The Case of the Crash of the Classic Car

Date: January 25, 2009

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Hawley, and Amos McCoy decided to take out his prize 1922 Ford Model T touring car for a little ride up Route 6 towards Milford. Amos cranked up the car and his wife, Sweetpea, joined him in the front seat, and they started on their way.

Unfortunately, “In A Rush Ron” flew through the stop sign at Routes 402 and 6 and caused a collision with Amos\’ vehicle. Fortunately, no one was injured but Amos\’ vehicle was severely damaged. Before the accident Amos\’ vehicle was 100% original parts and was in mint condition. It was estimated that the cost to repair the vehicle would be around $15,000 and Amos\’ insurance company offered him that amount. Because of the fact that the vehicle before the accident was in absolute pristine shape with all the original parts, the car was valued well over $60,000. Even if Amos had the vehicle repaired, because of the fact that many of the replacement parts would not be original, the value of the car would be greatly reduced to around $25,000.

Amos\’ insurance company took the position that they would only owe the amount to repair the vehicle and nothing else. Amos felt that he was owed both the costs to repair the vehicle as well as the difference between what the vehicle would be worth after it was repaired, which was about $25,000, compared to what it was worth before the accident which was about $60,000.

Question: Who is right?

Answer: In this case, Amos would get his full recovery. Amos\’ vehicle was a classic, and the insurance company would be liable for the difference for not only the repair costs, but also the loss of value of the antique automobile.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.