The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 7, 2012

Alabama court sets new standard for totaled cars


Associated Press

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court has changed a 57-year-old standard on how commercial vehicle owners get compensated when their vehicle is totaled in an accident.

The court held in 1955 that an owner who recovered damages for the total loss of a vehicle could not also get damages for loss of the use of the same vehicle. The Supreme Court changed that Friday to say the owner could recover damages for the destroyed vehicle and for loss of use. However, damages are limited to a reasonable time required to find a replacement vehicle.

The ruling came in an appeal by Huntsville Cab Co. The company received compensation for a wreck that totaled a cab. But it also wanted to recover $7,000 in income lost while waiting a month for a replacement.