TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Inherent Diminished Value Settlement (Oregon)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by pdxgibby, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. pdxgibby

    pdxgibby Software Engineer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Messages:
    594
    Location:
    Tualatin, Oregon
    TL;DR: Rear-ended. Car took 7 months to be repaired. Successful reimbursement for gas costs! Successful inherent diminished value claim settlement! Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, this is just my experience, YMMV.

    Last year, I was rear-ended in Portland, Oregon in my 2018 Tesla Model S. It had roughly 6300 miles on it at the time of the accident and was only 6 months old. Figuratively not even broken in yet, but literally quite broken in. The timeline for getting my Model S fixed was frustrating (as others have described) but I was patient and kind with everyone working to help repair my car. Along the way, I learned some very valuable lessons that I wanted to share with those facing similar frustrations and possibly some upside.

    Here’s a rough timeline:

    Waiting for body shop inspection: 8 days
    Body shop estimate: 9 days
    Waiting for parts: 4 weeks (3 weeks spent waiting for backordered lift gate)
    Waiting for opening at body shop: 3 weeks
    Autobody Work complete (part 1): 4 weeks (rejected due to improper fitment / alignment)
    Autobody Work complete (part 2): 10 days (rejected due to solvent pop / bubbles in paint need to respray)
    Autobody Work complete (part 3): 15 days (rejected due to improper fitment / alignment)
    Autobody Work complete (part 4): 3 days (rejected due to butt-blending to fix solvent pop, didn’t blend to next panel)
    Autobody Work complete (part 5): 5 days
    Waiting for paint to cure (precautionary): 5 weeks
    Paint correction to fix nibs in paint, prep for XPEL: 3 days
    PPF install: 2 days
    Ceramic coating: 2 days

    Total repair cost: $13,000
    Total rental reimbursement cost: $1600

    In summary, of the 7 months, only 4 weeks were spent waiting for parts to be supplied from Tesla. I’m a pretty picky guy and so the fitment and paint issues might not have been noticed by all, but I wanted my car to be perfect again. My pickiness also contributed to the delays.

    My insurance handled the actual repair claim and worked out the reimbursement from the liable insurance company. I had dashcam video of me being rear-ended which made things pretty cut and dried. His insurance immediately took responsibility for the accident and quickly paid my insurance company for the estimate up front and any differences when the final bill arrived. My deductible was also waived since the other driver was 100% at fault.

    Even though my car had been repaired, I still wasn’t whole yet. There were two issues that still needed tidying up.

    First, I was in a gas-guzzler Ford Exploder rental car for 65 days. During that period of time, I spent ~$250 on gasoline. I requested reimbursement from my insurance company and they said I would have to work with the liable party’s insurance company. I reached out to them and made my case. They placed the burden of proof on me (as it should be) that my electricity costs didn’t decrease by a similar amount during that period. While obvious to those of us that drive EVs, I’m sure they hoped I would give up on the request due to the effort involved in documentation. Well, I hustled the heck out of them, provided them every electric bill for 6 months, and daily average electricity consumption and solar production showing that I actually used more electricity in that time period due to solar variations and heating costs as we went into winter. I also proposed a mathematical approach based on EPA ratings that made the calculation much easier. Using that formula made the financial loss easier to understand and they cut me a check for $238. Win!

    Second, I had read about inherent diminished value and decided I would research it. After having been in a car accident, you car is worth less even after it has been repaired. Another way to explain this is on the used car market, two identical cars, one with no accidents on CARFAX and one with $13,000 of repairs, the buyer will expect a discount on the car that has been in an accident. Certain conditions must be met to pursue diminished value in Oregon, the biggest one being that the other party must have been deemed 100% liable, as it was in my case. I immediately contacted a 3rd party automobile appraisal company in the area to oversee the repairs to ensure that they were completed to industry standards and to assess the inherent diminished value of my car. I received his report 6 weeks after my repairs were completed and submitted it to the liable insurance company, demanding $15,000 + cost of the appraisal. They ignored me. A month later, I consulted with an attorney and he explained that I had two options:

    1. Pursue the full $15,000 in court. By the end of it, I might end up having to pay $5,000 or more in attorney fees and there is always the possibility that I would lose (though unlikely), and still owe attorney fees. Additionally, in these cases, they typically will average the estimates of lost value. So, I might end up with a settlement of $7500 and still owe $5000 in attorney fees.
    2. Reduce my demand to $10,000 and trigger the ORS 20.080 statute hoping that they either make a full or competitive offer up front or we beat them in court which is likely an average of my demand and their offer, in which case I get all of my legal fees as well. This statute is designed to encourage defendants to make their absolute best offer up front to avoid litigation.

    I’m not a litigious person, but I really felt strongly that this was worth pursuing, so I decided to reduce my demand and get the protection that ORS 20.080 provides on my side, hoping to wrap it up quickly.

    Along the way, his insurance company tried every trick in the book. They claimed my accident occurred in Texas since that’s where my insurance company was located. They required me to allow them to inspect my vehicle. They accused me of not getting the car repaired. They denied my claim for “lack of cooperation,” etc. They literally tried anything to derail my efforts. I’m sure they were hoping I would give up along the way, which may work with some people. Not this guy.

    Once I told them I was going to pursue this matter under ORS 20.080, they had 30 days to make their best offer. They did not make any offer in that time period, which is the same as an offer of $0. At this point, I reached out to a lawyer, sent him the details and he took it with gusto. He handled all of the communication from that point forward. Ultimately, he was able to reach a settlement higher than my demand and he got attorney fees on top of that. Win!

    Yes, the past year was a headache and it was a real bummer to have to deal with this whole thing. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the accident and the little guy actually came out on top, which doesn’t happen very often. For those that have been in an accident, be sure to investigate the laws in your state to see if you can pursue inherent diminished value. Be patient and document everything. It might just be worth it.

    The liable insurance company didn’t request that I sign an NDA, despite asking if they wanted me to sign one. So…here I am, sharing this information for all to see.

    Key Players:
    My insurance: USAA
    His insurance: Allstate
    Repair shop: Artistic Autobody
    3rd party appraiser: David Smith with Auto Damage Experts of Oregon
    Lawyer: Tim Quenelle, PC, Attorney at Law
     
    • Informative x 14
    • Like x 9
    • Helpful x 2
  2. agtdDelirium

    agtdDelirium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Colorado
    It's unfortunate that we have to go through this kind of headache. Diminished value should be mandated by every state as part of an original settlement.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Love x 1
  3. FoxSTL2HOU

    FoxSTL2HOU Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Messages:
    288
    Location:
    HOU
    Your timeliness is amazing - I have a post almost exactly like this ready to share as soon as the moneys are deposited in my account!

    A few questions (since I speak to these points in my upcoming post)...

    Assuming the car was legally drivable in an unrepaired state (given the 65 rental days vs the many weeks of repair)?
    Was the rental done through your claim with your insurance company and then subrogated, or with the other company directly?
    What was the cost difference between first repair estimate and final invoice?
    Did the insurance company hire/generate their own DV appraisal?
    What was the legal timeline, i.e. number of days from signing with lawyer to having funds deposited?
    Can you share how close to the $10k cap you got?

    Thanks.
     
  4. pdxgibby

    pdxgibby Software Engineer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Messages:
    594
    Location:
    Tualatin, Oregon
    My car was legally drivable in an unrepaired state.
    My insurance company provided the rental and it was later subrogated.
    Cost difference between initial estimate and final bill was < 5%.
    The insurance company did not hire or generate their own DV appraisal. I refused to let them inspect my vehicle which is when they made the cardinal mistake of saying they would deny my claim for "lack of cooperation." Okay! Now, I get legal fees too. Thanks!
    Legal timeline was maybe 2 months (including the 30 days waiting for their best offer)
    I got about $10,800, which was hilarious to both me and my attorney. Given our demand was $10,000, having them offer $10,800 was either another strategy on their part to tell my attorney to take his fees out of that amount (it didn't work) or a mistake on their part.
     
    • Informative x 3
  5. MyWifeandI

    MyWifeandI Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Phoenix
    Your car had an approximate trade-in value of $75,000 or more at the time of the crash. From your description there were structural repairs done meaning either a unibody pull or replacement of the rear body panel, quarter panel, floor, etc. Our experience both personally and hearing from others is that structural damage (or air bag deployment) will cause most cars to lose about 35% of that value which would mean your cars diminished value is well over $25,000. Why do you feel that $10,800 was such a great settlement amount? I didn't check your loss of use figures but FYI it should have been approximately $125/Day (long-term rate) times the number of days you were without the car.

    I want to add, if there were no structural damages then $10,000 was indeed a good settlement amount as 10%-15% of the pre-accident trade-in value would be normal.
     
  6. pdxgibby

    pdxgibby Software Engineer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Messages:
    594
    Location:
    Tualatin, Oregon
    There was no structural damage. Impact was at 20mph.

    Items replaced:
    Bumper cover
    Rear hatch
    Rear valance (under bumper)
    Lights
    Trim pieces

    What made the costs higher was that the car had to be re-PPF, and ceramic coated for the painted panels.

    I do think my settlement was fair and reasonable.
     
  7. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,684
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    Congrats for your success and also your patience. We had a DV claim that went all the way to small claims court. We won 100% of our asked amount, though in TX we couldn't recover attorney's fees, so that cut into our award. I'm with agtdDelirium, too, it's a shame we have to battle like this to get diminished value reimbursement. Insurance companies suck.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. Debani

    Debani Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Lincoln City, OR
    Your timing is perfect and glad to hear the results. My Model 3 got hit twice in parking lots, both at fault drivers were insured. Working with David at Auto Damage Experts also because it is impossible to get information on the car value by yourself. Artistic Auto Body folks have become very good friends but last time I was there told them I hoped to never see them again (for business purposes anyway). Some awesome things happening there with their Tesla repair setup. Loss #1 just filed in small claims, loss #2 is with an attorney. You are absolutely correct about delay tactics and lack of cooperation from insurance companies. The posts here were encouraging at this stage of the game. Thanks for reporting on this topic.
     
  9. meomyo

    meomyo Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    colorado
    what a nightmare. I hope our model s never gets in an accident.
     
  10. l1028

    l1028 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    Great Post! simply Invaluable...
     
  11. isracing

    isracing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2019
    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Bravo to you for coming out on top.

    Actually have a similar story which I'll preface with "Insurance companies are the scum of the earth and have no other desire than to screw you over"

    What actually landed me on this forum was a result of my 2016 Accord Touring coupe being totaled. Parking lot incident with a large U-Haul truck being driven by some young adult (25ish) not knowing how to drive and he took out my car. The minute I saw damage to my car I my mind was made up that I did not want to own the car any longer. I refuse to own and drive a wrecked repaired car as I just purchased the car 6 months earlier with only 16k miles on it and under factory warranty til july 2020. Never the less, I went to my shop to start the process of having them total out my car, damage was 18k without tearing anything apart which I was certain they would total out. Fast forward to their adjuster coming out to asses my car and tell me "my estimate is only 11k, it's fixable take it to the shop and most likely they will have a supplemental we will pay" So he low balled my car to make it repairable when I told him I do not want the car and demanded they total it out.

    Rather than bore you with all the details, I'll fast forward to they would not total it, so I opened a claim with my insurance, they waived my deductible and totaled it out with ease. I made 9k on the car since I got a smoking deal on it, insurance companies only play nice if they are not footing the bill. If you ever have an issue with an at fault company and you're not getting the result you want, go with your company.

    Oh and the manager on their side brought up diminished value and told me I could pursue that after the car was fixed. I said hell no, not an option... and glad it got totaled out because if I would have had to go through all that crap I'd be very unhappy.

    I guess 18k repairs on a 25k car vs 18k on a 80k car it would be very hard to have a Tesla totaled out unless it was majorly wrecked. Hope nobody hits me once my MS comes in.

    One last note, I have OEM endorsement on all my vehicles so they don't use crappy repop parts if I ever have an accident, not sure that there are aftermarket parts for Teslas but the at fault company would not quote OEM parts on their estimate because "the guy who hit you doesn't have that coverage" from what they told me.
     
  12. PeteBend

    PeteBend New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Lake Oswego, OR
    pdxgibby, thanks so much for your very informative post. You're a rock star for going the distance and getting it resolved positively.
    I'm in Lake Oswego, had a fender bender in stop-n-go traffic in Sandy, dropping my 2017 Model S at Artistic tomorrow. I'm taking note of your fit and paint issues, and will be careful to make sure Trey et al stay on top of it.
    I have XPel full wrap, I used 503 Motoring. Who did you use?
     
  13. nas1957

    nas1957 Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Georgia
    I was wondering if you had pictures of the damages done to your car. I love my Model S, but I too suffered an accident in it last November. At first glance the damages mainly looked superficial, but the bill ended up being 19k and took three months to complete the repairs. My wife had the accident and it was basically her fault but no other vehicles were involved. We also have USAA for insurance. I got diminished value but no where near what you recieved for your car. I could have fought it but didn't since it was no other vehicle involved and it was my wifes fault. I got USAA to give some but not a lot. Never-the-less, having a accident in a Tesla is a nightmare in time to repair and money.
     
  14. pdxgibby

    pdxgibby Software Engineer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Messages:
    594
    Location:
    Tualatin, Oregon
    I used TCT Wraps in Hillsboro. Owner is a Tesla owner and super good guy. He has done all of my Tesla’s.

    Good luck with your repair. Trey is great and they didn’t do a bad job...I’m just really picky. :)
     
  15. Impala1ss

    Impala1ss Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Messages:
    169
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    You stated "I requested reimbursement from my insurance company and they said I would have to work with the liable party’s insurance company."

    Do you know why USAA made you personally deal with the other insurance company regarding DV and made you go through all the arguing and pain with other Ins. company's attempt to deny you the DV? I thought it was their duty to handle claims for you?
     
  16. MyWifeandI

    MyWifeandI Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Phoenix
    The independent appraisal company we used went to bat for us and provided excellent guidance but it is the car owner's responsibility to move things forward once the insurance claim stalls.
     
  17. VT_EE

    VT_EE Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Messages:
    1,743
    Location:
    Maryland
    Geico told me the same thing. I have to go to the at-fault’s insurance company for the DV claim.
     
  18. Bob M

    Bob M Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Antioch ca
    Thanks. I learned something.
     
  19. pdxgibby

    pdxgibby Software Engineer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Messages:
    594
    Location:
    Tualatin, Oregon
    I was under the same impression as you. I assumed that USAA would handle everything. I asked them to reimburse for gas costs and they said that isn’t something they will reimburse, and I needed to pursue with the liable insurance company. As far as the DV, your insurance will not pay for DV (unless you live in Georgia, I believe).

    Anyway...I have no idea why it stalled there. I wish I had a better answer for you.
     
  20. mike25

    mike25 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Seattle
    Anybody has experience with DV claim when the insurance company is the same for the at fault driver and you?
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC