According to the decision of the Constitutional Court a real damage to a crashed vehicle should include not only price of the repair but also a decrease in the crashed vehicle’s value from the perspective of its potential future sale.


The Constitutional Court dealt with a question of compensation of damage caused to a crashed vehicle. The parties to the dispute were the owner of the vehicle, the wrecker and his insurance company. The owner claimed damages to the extent of the amount of the vehicle’s repair costs and the amount by which the vehicle’s value was decreased on the market with pre-owned vehicles due to the crash itself. The insurance company compensated only the amount corresponding to the price of the repair.

In the course of proceedings before the general courts it was stated that the compensation for real damage includes costs of the repair and it cannot take into account specifics of creation of the prices on the market with pre-owned vehicles. According to the general courts, including the Supreme Court, the difference between general price of the claimant’s vehicle before the damage and the price for which the vehicle could be sold after the repair does not constitute a real damage of the vehicle.

The Constitutional Court took a different approach on such case and cancelled previous decisions of the general courts. According to the Constitutional Court, in the event that only costs of the repair of the thing are reimbursed and not the difference in its market value, the thing does not provide the owner with the same benefit and the damage caused by unlawful act is not compensated to the full extent.

(Decision of the Constitutional court file no. II. ÚS 795/16 from 27 April 2017)