Legal Services

Classic Auto Appraiser takes great pride in having the experience, credentials and expertise to provide our clients with professional and competent vehicle valuation representation.

Expert Witness Service

Some of the more common scenarios that might result in the need of Expert Witness Testimony include insurance disputes, probate, divorce, various legal suites, tax purposes, fraud, finance issues or misrepresentation.

Remember, when you need to hire an expert. The key criteria you should be looking for is experience. Imagine a hypothetical situation where you were wrongly accused of murder. Would you be looking for a brash new lawyer with three to four years experience, or a more seasoned one with a reputation of success during the past two to three decades?

We pride ourselves on our automotive knowledge and expertise. We know how to present ourselves on a witness stand. What to say and what not to say! We do the necessary research and arrive at court dressed appropriately and fully prepared to professionally represent our client’s best interest.

Indeed, over the years we have been asked to be an expert witness in some high profile cases involving automobile values for various Federal government agencies, including the FBI and IRS. In addition, we have served many prominent law firms whose clients were involved in divorces, estate disputes, lemon law cases, purchase disagreements, and fraud.

Expert witness fees are a standard $250.00 per hour with a minimum of four hours billable.

Arbitration

Disputes over the values of vehicles often end up going to legal and arbitration. This usually takes place when one appraiser represents a vehicle owner and another appraiser represents an insurance company.

The most common scenario is an owner of a vehicle that was subject to an insurance total loss thinks his or her vehicle is significantly worth more than the amount the insurance company is offering to settle the claim. The vehicle owner and the insurance company each hire an appraiser to represent them and negotiate on their behalf to try to resolve the price difference.

Arbitration is a very time-consuming event that usually end up with the hiring of a third automobile appraiser, or an independent dispute resolution company, to act as referee at an informal hearing. In this arbitration, both of the opposing appraisers state how they arrived at their respective valuations, both show any supporting evidence they might have to back up that value, and the referee decides independently the value that he or she would put on that vehicle based on the information provided by the opposing appraisers.

The total out-of-pocket cost of this service is usually $1,200.00. This figure is broken down into two expenses:

Other Legal Fees

Deposition: $350.00 per hour (Minimum 4 hours)
Court/Expert Testimony: $350.00 per hour (Minimum 4 hours)
Research & Consultation Time: $175.00 per hour
Travel time: $150.00 per hour + *expenses
Full days travel : $2,000.00 per day + *expenses

Legal fees must be paid in advance, in the form of a retainer that will be replenished as necessary.
*Typical expenses might include coach air fare, gasoline, taxi or economy car rental, a moderate nightly hotel rate and a $50.00 per day allowance for food.
A ‘Full days travel’ is defined as a day when travel time is so extensive that no other work can be completed during the normal 8 hour work period.