Loss of Use Claim
A person whose car was damaged in a California car accident is entitled to recover damages for loss of use of a vehicle which includes damages for the loss of the use of the car during the duration of the repair if the car is a total loss until it is replaced.
Generally, the loss for the damaged vehicle is often measured as the cost of a rental car, excluding insurance or sales tax, during the period.
If the person did not obtain a rental car, then the loss of use would be a per diem charge (usually between $15-$40.00 per day) from the date of the accident until the property damage offer was made by the at-fault party. Our San Diego car accident lawyer routinely asks for loss of damages when clients obtain a rental car, or if they do not obtain a rental car.
Recover Damages for Diminished Value in Car Accident
A damaged car is naturally worth less than its original value, which was diminished by losses in the accident (because you would have to disclose the accident if you ever sold the car and were asked about the prior accidents, this diminishes the retail value of the car).
This could affect the value of your vehicle in case you are planning a trade-in or resale. However, interestingly, in California, there is no first-party claim for diminution of value. This means you cannot collect against your own policy for any loss of value that your vehicle has incurred as a result of an accident.
According to the court (Ray v. Farmers Ins. Exchange (1998) 200 Cal. App.3d 1411), once a vehicle is “repaired to its pre-accident safe, mechanical, and cosmetic condition, the first party insurance company’s duty is discharged.”