented that info to Germania - THEY might have decided that it would be in their best interests to total the car.

By definition, a DV report cannot be generated until after repairs are complete. This is why a rule-of-thumb to use before repairs are started is useful.

At the scene of the collision, I did call my insurance and open a claim, since I did not know if I would need my uninsured or underinsured coverage. My insurance DID offer/ask if I wanted to use my deductible for a standard claim and seek subrogation after the fact, but given their answer about rental and DV (mentioned elsewhere in my post), I declined.

B) contact other insurance demanding they provide a Tesla rental while prepping to total vehicle. If that failed...
They will not provide a Tesla but you can recover the cost of renting one by filing a Loss of Use claim.

The problem here - it is far easier to get it at the start than to try and claim/sue for it later, as I learned.

Having seen the diminished value report that is prepared by Petty Details, it's important to realize that their report does not list the names and contact information of the dealers they supposedly queried. That is tantamount to those independent appraisers that use "proprietary algorithms" to determine your car's diminished value. If an appraisal company is using the opinions of sales managers at dealerships, the names of those managers and their phone numbers must be listed in order to add validity. Did these names come up during the trial? Was there a transcript of what was said?

Yes, Petty Details produced the comparable sales used to generate the report as part of the production of evidence in conjunction with his deposition. This is also the issue with the other DV appraiser - his deposition testimony referred to conversations with "Tesla dealership managers" with no names, dates or contact info to verify.
 
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Reactions: derkan

MyWifeandI

Member
Oct 31, 2014
43
11
Phoenix
As you well know, there is no Tesla dealership manager that either knows anything about diminished value nor would they share it if they did. Tesla only speaks to customers, prospective customers and their network of approved shops. You say "comparable sales used to generate the report" which means that Petty Details did not actually speak to the dealers but gained the info through online ads, etc.? Just wondering.
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
517
304
HOU
As you well know, there is no Tesla dealership manager that either knows anything about diminished value nor would they share it if they did. Tesla only speaks to customers, prospective customers and their network of approved shops.

Bingo. When the opposing report came in saying "part of this appraisal was based on speaking with three managers at three Tesla dealerships and having them tell me the trade-in value of this vehicle after repair", red flags were raised since any Tesla gallery would tell you "go to tesla.com/tradein".

You say "comparable sales used to generate the report" which means that Petty Details did not actually speak to the dealers but gained the info through online ads, etc.? Just wondering.

As part of determining pre-collision ACV and post-repair ACV, he looked at any available sales information of comparable year/mileage/loadout vehicles, and the specific cases he used in the report were included in the "supporting documents" (forgetting the exact legal term).
 

MyWifeandI

Member
Oct 31, 2014
43
11
Phoenix
I wonder, where did your appraiser obtain sales data or did they use online ads? If ads were used it is the same methodology is often used by insurance appraisers.

Why do insurance appraisers use the online ad comparison method? Because they can poke around until they find the cars that best fit their criteria (paying you less). An independent appraiser can do the same until he finds cars that fit your criteria (receiving a fair settlement). Houston Auto Appraisers and Petty Details are the same in that they work both for plaintiffs as well as for insurance companies. That's a red flag. What are their intentions? Snagging a big client like State Farm or Allstate could trigger a report that might not be in your best interests.

FYI, if your car's pre-accident trade-in value was $55,000.00, your car's diminished value should have been $22,000.00. I am also very surprised that your body shop didn't put up a fight on your behalf when told they were providing aftermarket headlamps.
 

MyWifeandI

Member
Oct 31, 2014
43
11
Phoenix
Bingo. When the opposing report came in saying "part of this appraisal was based on speaking with three managers at three Tesla dealerships and having them tell me the trade-in value of this vehicle after repair", red flags were raised since any Tesla gallery would tell you "go to tesla.com/tradein".



As part of determining pre-collision ACV and post-repair ACV, he looked at any available sales information of comparable year/mileage/loadout vehicles, and the specific cases he used in the report were included in the "supporting documents" (forgetting the exact legal term).

From what source did your appraiser obtain the sales information?
 

dvguru

Member
Dec 2, 2013
9
20
Dallas
DISCLAIMER: All information in this post represents my opinion. Any reference to legal matters should not be considered legal advice.

TL;DR:
119 days from collision to return of vehicle.
492 days from collision to receipt of Diminished Value payment (as a result of mediation after filing lawsuit).
Insurance refused to negotiate DV in good faith.
After lawyer and court fees, still walked away with higher payment than any insurance offer but lower than my initial negotiations floor.
Try having the vehicle totaled from the start by reminding the adjuster of the repair costs, rental reimbursements and diminished value pay out of a vehicle repair.
Research your DV appraiser before hiring/paying.
Check if the DV appraiser has legal contacts you can reach out to.

Intro

Below is my direct experience as it relates to a 2015 Tesla Model S 85D involved in a collision in Houston TX.
I try to cover the scope and timeline of the repair process, the diminished value (DV) process and legal proceedings following repairs.
Feel free to ask questions, as this is a condensed post/timeline (even if it doesn't feel like it!).
As a h/t to Hot Fuzz, I refer to the incident as a collision, because "accident implies no one is to blame".

Collision

On Fri08Jun2018 during my morning commute, a car failed to yield and turned left in front of me, causing a collision with my front end and her front passenger wheel. My speed at time of impact was likely in the 20 mph range (brakes applied before&up-to impact). Two airbags in the Tesla (steering wheel and driver knee/leg) deployed rendering vehicle undrivable. No injuries. Tesla detected the impact, disabled the vehicle, called my cell to confirm everyone was ok, and sent a list of approved body shops to my email. The Tesla was towed to a lot, pending insurance liablity decision (the other driver had insurance with company named Germania Insurance). Other driver was ticketed at the scene.
On Wed13Jun (+005 days), insurance company accepted liability. Of the three Tesla approved shops, we agreed to send the vehicle to the largest of the three (Service King). They agreed to provide a rental, but only through Enterprise (their preferred) or rolling the on-my-own rental I had made in the interim at Hertz if Hertz would accept the max Enterprise rate of $29.99 a day. They offered to reimburse my two days of personal rental. Hertz agreed to move the rental to the insurance system. At this point we were expecting a totaled vehicle.
On Fri15Jun (+007 days), the Model S arrived at the correct "severe" service shop (was incorrectly towed previous day to a "minor damage" service shop).
On Mon18Jun (+010 days), assigned a repair service advisor and work authorization signed.
On Fri22Jun (+014 days), the estimate was available from the shop: $15k in repairs. Changed expectations from totaled vehicle to repair of vehicle.
On Mon25Jun (+017 days), insurance representative traveled to view vehicle.
On Tue03Jul (+025 days), insurance approved a modified estimate replacing OEM headlamps with refurbs. I was not notified of the change. Shop ordered all parts as listed on the approved estimate. HID headlamps were the single most expensive part on estimate.

Total time from collision to insurance approved estimate: 25 days

Repairs

On Mon09Jul (+031 days), emailed advisor asking status of estimate. Told of headlamp swap, approval and ordering of parts. Requested switch back to OEM, told "we've ordered the parts, unless there is something wrong with them we can't return them". Mentioned this was in violation of the TX Dept of Insurance (TDI) Consumer Bill of Rights Item 27 (Choice of Repair Shop and Replacement Parts) and was concerned about premature yellowing of the HID headlamps, told there was nothing I can do. OEM headlights never ordered. Contacted TDI, told "unless this is a claim with your own insurance company, we cannot help, you have to resolve in the courts".
On Fri27Jul (+049 days), all parts received except grill and frame (pre-refresh vehicle), airbags, airbag switch and 12v battery.
On Thu09Aug (+062 days), all external repairs completed and car painted; waiting on 12v battery, airbags and airbag switch.
On Fri31Aug (+084 days), car moved to Service Center for 12v battery, airbag programming and brake booster replacement (issue discovered during shop test drive).
On Tue18Sep (+102 days), car returned to repair shop awaiting final part (battery disconnect switch).
On Wed03Oct (+117 days), following an incorrect switch being delivered, the correct switch arrived, vehicle in final checkout.
On Fri05Oct (+119 days), pick up repaired vehicle from shop. Final invoice of $18k, an increase of 20% over initial estimate.

Total time from approved estimate to repaired: 94 days
Total time from collision to repaired: 119 days


Diminished Value Negotiations

Week of 22Oct (+136 days), contacted adjuster for DV. Told "a vehicle with previous damage is not eligible for DV" (for a pre-existing paint scrape above the passenger wheel well; I had Service King repair it at the same time as collision repairs). I cited the difference in magnitude of repair costs ($300 for the scrape vs $18k final repair bill), told to reach out to an adjuster manager with DV experience.
Week of 29Oct (+143 days), contacted adjuster manager. Offered $2000. Countered with "this should be $6000 minimum" based on a pre-collision guess of $60k actual cash value (ACV) and online research for a DV thumb-to-the-wind "10% minor, 20% significant, 30% severe of ACV". Told "we are worlds apart, we will never get there".
Week of 13Nov (+158 days), searched TMC posts and reach out to TMC members. Saw multiple recommendations for Petty Details, who had helped in both insurance negotiation and lawsuit situations.
On Wed05Dec (+180 days), received appraisal from Petty Details (two days after paying) for approx $17,800* in DV. NOTE: Petty Details provided two reports; he issued a rev'd appraisal after finding an error in comparables. The final report was $14,800.
On Mon10Dec (+185 days), emailed DV appraisal to Germania.
On Tue18Dec (+193 days), Germania answered "we've now increased our offer, best and final, $2500." (15% of the emailed DV appraisal)
Petty Details was able to provide an area attorney he had worked with in the past. I reached out and consulted his opinion on pursing a case, his experience, etc. Also discussed with family/friends over the holidays if the hassle of a lawsuit was worth the risk of a higher (or negative, after legal fees!) payout than the Germania offer.
On Mon14Jan2019 (+220 days), sign with attorney. The CarFax for the Model S was updated to show an accident with airbag deployment in its history, so we decided we would not accept a lowball offer of $2500.

Total time from vehicle pick-up to signing with attorney: 101 days
Total time from collision to signing with attorney: 220 days


NOTE: All following references to Germania can be considered as "Germania and its contracted legal team". Communications at this point were restricted to my lawyer and the lawyer assigned the case by Germania's contracted legal firm in HOU.

Lawsuit / Mediation

On Tue05Feb (+242 days), filed tort lawsuit in Harris County civil court seeking DV and Loss of Use (LOU). Because the amount sought was over $10k, small claims court (known as Justice Court in TX) was not an option. In TX, the lawsuit must be filed against the driver and not the driver's insurance company. DV damages calculated using Petty Details appraisal; Loss of Use damages calculated using Enterprise Exotic's Tesla Model S rental rate of $1800 per week for 17 weeks, less $29.99 daily rental cost already paid by Germania. Because case was in county court, discovery was allowed.
On Mon08Apr (+304 days), a settlement offer of $4500 came from Germania, based on a DV appraisal from Houston Auto Appraisers. We declined and sought a deposition of the appraiser given our opinion of the appraisal report being of low quality.
On Fri10May (+336 days), case assigned trial date and a court-appointed mediator named. Unfortunately, the mediator had a history acting as counsel for Germania in previous cases, so a new mediator was sought.
On Tue11Jun (+368 days), deposition of Houston Auto Appraisers' Roy Bent Jr by plaintiffs occured.
On Tue16Jul (+403 days), deposition of Petty Details' Justin Petty by defense occured.
On Fri26Jul (+413 days), deposition of the plaintiff (me) by the defense scheduled but did not occur - opposing counsel failed to schedule or confirm a court reporter for the session (all other parties had arrived). Quote from my lawyer - "in my 30 years of practice, this is unprecedented."
On Fri02Aug (+420 days), half-day mediation with a new mediator occured. Settled at $13000. Germania held steadfast no loss of use was owed (not even the fuel for an ICE rental vs electricity costs) and $4500 was a fair DV appraisal, i.e. they felt they were overpaying by $8500. Settlement agreement dictated the release paperwork and payment to be provided to our lawyer in 21 days.

Why did we accept a settlement much less than our initial filing? Factors and risks related to the TX courts.

A) The presence/absence of insurance is not admissable. All references to the insurance company cannot be made in court.
B) The ticket from the traffic collision was resolved with defensive driving; it was not admissable (meaning the defense could argue about liability).
C) The jury pool was Harris County (containing the city of Houston), a large and diverse county. HOU is the largest truck/SUV market in the US by % of sales. HOU is a Big Oil city. Would the jury of six people be filled with luxury vehicle drivers who could sympathize? Filled with pickup/SUV drivers or oil workers who enjoy punishing EV drivers? Civic/Corolla drivers who balk at DV and LOU claims with a $ value higher than their car's value? (I have coworkers who fit each of these categories!)
D) Mediation revealed the defense's strategy to pitch the case to the jury as "greedy entitled millenials vs sympathetic divorced middle-aged mother" given absence of insurance or police ticket references.
E) Proceeding to trial would incur additional fees. Filing to strike the opposing expert witness, subpoenaing Tesla to testify about their trade-in valuation process (as part of discrediting the expert witness' deposition testimony), potential depositions of new expert witnesses, etc.
F) Proceeding to trial could have work and home impacts. How many days off work to attend trial (and what tasks would be impacted); would court adjourn in time to get kids from daycare; would slips in court docket lead to schedule/travel conflicts; etc.
G) The settlement was 87% of DV appraisal. Proceeding to trial would be beneficial ONLY if we thought we could get LOU awarded by a jury. The defense had stated at mediation they would move for partial summary judgment of $0 on the LOU claim. What is the judge's background/viewpoints** on such claims? If the judge did allow the LOU claim to come forward, what would a jury award? TX court precedent allows recovering the "reasonable rental cost of a substitute vehicle". I could not find a TX precedent for defining "reasonable", although several other US states have court opinions saying "similar vehicle". Would that legal argument hold sway with this court/jury? The most likely grounds of appeal for insurance to pursue.
H) If a jury awarded the full judgment, we were told by the mediator to expect an automatic appeal by the defense/insurance given the large value.
I) If a jury awarded the full judgment and the judgment withstood appeals, we would need to employ our own insurance policy's Underinsured Motorist coverage, as the judgment would exceed the property damage liability coverage of the other driver. What unexpected issues would pop up?

**NOTE: We did not have insight into the judge's viewpoints, because the judge assigned to the court changed. A wild side story - the original judge accidentally resigned himself, asked the county commission to keep him in the position until a special election could be held, but instead a new judge (with no bench experience/history) was appointed with only 30 min from public submission to commissioner vote.

Total time from case filing to settlement agreement: 178 days
Total time from collision to settlement agreement: 420 days


Breach of Settlement

On Wed21Aug (+439 days), release paperwork from Germania received by our lawyer for review (but not payment as required per settlement agreement).
On Mon09Sep (+455 days), discussed Germania's breach of the settlement agreement by failing to provide payment (for hold in our lawyer's trust account until release was signed). After debating whether to resume the original tort lawsuit due to the breach, contacted Germania reminding of payment due.
On Fri13Sep (+459 days), Germania refused to honor settlement agreement, resorted to name-calling in communications with our lawyer, and requested mediator become involved again for review of releases and processing of payments.
On Fri20Sep (+466 days), revised/reviewed/agreed release documents available. We were away from home and unable to notarize/return.
On Tue01Oct (+477 days), able to sign/notarize release forms.
On Mon07Oct (+483 days), suit dismissal processed by court.
On Wed16Oct (+492 days), funds remaining after lawyer and court fees deposited.

Mindset after the breach of settlement by the defense by not providing the settlement payment within 21 days:

A) We could have been released from this settlement and proceeded with the original tort lawsuit, but the breach would not be admissible (we'd be facing the same circumstances as before mediation).
B) To make reference to the breached settlement, the original filing would have to be amended to include a charge of fraud. The burden of proof would be showing the defense had no intention of paying at the time of signing the agreement. Could we prove this?
C) The defense breached the settlement agreement by not paying in time, so I would expect a similar tactic for a court judgment owed, meaning more legals fees to enforce payment.

Total time from settlement agreement to funds received: 72 days
Total time from collision to settlement funds received: 492 days


Takeaways / Recommendations

(REMINDER: This post and all information contained is my opinion/experience. I am not an attorney. Consult your own legal counsel.)

If I had it to do over again, I would...
A) contact my insurance demanding they total the vehicle and seek subrogation, so I am out of a car less than a week and eventually get my deductible back. If that failed...
B) contact other insurance demanding they provide a Tesla rental while prepping to total vehicle. If that failed...
C) after liability accepted and estimate available, demand total of vehicle, using 90-day repair estimate, Tesla rental estimate and 20/30% DV estimate. Have legal contact on hand to mention upfront the pursuit of Loss of Use and DV if vehicle not totaled or Tesla not provided.
...but I don't think any of those actions would have changed the course of events in my specific case of dealing with Germania.

Here were the "tricks" used by Germania and/or its contracted legal firm I experienced that you should prepare for from other insurance companies:

Delay accepting liability
Delay delivering & inspecting vehicle
Refusal of >$30 daily rental rate
OEM parts swapped with refurb without consent
Initial denial of DV
Unrealistic/lowball DV offer after disputing denial of DV
Dismissal of professional DV appraisal report and continued unrealistic/lowball DV offer
Upheld use of DV appraiser despite poor deposition/testimony (we would have filed a motion to strike the expert witness and were very comfortable of succeeding in that action)
Scheduled my deposition solely to inconvenience me (time off work, ~125 miles traveled)...I can't prove this, but subsequent actions show this deposition was unnecessary
Bad faith mediation (increased settlement offers in increments of 1% lawsuit value)
Breached settlement agreement (did not provide payment in time, openly disputed the wording of the agreement they signed)

Collision to return of the vehicle for me was 4 months, with 1 month being delays by insurance and 3 months being Tesla parts holdups.
I went from immediately thinking I'd be buying a new car (the airbags went off!), to nearly 500 days of quagmire.
I erred (not legally, but practically) by not demanding a Tesla immediately when they accepted liability, and not re-demanding when it shifted from total to repair situation.
DO: Check with your insurance if a claim with your policy and subrogation is an option. My company said "if you don't have rental we won't subrogate any rental costs. If you do have rental we would only subrogate to the max of your policy, and I don't know if you'd get DV or further loss of use through subrogation". YMMV.
DO: Check-in daily between an estimate being available, the estimate being approved and parts being ordered to try and avoid any refurb parts being snuck in.
DO: Have proof of denial of a Tesla rental vehicle from the insurance company (via written confirmation or verbal recording). The absence of this evidence will prompt insurance to claim "no loss of use is owed because no request for a Tesla was made". This was a factor in my situation - I never asked because I knew the answer was no (they disclosed their cap of $29.99 a day, regardless of company), but didn't know in June 2018 I would have to prove their refusal in Aug 2019. This was an area we did not know how the judge/jury would rule.
DO: Consider Petty Details for a DV appraisal.
DO: Consider Service King. The parts manager decision to order without confirming was an issue, but the service adviser was helpful, receptive to communication and went out of his way to stay after-hours so I could pick up the car (the shop was 55 miles away).
DO: Maintain fuel receipts and electric bills, in the event the insurance company will consider fuel reimbursement if they don't provide an EV rental. Germania claimed "we've never faced this possibility before", and then proceeded to deny it.
DON'T: Use logical thought. Insurance companies will act (in lawyers' words) illogically.
DON'T: Rent a Tesla out of pocket because you think you have to. The TX courts have precedent that you do not HAVE to have paid for a rental to seek loss of use. The questionable aspect of my case was if you accept a rental that is not a Tesla, will the difference in loss of use be awarded.
DON'T: Consider Houston Auto Appraisers (or any company that cites the IACP or BOCAA appraisal standards) for a DV appraisal. The deposition of the owner of Houston Auto Appraisers lasted over three (3) hours and did not reflect well upon the quality of his work.
DON'T: Expect a timely resolution.
DON'T: Expect a totaled vehicle just from airbag deployment. States set the threshold % of car actual cash value the repair cost must exceed for the car to be totaled. For TX, the threshold is 100% (a common threshold is 75% or 80%).
DON'T: Do business with Germania Insurance. They unnecessarily spent an extra $10k+ on this case and I still walked away with more than any pre-mediation offer but we both would have been better off had they negotiated in good faith at the start.

TX Legal Cases of Note:
Mondragon v Austin - do not need to have out-of-pocket expenses to claim loss of use, i.e. your financial ability to rent/not rent a Tesla during repairs should not factor in whether you are owed loss of use
Luna v North Star Dodge - "reasonable rental cost of substitute vehicle" and "period deprived of use of the vehicle" is reasonable estimate of loss of use damages
Metro Ford Truck Sales v Davis - loss of use damages CAN exceed total actual cash value of property damaged
You wrote:
If I had it to do over again, I would...
A) contact my insurance demanding they total the vehicle and seek subrogation, so I am out of a car less than a week and eventually get my deductible back. If that failed...
Your insurer will not do this under any circumstances. However, had you obtained a Diminished Value and Loss of Use Report prior to starting repairs and presented that info to Germania - THEY might have decided that it would be in their best interests to total the car.
B) contact other insurance demanding they provide a Tesla rental while prepping to total vehicle. If that failed...
They will not provide a Tesla but you can recover the cost of renting one by filing a Loss of Use claim.
C) after liability accepted and estimate available, demand total of vehicle, using 90-day repair estimate, Tesla rental estimate and 20/30% DV estimate. Have legal contact on hand to mention upfront the pursuit of Loss of Use and DV if vehicle not totaled or Tesla not provided.
...but I don't think any of those actions would have changed the course of events in my specific case of dealing with Germania.
None of the less-than-honorable insurers would comply with this, you are correct.

Having seen the diminished value report that is prepared by Petty Details, it's important to realize that their report does not list the names and contact information of the dealers they supposedly queried. That is tantamount to those independent appraisers that use "proprietary algorithms" to determine your car's diminished value. If an appraisal company is using the opinions of sales managers at dealerships, the names of those managers and their phone numbers must be listed in order to add validity. Did these names come up during the trial? Was there a transcript of what was said?

It's unfortunate that this happened even though you did your best to push Germania to the limit. For everyone else following this thread, you need two things in order to succeed, a good appraisal that can't be refuted and persistence.

I guess no one told you that you did not have to have your vehicle repaired in a tort claim. You had another choice besides repair. BUT your right to mention the tactics of the liability carrier because most everyone is under the wrong impression of what the at fault parties carrier can do to evade responsibility of a claim that their liability if clear.
NEVER NEVER EVER allow the a fault party carrier inspect the vehicle PRIOR to getting an agreement on how the claim will be appraised and settled based on COMPLETE disclosure of the assessed TOTAL amount of loss.

Your carrier didn't do you any favors by omitting material facts related to their obligations or the damages cause that were not "covered" in your policy. They could have helped you out greatly had they valued as a customer instead of a liability.
I've been a professional appraiser for 27 years and have NEVER seen a FAKER like Houston Auto Appraisers. They have caused more good people problems because of their misrepresentations just to collect a fee from the carrier. The at fault carrier CAN NEVER be held responsible for selecting an incompetent appraiser. In fact, that's what they look for believe it or not, it severs their purpose NOT to hire a competent appraiser. Thank your luck stars you found Jimmy, he a good dude.

Your story is common. Tort losses in Texas are a real problem for normal working folks. ALL the laws favors the insurance industry. Therefore, the injured party has to protect themselves from the abusive claims practices of liability carriers. Believe it or not, so long as you had collision coverage's, I could have helped you get your vehicle replaced rather than repaired.

Tesla owners,
If your vehicle is in a collision (not talking about a minor fender bender) and you want it replaced rather repaired, DO NOT allow the at fault parties carrier inspect the vehicle, and do not sign ANY document from a repair facility - its a trap!!! If the accident was your fault, you have to allow your carrier to inspect and appraise the damages but do not sign ANY document from a repair facility. Instead call Direct Appraisal 866-383-4732, we can help you get your vehicle replaced rather than repaired

Remember this; insurance companies, especially the at fault party, have NO LEGAL DUTY to you what so ever in states that do not allow the injured party to sue the responsible parties insurance carrier directly. In fact, like the person experienced, they can LIE & MISREPRESENT facts and there is nothing you can do about it; you can only sue the person and you will not be allowed to even say the word INSURANCE in court. Judges strictly enforce that procedural rule. They ARE NOT consumer protection companies, their whole existence depends on profit, just like the repair facility.

Also, since you went to Service King, I EXTREMELY RECOMMEND you have a post repair inspection done!! You and your passengers ability to survive another collision could be at great risk. We have done over 25k PRI's and the King has NEVER past inspection, with most having found unsafe repairs, and the customer had NO clue of the danger the repair exposed them too.
 

vapor trail

Member
Sep 9, 2015
262
267
Roseville, CA
FoxSTL2HOU,

Thanks for the comprehensive report. I'm currently working with Petty Details for my DV claim. Will see how it goes. I'd really like to avoid bringing an attorney and going lawsuit route.

I asked the at-fault insurance company several times if they would provide a comparable rental (e.g., a Tesla) and they refused, claiming a comparable car by California standards is similar size vehicle. So, I'm in a Camry. Annoyed every time I pull into a gas station -- and I even had to take the rental to get an oil change. Don't have their refusal in writing. I wonder if I should call them again and ask for a written reply?

Luckily, my repair shop is dealing directly with Tesla for all OEM parts. No refurbs or non-Tesla parts being used.

Hoping to get a fair settlement from Allstate. My car has 570 miles on the odometer. About 2 months old. I'm having some structural damage repaired. This car should qualify for DV.

Painful!
 
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ram1901

Member
Feb 8, 2017
65
113
Delaware
Is it just me?? Doesn't 4 screen pages of one's effort to obtain additional money from one's insurance company after an accident seem a little over the top.
Cars are depreciating assets. The minute one takes possession, the car loses thousands of dollars in value.
When one decides to fight the insurance company, hire lawyers, get courts involved, one should NOT be surprised to spend ages to obtain a settlement. This is not a new or surprising process. Am I missing something.
Perhaps this is the OPS first experience with a new car and an accident. Just seems a little extreme.
 

andeeezie

New Member
Jul 18, 2019
3
8
California
Is it just me?? Doesn't 4 screen pages of one's effort to obtain additional money from one's insurance company after an accident seem a little over the top.
Cars are depreciating assets. The minute one takes possession, the car loses thousands of dollars in value.
When one decides to fight the insurance company, hire lawyers, get courts involved, one should NOT be surprised to spend ages to obtain a settlement. This is not a new or surprising process. Am I missing something.
Perhaps this is the OPS first experience with a new car and an accident. Just seems a little extreme.

Are you serious?

Some of us may never have been in an accident of this magnitude before and hope to never experience it.

I greatly appreciate OP for taking the time to share his experience with us all. The time and length obviously is going to be long and how to deal with insurance agency, attorneys etc is invaluable.

Thank you OP and for all those that contribute positively to Tesla community, by sharing their advice and struggles during their difficult times.
 

Bmac

Member
Nov 17, 2017
198
73
SE Pennsylvania
i learned from this thread how little i know about an accident of this magnitude and the $ costs/losses (driving for 57 years). I appreciate all of the info especially the extremely detailed OP report. this thread will be filed on my PC for future reference and shared with my kids.
 
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FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
517
304
HOU
From what source did your appraiser obtain the sales information?

I believe a quarterly aggregated subscription service, but I don't have the exact source in my notes.

I guess no one told you that you did not have to have your vehicle repaired in a tort claim. You had another choice besides repair. … NEVER NEVER EVER allow the a fault party carrier inspect the vehicle PRIOR to getting an agreement on how the claim will be appraised and settled based on COMPLETE disclosure of the assessed TOTAL amount of loss.

Can you elaborate on this? In my initial conversation with Germania (Friday afternoon of the collision), I did ask "the airbags went off, so how long does processing a totaled vehicle take?" with the response "we can't determine the value of the car until we inspect it, and won't know if its a repair or a total until we inspect it." What is your suggest path forward in that situation?

Is it just me?? Doesn't 4 screen pages of one's effort to obtain additional money from one's insurance company after an accident seem a little over the top.
Cars are depreciating assets. The minute one takes possession, the car loses thousands of dollars in value.
When one decides to fight the insurance company, hire lawyers, get courts involved, one should NOT be surprised to spend ages to obtain a settlement. This is not a new or surprising process. Am I missing something.
Perhaps this is the OPS first experience with a new car and an accident. Just seems a little extreme.

I'll take the bait.
A) Not my insurance company, but the other driver's insurance company.
B) This was not my first time having another driver hit me, but it was the first in a luxury vehicle.
My previous experience/timeline is explicitly what prompted me to push on Germania.

10 yrs ago:
Wed morning - driver runs stop sign, T-bones my car.
Wed afternoon - other driver insurance (Progressive) accepts liability, puts me in rental, gets car to shop
Fri morning - insurance tells me car is totaled, gives $ offer, makes vehicle available to retrieve items
Also Fri morning - adjuster learns I was put in a compact rental, says "that is not comparable to your current vehicle, I have adjusted your file - you may go back and get a larger car to match your own"
Mon morning - check available, sign over title, get check

In the span of time it took Germania just to get the car to the right shop, I had already gotten a check the time before. I expect a total vs repair situation to be faster, but paid in 5 days vs 25 just to get an approved estimate?

In terms of $, the check offered was arguably $400 low compared to listings I had reviewed. I asked, they denied. I was willing to let that slide given the hassle any further fighting would take (and leave me in a position of neither vehicle nor cash).
Germania instead was (at the time) $15000 below the professionally appraised loss. Some may think of that as not worth it (like I did the $400), but I wasn't letting that slide.
 

MyWifeandI

Member
Oct 31, 2014
43
11
Phoenix
From what source did your appraiser obtain the sales information?
I believe a quarterly aggregated subscription service, but I don't have the exact source in my notes.


If you find your curiosity getting the best of you, look into this service that your appraiser subscribed to. The only database of auto sales by year, make and model are auction results which do not in any way approximate your situation. You may think its a minor detail but sometimes that's where you find the answers to why your case went south. I suspect they used ad comparisons or some sort of formula. Evidence needs to be solid when you get to the litigation phase and anything impeachable makes you vulnerable. That's also why I asked if your appraiser picked up the phone and queried any sales managers. The used car manager at any BMW or Porsche dealership can tell you how much less he'd typically pay for a Tesla with a repair history. That's real research.

If this subscription service showing arms-length sales of used cars exists, I'd love to know about it.
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
517
304
HOU
...
You may think its a minor detail but sometimes that's where you find the answers to why your case went south.
...
That's also why I asked if your appraiser picked up the phone and queried any sales managers. The used car manager at any BMW or Porsche dealership can tell you how much less he'd typically pay for a Tesla with a repair history. That's real research.
...

A) I don't hold the opinion my "case went south" (we never got to court), and I never lost confidence in Petty Details. If that's your takeaway from my tale, please let me know how to reword.

B) Yes, in the report, Petty Details discusses contacting dealers.
 

MyWifeandI

Member
Oct 31, 2014
43
11
Phoenix
My bad, I meant to write "mediators" which is similar to litigation in that there is an independent decider.

My takeaway is that you feel the appraiser either spoke to dealers and/or referred to a quarterly aggregated subscription service.

Can you find the names and phone numbers of any dealers in their report AND is there actually a service that lists the sales of used cars aside from auction results? Just saying you spoke to dealers is not evidence nor is a list of cars that went through the auction lanes.

If insurance companies find these small omissions or misrepresentations they will expand upon them to cause great harm to your claim.
 

mnm1945

Member
Dec 8, 2012
85
41
Irvine
Thank you for this very informative thread! I will definitely bookmark this thread.

1) Not surprised to hear TX has the most insurance friendly courts/laws. Can any knowledgeable source comment on the CA courts?

2) For future reference should a driver involved in a non-fault accident get an attourney immediately and NOT have the car towed to a repair facility?
 
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MyWifeandI

Member
Oct 31, 2014
43
11
Phoenix
Thank you for this very informative thread! I will definitely bookmark this thread.

1) Not surprised to hear TX has the most insurance friendly courts/laws. Can any knowledgeable source comment on the CA courts?

2) For future reference should a driver involved in a non-fault accident get an attourney immediately and NOT have the car towed to a repair facility?

From California Diminished Value Appraiser | Service throughout California 772-359-4300

CACI 3903J – Damage to Personal Property (Economic Damage) The harm to plaintiff’s automobile.
To recover damages for harm to personal property, plaintiff must prove the reduction in the automobile’s value or the reasonable cost of repairing it, whichever is less. If there is evidence of both, plaintiff is entitled to the lesser of the two amounts.
However, if you find that the automobile can be repaired, but after repairs it will be worth less than it was before the harm, the damages are:
(1) the difference between its value before the harm and its lesser value after the repairs have been made; plus
(2) the reasonable cost of making the repairs. The total amount awarded may not exceed the automobile’s value before the harm occurred.
 

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