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How have you handled accident damage (as in I'm looking for other's experience)

andrewket

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2012
5,704
1,525
Another interesting thought- the rental State Farm will provide you will not be of the same class (compact vs luxury etc). I doubt you will be compensated for this. What about the difference in fuel costs EV vs gas? It's an interesting argument, especially if you use the superchargers a lot. The accident has made it impossible for you to use the fuel you pre-paid Tesla for. Of course this argument only works if your original car no longer operates, which doesn't sound like the case here.
 

lolachampcar

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2012
5,158
2,434
WPB Florida
Kal,

I am sorry to hear that. You are in a much worse position than I am in that the circumstances surrounding the accident and associated liability are fully defined. In addition, my damage is all cosmetic as far as I can tell thus my car is more attractive on the secondary market. Lastly, I have two recent completed claims for similar damage that help me define costs.

I hope it works out for you and, again, sorry your's got nailed with 200 miles on the clock. That REALLY sucks even if you can avoid the 6% sales tax hit.




I just put this post in my for sale thread... The overall reasoning is starting to gel for me. Here is how I responded when asked why not fix first then sell.

"(1) I have spoken with the body shop that just completed a similar repair (rear quarter replace and minor door repair for $23K) and they described in detail how hard both the body shop and the owner had to work on State Farm to get the work completed correctly. I have no interest in spending six to eight weeks doing this. If I am going to spend my time working with State Farm, I prefer to do so in a way that has my wife exactly where she was the morning of the 12th, driving a new S85.

(2) The value equation consists of the car as it is now, the cost to repair, the diminished value and depreciation. My discussion with the insurance company will effectively be reduced to depreciation if I sell the car as is given that the insurance company is responsible for the repair and the diminished value. They can apportion between those two any way they see fit as I am only concerned about the total. I would prefer to reduce the conversation to depreciation where Tesla has defined the extreme ($1K/month $1/mile) then fight to get a reasonable repair then argue for diminished value based on "expert's opinion". Why would I want to put the effort into repairing the car if it is going to be sold?

Lastly, I suspect the overall value equation is better selling as is. I may be wrong here, but I suspect someone will buy this car and do something less than a full on Tesla certified repair or, for that matter, not repair it at all. If I do the repair, it will be north of $25K. A new buyer that chooses not to replace the rear quarter will not be anywhere near that number and will also benefit from the diminished value. Theoretically this increases the retail sale number as is plus the State Farm property damage element over a repaired car retail sale number.

I'm curious enough to test this theory as it seems the smartest overall way to minimize everyone's loss in both time and money. It is better for me as I do not have to spend my time on the repair tread mill, it is better for the buyer as they get the best possible value and ability to control repair costs and it is best for State Farm as it minimizes the combined PD and diminished value claim total. Regretfully, it would take a very forward thinking and capable State Farm adjuster to realize this and I do not think such a person exists in this day in age. Competence is a very rare quality."
 

Brit4864

Member
May 5, 2013
340
2
South Florida
I do find it interesting that the adjuster's point of view is that no rental is required if the car is drivable. I suspect a Corolla is also similarly acceptable as a rental while the car is being repaired.

Just out of interest, I'll add what my lawyer told me about the rental car insurance companies pay for. In FL, they are not required by law to provide a car if yours is not driveable or while being repaired. They do so to "keep people quiet" as he put it. As you already know, they DO have to restore your car to its pre-accident condition including diminished value.
 

lolachampcar

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2012
5,158
2,434
WPB Florida
I think it is time I did some research on an insurance company's statutory requirements. So far, I've only been looking at this from an arms length tort property damage standpoint without regard to statutory requirements.
 
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lolachampcar

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2012
5,158
2,434
WPB Florida
I found some interesting reading. There is case law regarding diminished value in Florida the results of which have found their way into the Florida Supreme Court approved Standard Jury Instructions. 501.2.h of the Standard Jury Instructions specifically address diminished value as a valid element of property loss.
 

lolachampcar

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2012
5,158
2,434
WPB Florida
I wanted to keep this thread updated for others having to deal with accident damage.

The other party continues to repeat her story that my wife ran into her so State Farm is taking some time to determine liability. We just received and responded to a written list of questions for my wife regarding the accident.

I did get a damage appraisal from Fantastic Finishes which is the new Tesla Certified Repair Center for West Palm Beach. The estimate came in around $20,500 and, of course, was an initial estimate subject to modification once work begins. In addition, I received a $57,900 trade in quotation from Tesla for the car AFTER it was repaired. Assuming the repair estimate was perfect (highly unlikely), that would put the value of the car before being repaired at $37,400.

The car sold as is for $60,000.

I am waiting for State Farm to come to the same conclusion as the officer at the scene who cited the other party for being at fault.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,661
861
Bay Area, CA
I am waiting for State Farm to come to the same conclusion as the officer at the scene who cited the other party for being at fault.
Frankly, I'm surprised there's any question at all. Your damage is not consistent with common patterns that would suggest your wife could be at fault (front/rear damage), and an officer on the scene cited the other driver and not your wife. I wonder what they're hoping to gain from dragging their feet? Wear you down, I suppose?

The written list of questions seems like an attempt at getting you to trip up when compared against what you told them verbally. My wife is a master at getting hit by other people (we're up to 4 times), and we've never had anything beyond a verbal description of the events to get reimbursed. That said, none of those has $20k repair bills, either.

Further, I wonder about the other party. When State Farm comes to the inevitable conclusion, what do they do with a customer who appears to be perfectly OK with lying to them? Jack up their rates? Drop them all together? Too bad we'll never know.
 

Lou in SoCal

Member
Nov 12, 2012
61
0
SoCal
May I ask how you went about getting the Trade-in offer from Tesla (e.g. thru service center, ownership, etc.)?

I wanted to keep this thread updated for others having to deal with accident damage.

The other party continues to repeat her story that my wife ran into her so State Farm is taking some time to determine liability. We just received and responded to a written list of questions for my wife regarding the accident.

I did get a damage appraisal from Fantastic Finishes which is the new Tesla Certified Repair Center for West Palm Beach. The estimate came in around $20,500 and, of course, was an initial estimate subject to modification once work begins. In addition, I received a $57,900 trade in quotation from Tesla for the car AFTER it was repaired. Assuming the repair estimate was perfect (highly unlikely), that would put the value of the car before being repaired at $37,400.

The car sold as is for $60,000.

I am waiting for State Farm to come to the same conclusion as the officer at the scene who cited the other party for being at fault.
 

lolachampcar

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2012
5,158
2,434
WPB Florida
It was a bit of a process in that they have yet to set a formula for trade in value of Tesla Certified damage repaired vehicles. I contacted my regional sales manager that oversees the south east and asked him to generate a trade in appraisal. The appraisal was based on Tesla's standard trade in model discounted for the diminished value of an accident repaired vehicle.

It is worth noting that path I choose was a retail sale which will always require more work but almost always will yield a higher sale price. I do loose the Florida State sales tax credit of the trade in which must be taken into account.
 

lolachampcar

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2012
5,158
2,434
WPB Florida
Looks like litigation will be required. I've tried just about everything to avoid it.

Does anyone have an accident investigator they can recommend? Specifically, I'm looking for analysis of two scenarios when examining the physical damage on my wife's car. The first would be a side impact while my wife's car was traveling in a straight line and the second being my wife changing lanes into a stationary object.

Thanks,
Bill
 
Sometimes people suck.

Good luck with your legal challenge. When I had a similar claim years ago I simply made my own video using cheap metal duct work to show the damage could only realistically be done one direction-- your damage looks a little more complex. Plus your resources now are much greater than my resources then!
 

russman

Member
Nov 12, 2013
394
48
California
This raises a question about gap insurance for me. When I financed the car, I financed about half of the car and the person said they don't know the values of these cars yet, so if the value of the car after insurance is less than the finance amount, then I'm screwed. At $50k, if something happens, is there a chance that I would get less than $50k from the insurance for the car that cost > $90k?

Sorry to hijack. :(
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,661
861
Bay Area, CA
Looks like litigation will be required. I've tried just about everything to avoid it.

Does anyone have an accident investigator they can recommend? Specifically, I'm looking for analysis of two scenarios when examining the physical damage on my wife's car. The first would be a side impact while my wife's car was traveling in a straight line and the second being my wife changing lanes into a stationary object.

Thanks,
Bill

Didn't you have a court date? Presumably that did not go well? I've never heard of an insurance company directly siding with their insured when the other party and the responding officer both dispute that version of the events. My mind boggles. Sorry you're having so much trouble.

This raises a question about gap insurance for me. When I financed the car, I financed about half of the car and the person said they don't know the values of these cars yet, so if the value of the car after insurance is less than the finance amount, then I'm screwed. At $50k, if something happens, is there a chance that I would get less than $50k from the insurance for the car that cost > $90k?

Sorry to hijack. :(

Seriously doubtful. 50% is likely what it'll be worth when you're at the 3 year mark, at which time you'll have paid off quite a bit of it. I doubt there will be any point at which you'll be underwater having put that much down, so I suspect Gap insurance is useless for you. You should perform the calculations to be sure. It's hard since we don't yet know the resale value of the car, but you can probably make good guesses given similar cars of other brand's and Tesla's buyback prices.
 

lolachampcar

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2012
5,158
2,434
WPB Florida
We got the citation moved from being heard by a magistrate to being heard by a criminal court judge.
The girl was adjudicated guilty of a stop sign violation, failure to yield.

I reported this to her insurance company along with my assessment of the physical damage (which does not support the girl's story, it supports my wife's). I'm waiting to hear back but they were un-phased in my initial conversation. I doubt they will come to their senses.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,661
861
Bay Area, CA
We got the citation moved from being heard by a magistrate to being heard by a criminal court judge.
The girl was adjudicated guilty of a stop sign violation, failure to yield.

I reported this to her insurance company along with my assessment of the physical damage (which does not support the girl's story, it supports my wife's). I'm waiting to hear back but they were un-phased in my initial conversation. I doubt they will come to their senses.

So your wife, an officer, and a judge all agree, but State Farm still disputes. I'm completely blown away. It has to be the sheer dollar amount involved, right? They think they might see a way out of paying that big bill, no matter how ridiculous that way might be, so they're taking it. I know insurance companies to be slimy in general, but have never really seen one act with such blatant disregard.

My wife had the other party challenge her story once, but the officer cited as appropriate. The insurance company checked her story against the police report after some initial suspicion, but paid out with only a minor delay. Of course, there was only a few thousand dollars at stake there.

What a mess. I forget, did you file directly with State Farm or through your own insurance? Requiring lawyers and courts to get further involved is an asinine waste of taxpayer and your own money. :cursing:
 

lolachampcar

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2012
5,158
2,434
WPB Florida
Silly me. I thought the issue of liability was cut and dried so I chose to handle the issue myself. I wanted to replace as I felt my wife waited a good long time to get just the car she wanted and there was no reason, after three months of having the car, that she should have to drive around in a repaired car at no fault of her own. I wanted to replace it even if it cost me a small amount more. As it turned out, I saved a good deal of money.

Anyway, I too thought people that do this stuff for a living would see right through the other driver's story. In fact, that is exactly what happened with the police officer, her attorney and the judge. State Farm can only be taking this position to delay. If I can demonstrate that well enough, I'll get the $6-8K in attorney's fees back.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,661
861
Bay Area, CA
Anyway, I too thought people that do this stuff for a living would see right through the other driver's story. In fact, that is exactly what happened with the police officer, her attorney and the judge. State Farm can only be taking this position to delay. If I can demonstrate that well enough, I'll get the $6-8K in attorney's fees back.

Reading that reminded me of this quote, which I love:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
- Upton Sinclair
Here the insurance company is the man, but still...

Best of luck sorting it out. Sucks this is even something you have to deal with.
 
Had a similar accident back in late January of this year. Kid was texting and swerved into my car and took out my whole right side. USAA has been easy to work with and had the car taken to Dallas for repair. We had an insurance rider that allowed us to rent a car up to a certain amount and if it went any higher USAA offered to submit as an additional claim against the other drivers insurance. The only problem is the wait since here it is April 2nd and I probably will not have the car til this Friday. Here is a before picture ...
image.jpg
 

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