Claiming for Accelerated Depreciation ? Make Sure You Have An Expert Report

In Kapelus v. Hu, the Plaintiff was injured in a rear end collision, and brought an ICBC claim for damages for pain and suffering, cost of future care, and other heads of damages, with one of these being a claim for accelerated depreciation. The Plaintiff was claiming that the value of her car, although it had been repaired, would have a lower resale value in the future, given that it had been in an accident. The trial judge disallowed the claim for accelerated depreciation on the basis that the only evidence as to the reduction in value was hearsay evidence in the form of offers to purchase from third parties. The British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the trial judge, ruling that the hearsay evidence was inadmissible. The decision highlights the importance of obtaining an expert report with respect to attributing a value for accelerated depreciation.

[24]         Finally, I should say that the argument advanced by Mrs. Kapelus, that the judge erred in rejecting evidence of the loss in value of her vehicle, based solely on her report of offers to purchase the vehicle, is without merit.  The judge ruled that Mrs. Kapelus’ evidence, that third parties had been prepared to purchase her car at a certain price prior to the accident, was hearsay.  I accept this ruling: it is hearsay and it is not rendered admissible under the business records exception in the Evidence Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 124.

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