What can you do when someone causes a car accident that reduces the value of your vehicle? In British Columbia, if your vehicle has been damaged and the repairs cost $2,000 or more, this must be declared to any potential purchaser. Significant damage and repairs often result in a vehicle being worth less than it would have been had the vehicle not been damaged. Most recently, a claimant was awarded over $20,000 for the accelerated depreciation after a car accident: Chiang v. Kumar and Sharma, 2018 BCPC 127.
This is a legal concept called “accelerated depreciation”. On top of any claim for injuries, if your vehicle was significantly damaged and it has not been deemed a ‘total loss’ vehicle, it may be worthwhile to pursue a claim for accelerated depreciation.
In order to qualify for a claim for accelerated depreciation after a car accident the following criteria must be met:
- you were not at fault for the accident; and
- you must be able to prove that the vehicle is now worth less.
Although ICBC or the lawyer they hire may argue otherwise, you do not need to sell your vehicle to confirm the value of the loss: Cummings v. 565204 B.C. Ltd., 2009 BCSC 1009.
At Pacific Law Group, as part of your personal injury claim, we will investigate whether you also have a claim for accelerated depreciation (at your request).
If you have been in a car accident in Vancouver, BC or the Lower Mainland and you feel like the value of your car has been reduced due to a collision, contact Pacific Law Group to discuss your claims.
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