The owner of a vehicle damaged in a road collision is entitled to compensation equal to the cost of repairs of the vehicle carried out using original parts

The owner of a vehicle damaged in a road collision is entitled to compensation equal to the cost of repairs of the vehicle carried out using original parts

The judgment of the District Court in Gniezno of 30 June 2021 allowed the claim of a Client of the Law Firm who, as a result of a road collision, demanded that the insurer of the perpetrator of the accident should pay him the amount constituting the difference between the value of the damage to the vehicle acknowledged by the insurer and almost four times higher value of the repairs resulting from a private expert’s opinion.

Following the position presented by the Law Firm, the Court held that the principle of full compensation requires that elements identical to those which were damaged be taken into account in the process of redressing the damage. This idea is fulfilled to a greater extent by repairing the vehicle with original parts than by using only spare parts that do not come from the manufacturer.

Importantly, the District Court in Gniezno agreed with the claimant’s position that, as a rule, the amount of compensation due does not depend on whether the injured party actually repaired the damaged vehicle or on the manner in which the repair was performed (using a workshop belonging to the insurer’s repair network or a workshop selected outside this network).

Moreover, the Court did not agree with the defendant, who pointed to the lack of need to draw up an expert’s private calculation, requesting that the claim be dismissed as regards the payment on this account. As rightly stated in the grounds for the judgment: “(…) on the issue of reimbursement of the costs incurred for the private calculation, it should be noted that the injured party could hardly be expected to have expert knowledge of the cost of repairing cars and the necessary scope of repair of the car belonging to him. It should be concluded that the ordering of a private calculation by the aggrieved party was fully justified and the claimant should be reimbursed for the cost of its performance.

The defendant in the case was a leading insurance company in the motor insurance market in Poland. Importantly, the judgment of the Court of First Instance was not appealed and, as a result, it became final and binding. Michał Górski, barrister, represented the Law Firm in the case.

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