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

dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
Dec 7, 2018
3,924
5,545
New Jersey - Morris County
Cool story, but I think people should learn to use their own insurance company and not deal with the third party on expensive repairs like these.

Agreed. My insurance carrier has way better (and way more) lawyers than I do. Let them do the hard work and advocate for you. You don’t give up your rights doing so, but have an extra team of lawyers at the ready.

On a slightly different note ... since it seems we have a bunch of legal beagles here:

Not Tesla related (except that my wife’s now driving my Model 3...) but, we’re now into our 3rd month waiting for repairs to her Buick Enclave after a deer hit. Because it was an animal and not another vehicle or object, it’s considered a comprehensive claim.

Vehicle ACV is ~$32k; the total loss threshold is about $26k per the adjuster. Repair estimate is a little north of $16k.

This means, unfortunately, it’s being repaired.

Problem is, post-accident with airbag deployment, the vehicle value is only about $20-22k. I’ve checked trade in values with several places and all are in that range. Vroom online was $15k as the outlier.

I’m taking a huge hit on value - at least $10k - and it seems there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. Diminished Value claim is not an option, because this is a comprehensive claim.

Anyone better versed in this than I am have any suggestions? Or am I just stuck taking it in the shorts here? It just seems ridiculous that the vehicle is worth a bunch more in its damaged state than after being repaired. That feels so wrong.
 
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SucreTease

Teslarian
Jul 11, 2017
761
1,147
Madison, Alabama
Diminished Value claim is not an option, because this is a comprehensive claim.

Anyone better versed in this than I am have any suggestions? Or am I just stuck taking it in the shorts here? It just seems ridiculous that the vehicle is worth a bunch more in its damaged state than after being repaired. That feels so wrong.
Whether you can file a diminished value claim is related to who or what caused you harm—not that it is classified as a comprehensive claim. A diminished value claim is against the party that caused you loss. That party has a legal obligation to make you whole again if they caused you loss; but your insurance company has no such obligation. In this case, the other "party" is an animal, who certainly cannot pay you restitution.

If another person caused damage to your vehicle via actions that could be covered under "comprehenive" (e.g. dropped a safe on your car), you cold certainly go after that person for diminished value.
 

dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
Dec 7, 2018
3,924
5,545
New Jersey - Morris County
Whether you can file a diminished value claim is related to who or what caused you harm—not that it is classified as a comprehensive claim.

Indeed. Poor wording on my part. I should’ve added (animal induced) before comprehensive.

Unfortunately, the deer had let his policy lapse, and now with his untimely passing, there’s nobody left to assume fault.

I’m just looking for any option to not lose so much value here. Being this far below value really shoots my “trade it in and buy a Model X” idea out the window.
 

MyWifeandI

Member
Oct 31, 2014
43
11
Phoenix
This may be too late in coming but St. Lucie Appraisal referred a friend to attorney Russell Kerr who is in Southern California. He is supposed to be the best in this field.
 
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Onetakewu

Member
Jan 14, 2021
13
0
Sugar Land TX
I missed the statue of limitations on editing the original post, so for posterity, here is the post-collision photo (as I forgot to include it in the first place).

View attachment 498524
Hi

Thank you for posting this. I am in a similar situation and was wondering if you could help clarify. My 2021 Model Y got hit in the parking lot and I believe it is their fault. I also resided in Houston as well. My insurance is progressive and their insurance is Met Life. I have two choices, either file against their insurance or claim through my insurance. I talked to Progressive and they say filing a claim against your insurance is the last resort as even a 0 dollar claim on your record may increase rate. Progressive also said that if they deny your claim, you can always file the claim after, or if you are not happy with the process so you file the claim through Progressive. As such, I just filed the claim through their insurance.

You are right in that their claim adjuster was really hostile, telling me my story doesn't make any sense.... so I say I will submit photo and and video to prove my statement. It is my understanding that regardless of the insurance company (even your own), they will low ball you with the first estimate, and your repair shop will file supplemental to that to make you whole. You are not signing anything but that was just the process they go through.

My questions are:
1. What was the reason you went to service king? I don't believe they are certified Tesla shop right? the only certified shop in Houston are Collision Plus, Katy Coach work, and Metropolitan Collision. I am debating between Katy Coach work and Metropolitan Collision. Is there specific reason for you to go Service King?

2. You mentioned that do not allow them the At Fault adjuster inspect or appraise the car. Since I have already filed against their company, how can I avoid that? The process wouldn't move forward without them first have the preliminary estimates then your repair shop will file supplemental. The only way I can think of is if they accept liability 100%, after that I then file through my insurance company instead of theirs and telling my insurance company that they have already accept 100% liability but I would like to go through the repair through my own insurance company.

3. Regarding to OEM part, is this more of a Policy per insurance issue? What I mean by is that if Met life insurance has a clause to use non-OEM, while my own insurance progressive does not, then would it be better for me to file with my own insurance company after determination of liability? Or is it more of the repair shop issue where they can demand and provide support why the OEM is needed?

I just submitted my evidence and am waiting on the determination. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

It would change my thought on whether I should just go ahead and file with my own insurance regardless of whether they take full responsibility or not.

Having said that, my damage is minimal, but the repair will be expensive due to potential replacement of lift gate. side view.jpg front.jpg
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,316
3,426
USA
Hi

Thank you for posting this. I am in a similar situation and was wondering if you could help clarify. My 2021 Model Y got hit in the parking lot and I believe it is their fault. I also resided in Houston as well. My insurance is progressive and their insurance is Met Life. I have two choices, either file against their insurance or claim through my insurance. I talked to Progressive and they say filing a claim against your insurance is the last resort as even a 0 dollar claim on your record may increase rate. Progressive also said that if they deny your claim, you can always file the claim after, or if you are not happy with the process so you file the claim through Progressive. As such, I just filed the claim through their insurance.

You are right in that their claim adjuster was really hostile, telling me my story doesn't make any sense.... so I say I will submit photo and and video to prove my statement. It is my understanding that regardless of the insurance company (even your own), they will low ball you with the first estimate, and your repair shop will file supplemental to that to make you whole. You are not signing anything but that was just the process they go through.

My questions are:
1. What was the reason you went to service king? I don't believe they are certified Tesla shop right? the only certified shop in Houston are Collision Plus, Katy Coach work, and Metropolitan Collision. I am debating between Katy Coach work and Metropolitan Collision. Is there specific reason for you to go Service King?

2. You mentioned that do not allow them the At Fault adjuster inspect or appraise the car. Since I have already filed against their company, how can I avoid that? The process wouldn't move forward without them first have the preliminary estimates then your repair shop will file supplemental. The only way I can think of is if they accept liability 100%, after that I then file through my insurance company instead of theirs and telling my insurance company that they have already accept 100% liability but I would like to go through the repair through my own insurance company.

3. Regarding to OEM part, is this more of a Policy per insurance issue? What I mean by is that if Met life insurance has a clause to use non-OEM, while my own insurance progressive does not, then would it be better for me to file with my own insurance company after determination of liability? Or is it more of the repair shop issue where they can demand and provide support why the OEM is needed?

I just submitted my evidence and am waiting on the determination. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

It would change my thought on whether I should just go ahead and file with my own insurance regardless of whether they take full responsibility or not.

Having said that, my damage is minimal, but the repair will be expensive due to potential replacement of lift gate. View attachment 629421 View attachment 629422

100% sure that will require liftgate replacement? Ive seen worse handled to near perfection by an EXPERT PDR person.
 
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2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,316
3,426
USA
I love how people are afraid to use their insurance. Isn’t that the whole point of it
Like anything, depends. For those who may have significant discount line item for having zero claims over a period of time, financially speaking, may be more harmful financially to lose that discount and have increased premiums vs getting the payment.

Also, insurance claim for accident usually means it will show on the Carfax, thus, reducing value at selling time...

Or, if one has already had a number of claims, an additional one may be the one that causes cancellation of policy.

Lots of factors in making that decision
 
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Onetakewu

Member
Jan 14, 2021
13
0
Sugar Land TX
100% sure that will require liftgate replacement? Ive seen worse handled to near perfection by an EXPERT PDR person.
from what the body shop says that the labor of repair vs replace new may be very close, so might as well replace.

it is more about the cost than the actual ability to fix it. that is what they told me.
 

dannycamps

Member
Apr 8, 2019
767
699
Northeast USA
I love how people are afraid to use their insurance. Isn’t that the whole point of it

Depends on the state you live in also. Delaware for example is a no fault state which means when you get into an accident regardless of who is at fault, you file with your insurance company (and only your insurance company) who handles the claim. I believe the insurance company will then go after the other company as needed and whether rates go up, etc... is deteremined after the fact once the investigation is complete and fault is assessed.

To answer the other questions:

1. Service King (at least in my area) is an approved Tesla bodyshop repair facility. I have no experience working with them however so I can't speak for whether they are good or not.

2. Regarding the at-fault adjuster, this is unavoidable and they will most likely attempt to low-ball the damage as it mitigates risk but be persistent and request second opinion if you feel it's necessary. The body shop may also uncover additional items needing repair once they get into it. This is not so much to make you whole but rather just not knowing the extent of any damage beyond what is visible on the surface.

3. This is more likely a decision between the adjuster and the body shop. If an aftermarket part is available (unlikely) that meets the OEM specifications, I see no reason why it shouldn't be used if it brings down the overall cost of the repair. That being said, it also depends on the part in question. Using an aftermarket set of bolts for example doesn't phase me - but an aftermarket liftgate might make me a little cautious.

-DJ
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
526
310
HOU
Hi

Thank you for posting this. I am in a similar situation and was wondering if you could help clarify. My 2021 Model Y got hit in the parking lot and I believe it is their fault. I also resided in Houston as well. My insurance is progressive and their insurance is Met Life. I have two choices, either file against their insurance or claim through my insurance. I talked to Progressive and they say filing a claim against your insurance is the last resort as even a 0 dollar claim on your record may increase rate. Progressive also said that if they deny your claim, you can always file the claim after, or if you are not happy with the process so you file the claim through Progressive. As such, I just filed the claim through their insurance.

You are right in that their claim adjuster was really hostile, telling me my story doesn't make any sense.... so I say I will submit photo and and video to prove my statement. It is my understanding that regardless of the insurance company (even your own), they will low ball you with the first estimate, and your repair shop will file supplemental to that to make you whole. You are not signing anything but that was just the process they go through.

My questions are:
1. What was the reason you went to service king? I don't believe they are certified Tesla shop right? the only certified shop in Houston are Collision Plus, Katy Coach work, and Metropolitan Collision. I am debating between Katy Coach work and Metropolitan Collision. Is there specific reason for you to go Service King?

2. You mentioned that do not allow them the At Fault adjuster inspect or appraise the car. Since I have already filed against their company, how can I avoid that? The process wouldn't move forward without them first have the preliminary estimates then your repair shop will file supplemental. The only way I can think of is if they accept liability 100%, after that I then file through my insurance company instead of theirs and telling my insurance company that they have already accept 100% liability but I would like to go through the repair through my own insurance company.

3. Regarding to OEM part, is this more of a Policy per insurance issue? What I mean by is that if Met life insurance has a clause to use non-OEM, while my own insurance progressive does not, then would it be better for me to file with my own insurance company after determination of liability? Or is it more of the repair shop issue where they can demand and provide support why the OEM is needed?

I just submitted my evidence and am waiting on the determination. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

It would change my thought on whether I should just go ahead and file with my own insurance regardless of whether they take full responsibility or not.

1) I got the list of shops directly from someone at Tesla (the person that called me at the scene). Katy Coach was not on the list at the time, and EVERY Service King location was included, so when the third-party insurance said "we've done work there before", I said OK to sending it to my closest location. As it turned out, only one from the list could perform the work, but that was learned after the fact.

2) I'm not sure which section you are referencing, or are you looking at dvguru's post?

3) This relates to betterment, i.e. "the part wasn't brand new when you got hit, so you shouldn't get brand new in its place". If your Y is literally one-two months old, you may have grounds to say that a refurb is NOT comparable. As far as the bill of rights by Tx Dept of Ins it only applys to first-party insurance claims, as I learned after the fact. A good faith step by insurance would be "here's the estimate, before we order if you want anything better than refurb, you can pay the difference".

MISC)
Calling the estimate a lowball isn't the right term - it's a first pass guess, and supplementals cover additional damages or repairs uncovered in the process.

Looking back now years after the fact...I think I would have had the car back faster if I'd said on day 1 to do a first-party claim, but it would have cost me more (deductible + I had no rental car coverage) AND would have made pursuing reimbursement of rental car and DV more difficult, since I'd be asking for $$ from a company I had no relationship/dealings with.

I love how people are afraid to use their insurance. Isn’t that the whole point of it

2101Guy makes valid points about losing zero-claim discounts, or a claim leading to non-renewal (depending on the state and how they handle Not-At-Fault claims). Additionally, you have to consider if your coverage has rental car coverage, deductible cost vs estimated damages (and if subrogation would work to get the deductible back), if it will be easier to claim Underinsured Motorist coverage by claiming with the third-party to begin with...

...
Also, insurance claim for accident usually means it will show on the Carfax, thus, reducing value at selling time...

The body shop can also report the work (when over a certain $ value) or the police report from the scene of the collision can get on the auto history.
 

Onetakewu

Member
Jan 14, 2021
13
0
Sugar Land TX
1) I got the list of shops directly from someone at Tesla (the person that called me at the scene). Katy Coach was not on the list at the time, and EVERY Service King location was included, so when the third-party insurance said "we've done work there before", I said OK to sending it to my closest location. As it turned out, only one from the list could perform the work, but that was learned after the fact.

2) I'm not sure which section you are referencing, or are you looking at dvguru's post?

3) This relates to betterment, i.e. "the part wasn't brand new when you got hit, so you shouldn't get brand new in its place". If your Y is literally one-two months old, you may have grounds to say that a refurb is NOT comparable. As far as the bill of rights by Tx Dept of Ins it only applys to first-party insurance claims, as I learned after the fact. A good faith step by insurance would be "here's the estimate, before we order if you want anything better than refurb, you can pay the difference".

MISC)
Calling the estimate a lowball isn't the right term - it's a first pass guess, and supplementals cover additional damages or repairs uncovered in the process.

Looking back now years after the fact...I think I would have had the car back faster if I'd said on day 1 to do a first-party claim, but it would have cost me more (deductible + I had no rental car coverage) AND would have made pursuing reimbursement of rental car and DV more difficult, since I'd be asking for $$ from a company I had no relationship/dealings with.



2101Guy makes valid points about losing zero-claim discounts, or a claim leading to non-renewal (depending on the state and how they handle Not-At-Fault claims). Additionally, you have to consider if your coverage has rental car coverage, deductible cost vs estimated damages (and if subrogation would work to get the deductible back), if it will be easier to claim Underinsured Motorist coverage by claiming with the third-party to begin with...



The body shop can also report the work (when over a certain $ value) or the police report from the scene of the collision can get on the auto history.


Hi thank you for the prompt reply. Yes I misread. It was dvgur's post. I will shoot him a message to see if I can get a better understanding.

so based on your experience, in my case assuming the 3rd party comes back and admit at fault for 100% (which is unlikely, it is in parking lot), would you recommend to file a claim with your own (progressive, body shop told me they are very good to deal with), since now they will recoup 100% or should I continue the process with them?

by the way I don't even know if that is an option to file with my own if other party admits and will take liability.
 

Boeingpilot

Member
Oct 11, 2018
206
414
Central PA
Couple of observations.

- OEN vs refurb parts. A lot comes down to your body shop. My non-Tesla was rear ended several years ago. Insurance company wanted to 1) straighten the trunk floor, not replace and 2) use aftermarket rail lights. Body shop (same as car manufacturer dealer) refused. Said this is a crumple zone, manufacturer’s approved repair prohibits this. End of discussion. They mounted the after market light, which did not color match the rest, took a picture for insurance and replaced with OEM. Moral, a good body shop is looking out for the owner. The only refurbished part installed was a the trunk lid which they totally refinished.

-Not a fault accident causing insurance increase or drop. Over the past 15 years have been in 4 accidents not my fault. One even had a counter suit that ended up with my insurance settling as they felt it would be cheaper than to litigate. No increases other than the inflation rate. In one they were able to subrogate, the rear they took it on the chin. Yes I may pay a slightly higher rate with my insurance company than xyz, but on the long haul it’s been cheaper. A good insurance company should recognize the difference between at fault and not at fault accidents
 
Sep 23, 2020
480
540
Sacramento CA
Couple of observations.

- OEN vs refurb parts. A lot comes down to your body shop. My non-Tesla was rear ended several years ago. Insurance company wanted to 1) straighten the trunk floor, not replace and 2) use aftermarket rail lights. Body shop (same as car manufacturer dealer) refused. Said this is a crumple zone, manufacturer’s approved repair prohibits this. End of discussion. They mounted the after market light, which did not color match the rest, took a picture for insurance and replaced with OEM. Moral, a good body shop is looking out for the owner. The only refurbished part installed was a the trunk lid which they totally refinished.

-Not a fault accident causing insurance increase or drop. Over the past 15 years have been in 4 accidents not my fault. One even had a counter suit that ended up with my insurance settling as they felt it would be cheaper than to litigate. No increases other than the inflation rate. In one they were able to subrogate, the rear they took it on the chin. Yes I may pay a slightly higher rate with my insurance company than xyz, but on the long haul it’s been cheaper. A good insurance company should recognize the difference between at fault and not at fault accidents
Boeingpilot - Am hoping you've had better luck with your jets.

PS - I miss the 747
 

mattack4000

Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
2,448
1,071
CA
Average car insurance is what $2500 a year? Even with a 10% increase, it is $250. You can easily get that back from how they write the repair or even from the rental car.

In california no fault accident does not increase your rate

this is like the people who is afraid to make glass claim and pay the $1000 windshield out of pocket

1) I got the list of shops directly from someone at Tesla (the person that called me at the scene). Katy Coach was not on the list at the time, and EVERY Service King location was included, so when the third-party insurance said "we've done work there before", I said OK to sending it to my closest location. As it turned out, only one from the list could perform the work, but that was learned after the fact.

2) I'm not sure which section you are referencing, or are you looking at dvguru's post?

3) This relates to betterment, i.e. "the part wasn't brand new when you got hit, so you shouldn't get brand new in its place". If your Y is literally one-two months old, you may have grounds to say that a refurb is NOT comparable. As far as the bill of rights by Tx Dept of Ins it only applys to first-party insurance claims, as I learned after the fact. A good faith step by insurance would be "here's the estimate, before we order if you want anything better than refurb, you can pay the difference".

MISC)
Calling the estimate a lowball isn't the right term - it's a first pass guess, and supplementals cover additional damages or repairs uncovered in the process.

Looking back now years after the fact...I think I would have had the car back faster if I'd said on day 1 to do a first-party claim, but it would have cost me more (deductible + I had no rental car coverage) AND would have made pursuing reimbursement of rental car and DV more difficult, since I'd be asking for $$ from a company I had no relationship/dealings with.



2101Guy makes valid points about losing zero-claim discounts, or a claim leading to non-renewal (depending on the state and how they handle Not-At-Fault claims). Additionally, you have to consider if your coverage has rental car coverage, deductible cost vs estimated damages (and if subrogation would work to get the deductible back), if it will be easier to claim Underinsured Motorist coverage by claiming with the third-party to begin with...



The body shop can also report the work (when over a certain $ value) or the police report from the scene of the collision can get on the auto history.
 
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BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,424
1,352
Newport Coast, CA
Because it was a settlement, my attorney (33% cut) and legal fees (filing, serving, court reporter for deposition, postage) came out of the settlement. Biggest hit was the multi-hour deposition of the opposing DV appraiser.

BOTTOM LINE: How much did:
  1. Germania Insurance pay out on your DV claim?
  2. your attorney receive?
  3. YOU receive after your attorney's 33% cut and legal fees?
I'd definitely want an attorney who would take a case like this "on contingency" including legal costs which in my experience can be astounding... and dramatically diminish what you actually receive in the end.

Weighing what you received vs. the months of frustration and weeks of time lost in your work and life, would you pursue a DV case again?

P.S. THANKS for posting your very detailed history. Great info for anyone considering a DV case... or filing ANY lawsuit.
 

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