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Diminished Value + Loss of Use in Florida

Diminished Value + Loss of Use in Florida

Hi!
I need some help with diminished value and loss of use claim here on my 2015 Model S P90D! I went through many of the forum posts and that gave me a lot of knowledge regarding the topic. So thanks to the regulars on the forum!
I was rear ended on 14-Jan-19 by a driver with USAA policy. Their insurance has claimed 100% liability. Car is still being repaired almost 40 days later and I am driving a Chevy Impala in the meantime. Ugh...
Through the help of these forums, I reached out to St. Lucie Appraisal company to get a diminished value report and the total diminished value came to around $25k because they had to replace the rear floor panel and this is considered structural repair according to Tesla. The repair costs are estimated at 8k which actually isnt too bad for a Tesla.
USAA has been a pain so far dealing with diminished value claim and I am looking for some lawyer help with filing both DV and loss of use claim. Anyone know lawyers experienced in this area in Orlando, FL? Anyone dealt with USAA in FL before? Any tips/suggestions and lawyer recommendations in central florida would be very helpful!

Thanks!!

EVRider | February 21, 2019

Not familiar with this type of case — what are you hoping to get out of it?

pranesh1984 | February 21, 2019

Trying to get compensated for diminished value and loss of use. Diminished value is basically the lose in resale value because of the fact that the car has been in an accident. Most people prefer to buy a car without any accident history and expect a significant discount for cars that have been in an accident. This difference in resale value can be claimed from the at fault insurance company. Loss of use is essentially not being able to use my Tesla for whatever time it has been in the repair shop due to the negligence of the other driver.

Yodrak. | February 21, 2019

"I reached out to a few of the lawyers I found online and none of them seem eager to even take the case or think that there will be much coming out of this."

My guess is that this reaction should tell you something - probably not worth the effort (frustrating as that may be).

flight505 | February 21, 2019

I would buy a Tesla that hasn't been hit over one that has been hit, so value is definitely diminished. Your car may be a 2015 model, but it is still valued at more than most new cars. People that pay 50K for a car want a car with no excuses. I would go to a car salesman and ask him what the diminished value is and have him work up a figure for you based on his experience in the market. Let us know what happens.

akikiki | February 21, 2019

OP. I've never used Carfax, but what does Carfax say about your car?

awolusa | February 22, 2019

I have had experience with diminished value on one of my cars and there is no way your accident will have a diminished vale of $25k.
My car was worth a little more than yours and and is classified as an exotic. It had $15k damage including frame and structural rear pan damage and the diminished value was $7.5k determined by a diminished value appraiser
There isn't anything such as "loss of use" unless it is used commercially. It sounds like you have a car to use so there is no loss of use even if commercial.

steve.petry | February 22, 2019

DV claims vary by state, if you are a 3rd party claimant you have a better chance, but it will take time and money to recovery any money, and it will not be close to 25K, maybe 2K to 4K if lucky and you still have to pay the lawyer. Most lawyers will not handle this type of case, as there is no money in it.

Loss of use will not apply because I assume this is your personal car not a business car.

You are 100% correct in the fact that your Tesla will have to sell for less then an equivalent Tesla because it now has a accident report. Another possible problem, is most of the people that are looking to buy a Tesla are not the average car buyer and most will look elsewhere if an accident is listed.

Mathew98 | February 22, 2019

Both claims can be filed concurrently but the amount offered from the other's party will vary. You have to find a lawyer who specializes in DV to have any chances of success in getting anything close to DV claim. You can settle each claim separately.

Frank from St. Lucie is very knowledgeable and familiar with Tesla cases for several years now.

rxlawdude | February 22, 2019

"There isn't anything such as "loss of use" unless it is used commercially."

But there is a legal basis for a comparable substitute vehicle while the injured party was not at fault.

pranesh1984 | February 22, 2019

The DV appraisal was done by Frank from St. Lucie and his report is very comprehensive indeed. He has mentioned the names of the 6 dealerships he spoke to regarding the value of the car along and it also includes their contact information. I plan on going to the local Tesla center as well once I get my car to see what they will give me for a trade in and ask how the accident affects the value. I am in no way expecting the insurance to pay me $25k but I am also not going to settle for 1k or 2k. I will not buy my own car now for a 2k discount if I found a comparable car without any damage especially when I am putting down more than 50k.
As far as loss of use, as rxlawdude mentioned the insurance is supposed to provide a comparable substitute vehicle. The definition of comparable is where the grey area is. By the time I get my car back, I would have made 2 loan payments for my Model S which is as good as a 2 mortgage payments and all the while I have been driving a Chevy.
I havent made up my mind if I really want to go after loss of use by St. Lucie Appraisal does provide loss of use report as well. They go based on the cost of renting a Model S for the number of days I didnt have it minus cost of rental provided by insurance.

pranesh1984 | February 22, 2019

akikiki - I haven't checked carfax yet. Since the car is still in the shop, I want to give it at least a month or two after the repairs are done. I believe it takes that long for carfax to reflect an accident.

scottanes | February 25, 2019

I live in south Florida and had a similar experience. A large SUV backed into my 2017 Model S causing around 5K in damages to the front end requiring new bumper, new hood and trim. I found a legal team in West Palm Beach that specializes in diminished value claims and loss of use. My claim was filed about 3 weeks ago. Still waiting for a resolution. If interested give a call to Arlene at 561 640. 3555 and explain your situation. It sounds to me like you have a meritorious claim.

pranesh1984 | February 26, 2019

@scottanes - Thank you very much for providing the contact information!

f3rretus | February 27, 2019

@pranesh1984 - I feel your pain. 6/2018 my Model S was rear-ended. Took allstate 21 days to accept 100% liability even though I provided police accident report and pictures 3 days after accident. It took a total of 90 days to get my car back from the body shop. The rear floor panel, ultrasonic sensors, bumper, body work on tailgate came out to $10K. Today, I am still trying to get resolution on my claims for DV and LoU. I hired a company to provide their expert assessment of DV and LoU. DV came in at $25K and LoU came in at $16K. As for an attorney, my beautiful wife happens to be a Yale educated attorney - so no attorney fees, and she's smart as all heck. We will be dragging allstate into court soon.

Don't give up hope. Keep after them. Best of luck.

@evdriver - What he's hoping to get out of it is captured in his post. You may want to re-read it.

f3rretus | February 27, 2019

@yodrak - Wrong! It's totally worth the effort. Sometimes, all it takes is letterhead from an attorney to get their attention. In my case, allstate has already reached out trying to settle for $4.5K. I told them they need to think higher and if not then we will see them in court.

sp | February 7, 2020

I do know that having a legitimate appraiser for the DV is very important. Auto Mediator prepares a lot of the Tesla DV reports-nationwide.