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Inherent Diminished Value Settlement (Oregon)

pdxgibby

Software Engineer
Oct 30, 2015
600
717
Tualatin, Oregon
DV is always a matter of opinion. My appraiser said my DV was $15000. Our demand was for $10,000 so we could get attorney fees too.

The final DV was reached as part of a settlement. Attorney fees would have grown had it gone to court and Allstate would have ended up paying much, much more. They were motivated to settle.
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
511
296
HOU
...Attorney fees would have grown had it gone to court and Allstate would have ended up paying much, much more. They were motivated to settle.

I'll disagree with you here - my anecdotal evidence was the insurance company (figuratively) saying, "we'll spend as much on attorneys fees and deposition fees and filing fees as we need to, such that we don't pay you a dime."
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
511
296
HOU
DV is always a matter of opinion. My appraiser said my DV was $15000. Our demand was for $10,000 so we could get attorney fees too.

The final DV was reached as part of a settlement. Attorney fees would have grown had it gone to court and Allstate would have ended up paying much, much more. They were motivated to settle.

Took another look at ORS 20.080, and not to be that guy, but did your case resolve by settlement or arbitration? The difference seeming to be - you needed to be awarded money (above the 30 day offer, in your case, $0) by judgment or arbitration for 20.080 to apply. So if you settled after filing suit and Allstate still paid your attorney's fees, you really are a winner - I believe they weren't legally obligated to.

*cue OR attorney to explain otherwise*
 

pdxgibby

Software Engineer
Oct 30, 2015
600
717
Tualatin, Oregon
My case resolved by settlement. Allstate didn't want it to go to court...as my attorney's fees would keep growing the longer this process went on. They recognized that they were screwed because they made no offer to me within the 30 day window. My attorney explained all of this to them and proposed a settlement including his fees. They agreed after they realized that they would have lost in court.
 
Mar 26, 2016
57
35
PDX
Wow, I just had my rear bumper repainted at Artistic, and I was happy with the results. Got rear ended about a month ago, and it was pretty minor. Repair took about 4 business days, original quote from progressive was $650 and it ended up being about $1700.
 

mike25

Member
Apr 9, 2016
69
46
Seattle
You'll not receive any favorable treatment just for being a family member. You are simply another claimant to the insurance companies.

In my case 3 cars where involved in the accident as the car behind us was push into our car by the at fault driver and all cars have the same insurance company. The insurance company was quick and good to handle the accident and repair by not responsive for the diminished value this is why I asked the question. If I understand you answer correctly you say it shouldn't make a difference even if the company is pulling the money from the same pocket (theirs)?
 

ravich

Member
Jul 15, 2017
6
-3
Portland, OR
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
 

ravich

Member
Jul 15, 2017
6
-3
Portland, OR
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
 

ravich

Member
Jul 15, 2017
6
-3
Portland, OR
Thanks for posting this. I had similar problems, but the damage was minimal and got it done quickly and it was about 4000. But the Geico insurance refused to pay for labor. Oregon state was of no help. I had to fight then thro' mu insurance company who paid and got the money back from Geico. Geico showed clearly they were one of the most fraudulent companies
 
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