Losing the use of your dream car after a car accident can result in a claim for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Also, there could be an ICBC claim for accelerated depreciation of your vehicle, over and above the personal injury claim. As we explain, these claims can be made as part of a personal injury tort claim but require expert and direct evidence. Making this claim may increase the overall value of your case.
In the following case the claimant was awarded $15,000 for loss of use of his Ferrari.( Miller v. Brian Ross Motorsports Corp.,2015 BCSC 1381)
The claimant pointed out that if he had rented a replacement Ferrari, he would have been entitled to special damages for incurring that cost, which was for a seven month period. The claim was for general, also call non-pecuniary damages, for loss of use. As the judge pointed out at para 60:
The doctrinal underpinnings related to general damages are distinct from special damages. Special damages are awarded to compensate a plaintiff for out-of-pocket expenses and generally are calculable monetary losses. In contrast, an award of general or non-pecuniary damages is intended to compensate the plaintiff for more intangible losses and is not a matter of precise arithmetical calculation.
In assessing the claimant’s loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities, general damages, the court must tailor a money award that is reasonable and fair as between the parties. In the case of the damaged Ferrari the court assessed the claimant’s damages for loss of use of the Ferrari during the Material Period as $15,000.
In a more modest case, the claimant’s 2006 Toyota Matrix sustained damage that cost $9,282.46 to repair. The ICBC claimant became frustrated with repeated trips to the auto repair shop and they traded it in at a dealership. An Accelerated Depreciation Assessment Report, stated that the result of the collision repairs upon the vehicle’s Actual Cash Value was accelerated in terms of depreciation by Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars [$2500/Cdn.] plus applicable taxes. Such losses can also include a “loss of use and the inconvenience of having to return the vehicle on several occasions”.
The court was satisfied that the claimant suffered these losses. Their claim for damages for accelerated depreciation and loss of use of $2,500 was allowed in full. (Rutter v. Adams,2016 BCSC 554). The expert opinion was critical in determining how much money should be awarded.
Posted by Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.