Court Awards $4,000.00 For Accelerated Depreciation Claim

In Pan v. Shihundu, the Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident, and brought an ICBC claim for damages for pain and suffering, as well as other types of damages, including a claim for accelerated deprecation. The Plaintiff had purchased a new BMW for $30,000 approximately a year and a half before the accident, which caused over $18,000 in damages. The Plaintiff had attempted to sell the vehicle, however did not receive any offers, as he was required by law to inform prospective buyers that the vehicle had been in an accident. Counsel for the Defendant argued that claims for accelerated depreciation are valid at law, but require a heavy burden of proof. The Plaintiff adduced an expert report, which stated the value of the accelerated depreciation was $4,000, which the Court accepted.


[165] The plaintiff relies on Signorello v. Khan, 2010 BCSC 1448, and Cummings v. 565204 B.C. LTD., 2009 BCSC 1009. Signorello stands for the proposition that a vehicle need not be sold in order to demonstrate an accelerated depreciation loss (para. 29); see also Cummings, at para. 73.


[166] The defendants acknowledge that claims for accelerated depreciation are good in law. However, they submit there is a heavy burden on a plaintiff to adduce sufficient evidence to prove that accelerated depreciation has actually taken place. They rely on Miles v. Mendoza, 1994 CanLII 419 (B.C.S.C.), and Burrard Import Ltd. v. Budget Rent-A-Car of B.C. Ltd, 2001 BCPC 75. In Miles, the court noted that “difficulties of proof” arise where the car is not sold after the accident, as the depreciating effect of the accident declines over time. The court also said that expert evidence of that only spoke to the general “stigma” attaching to damaged vehicles was not sufficiently persuasive proof to award damages for accelerated depreciation: “it cannot be “assumed”, by virtue of the occurrence of an accident requiring extensive repairs, that a properly repaired vehicle has suffered accelerated depreciation” (para. 40).


[172] Second, even if one accepts that the standard from Miles still applies, I am of the view that the evidence tendered here does go beyond a “bare” opinion that the car has suffered depreciation due to a “stigma.” Mr. Scarrow based his valuation on a long history of appraising cars, including BMWs. He also relied on the Gold Book, a valuation guide, and market research that he described in cross-examination. The plaintiff also provided evidence that he had attempted to sell the vehicle at a reduced price following the accident and received no offers.


[173] I conclude that the plaintiff’s evidence is sufficient to establish accelerated depreciation in value for the BMW. I accept Mr. Scarrow’s figures and award damages of $4,000.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *