If your vehicle has been damaged and the cost of repairs is more than $2,000.00 as a result of a motor vehicle accident, then if you choose to sell this vehicle you must declare the accident to the prospective buyer.  A damaged/repaired vehicle is considered less valuable with a lower resale value.

If your vehicle is worth less because of the damage it sustained in a motor vehicle accident, you may have a claim for accelerated depreciation.  In order to pursue a claim for accelerated depreciation against, you cannot be at fault for the motor vehicle accident and you must either own or finance the vehicle (you cannot be leasing the vehicle).

In order to have a successful claim for accelerated depreciation, you must obtain some proof that your vehicle has lost value as a result of the damage and repairs.  It is advisable to hire a qualified expert to examine the vehicle and the repairs conducted in addition to providing an opinion on the amount of the lost value compared to what the vehicle would be valued at if there was no damage.

In Jiwa v. Xu 2019 BCSC 680, the claimant advanced a claim for accelerated depreciation due to the damage sustained to his vehicle in an collision that was not his fault.  At the time, he was driving a new 2017 BMW 530i which cost $77,127.50.  The total cost of the repairs totaled over $31,000.00.  Taking into consideration the depreciation to the new vehicle when it was driven off the lot in addition to the loss of value as a result of the damage from the accident, $10,000.00 was awarded for accelerated depreciation.

Recently, a case on accelerated depreciation was decided online by the Civil Resolution Tribunal.  In Herriot v. Yuen BCCRT 1234 the applicant’s Audi sustained over $10,000.00 in damage in a motor vehicle accident that he was not at fault for.  Evidence was provided from his dealership and an appraiser about the decrease in the vehicle’s remaining market value.  Unsurprisingly, ICBC argued that there was no negative impact on its value.  The accelerated depreciation claim was accepted.

Please see our past blog article on accelerated depreciation if you are interested to read more.

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