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Newer Vehicle Damaged in an Accident? Understanding Accelerated Depreciation

DBM Law Blog

BC drivers involved in motor vehicle accident will likely have insurance coverage through ICBC for repairs to their vehicle.

If your vehicle is determined to be a total loss, your insurance may pay you the cash value, or may pay for a replacement vehicle depending on the age and condition of your vehicle and the coverage you have in place.

If your vehicle is considered repairable, then for vehicles with repairs over $5,000, the vehicle may have also depreciated further in value despite repairs due to a reduction in desirability and value in any resale/wholesale trade or any open or closed lease situation.

For newer vehicles suffering significant damage in an accident, the depreciation may be accelerated in that the value of the vehicle has depreciated faster than otherwise would be the case given the extensive repairs made after the accident and the stigma that goes with it.

For example, a vehicle with no accident history is more attractive and deemed more valuable on the marketplace than a vehicle with an accident history.

Where two vehicles both have accident histories, the one with the least amount of repairs or accidents would be preferable to a vehicle with more extensive repairs or more accidents, all other factors being otherwise equal.

These marketplace factors will bear on the value of a vehicle after an accident and may form the basis for a claim for the value of the additional loss caused by the accelerated depreciation of the vehicle over and above the repair coverage you receive.

The newer the vehicle and the greater the extent of repairs, the greater the potential loss may be for the owner.

If you suffered injury and are not at fault for the accident, you may be able to add this accelerated depreciation claim to your injury claim action and have your injury lawyer proceed with both claims on your behalf.

When making such a claim to ICBC, an expert report assessing the loss is usually required to prove the claim.

To consider your claim for injury, loss, damage and/or accelerated depreciation from a motor vehicle accident, contact us for a free initial legal consultation.


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