I’ve battled with insurance companies recently over the loss of the use of my client’s vehicle. When someone is involved in a car accident and their car is out of commission it is a big inconvenience. The law in Wisconsin says that this “loss of use” must be compensated. It does NOT matter whether or not a rental vehicle was obtained.
So, let’s say Bob is involved in a motorcycle accident. His bike is a total loss. It’s sitting in his garage because the at-fault insurance company hasn’t come out to look at it yet. In the meantime he has to drive his “winter car”.
Bob didn’t suffer any out of pocket loss. He didn’t rent a vehicle or didn’t have to hire a taxi. But, he lost the use of his vehicle. He was certainly inconvenienced by the collision. The law says that the at-fault party must pay for this loss of use and inconvenience. (Hellenbrand v. Hilliard 2004 WI App 151, para. 34).
If you have questions about loss of use or loss feel free to call me. I’d be happy to help you. I’ll write later on about loss of value of a vehicle. (for example, if your new vehicle is in a collision it loses its resale value.)