A. Whenever any person is entitled to recover for damage to or destruction of a motor vehicle, he shall, in addition to any other damages to which he may be legally entitled, be entitled to recover the reasonable cost which was actually incurred in hiring a comparable substitute vehicle for the period of time during which such person is deprived of the use of his motor vehicle. However, such rental period shall not exceed a reasonable period of time for such repairs to be made or if the original vehicle is a total loss, a reasonable time to purchase a new vehicle. Nothing herein contained shall relieve the claimant of the duty to mitigate damages.
B. Whenever any insurance company licensed in this Commonwealth to write insurance as defined in § 38.2-124 or any self-insured company refuses or fails to provide a comparable temporary substitute vehicle to any person entitled to recover the actual cost of hiring a substitute vehicle as set forth in subsection A, and if the trial judge of a court of proper jurisdiction subsequently finds that such refusal or failure was not made in good faith, such company shall be liable to that person in the amount of $ 500 or double the amount of the rental cost he is entitled to recover under subsection A, whichever amount is greater. If the trial court finds that an action brought against an insurance company or any self-insured company under subsection B is frivolous, or not to have been brought in good faith, the court may in its discretion require the plaintiff to pay the reasonable attorney’s fees, not to exceed $ 350, incurred by the defendant in defending the action. This section shall in no way preclude any party from seeking such additional common law remedies as might otherwise be available.
Code 1950, § 8-646.9; 1975, c. 478; 1977, c. 617; 1979, c. 499; 1986, c. 296; 1987, c. 116; 1989, c. 348; 2010, c. 343.