What often is very frustrating to the owner of a car involved in any accident is recovering full value for the vehicle’s loss.  The recent case of Financial Services Vehicle Trust vs. James Panter, et al., a 2019 Appellate Division addressed this issue.

In an extremely well written opinion by Judge Fisher, he noted that “property owners often seek compensation by presenting only evidence about the cost of repair.”  But there is often more to damages than just that.  A vehicle becomes less valuable “because of the stigma of having once been damaged… With the advent of databases such as CarFax, the consuming public now has the ability to learn whether a vehicle wears the ‘scarlet letter’ of an accident history.”

Experts on car values would typically then be needed to “persuade the factfinder with competent and admissible evidence that the vehicle’s value has been decreased by this stigma.”

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