How do you get full compensation from the insurance company for your bike repairs after a motorcycle crash?
Whether the motorcycle accident resulted in personal injury or just damage to your bike, the at-fault driver’s insurance company should pick up the bill. But will they?
Rest assured, every insurance company’s goal is to make money. They will fight for every penny, and they will either deny your claim or attempt to pay you much less than your claim is worth – you are not in good hands with Allstate, and State Farm is not there like a good neighbor…
Below, we will talk about compensation for bike repairs after a motorcycle accident:
- What full and fair compensation for your bike repairs should look like,
- What you will need to document the full value of your bike repairs and present it to an insurance company, and
- The difference between property damage (bike repair) claims and personal injury claims.
Bike Repairs: What is Full and Fair Compensation?
How do you get the other driver’s insurance company to pay full value for your bike repairs? If they don’t outright deny your claim, they are likely to make an offer that is far less than what you are entitled to for the damage to your motorcycle.
Get a Reliable Estimate for Your Bike Repairs
The insurance company might send an adjuster out to look at your motorcycle and estimate the repair bill, or they might want you to take your bike to a mechanic they suggest rather than your mechanic.
You are entitled to get your own estimate from a repair shop that you trust, and it won’t hurt to get a repair estimate from two or more places before deciding. Do some research on the repair shop, read the online reviews, and talk to other motorcyclists about their experience with repair shops before settling on a particular location.
If you ride a Harley Davidson, take your bike to a Harley Davidson dealership for repairs. If you ride a BMW, take your bike to a BMW dealership. It may cost more to use factory-approved parts and certified mechanics, but you are entitled to competent repairs. You are entitled to have your bike restored to the condition it was in before the crash or to have it replaced if full restoration is not possible.
Consider any extra work and custom parts you may have added to your bike over time, make sure the repair shop knows about any special considerations, and make sure any property damage settlement takes into account:
- Upgrades and improvements that you made to the bike over time,
- Custom engine work, forks, handlebars, mufflers, seats, or other parts,
- Custom paint jobs, and
- Any other custom work that you have had done to the bike.
If you have receipts showing any custom work that you have had done, provide them to the repair shop and insurance company before completing the repair estimate.
Diminished Value After a Motorcycle Crash
You are also entitled to the diminished value of your motorcycle after a collision, or “diminution in value,” but the other driver’s insurance company is not going to tell you this…
Most insurance companies will refuse to pay diminution in value at first, which makes it critical that you get an opinion from your repair shop, if possible, on not only the cost to repair the bike but also the depreciation in the motorcycle’s value caused by the collision.
Other Property Damage Claims
Other compensation for property damage that you may be entitled to may include the cost of any personal possessions that were damaged in the collision and loss of use of your motorcycle.
What Else You Will Need to Get Fully Compensated for Bike Repairs
When you submit your property damage claim, you will want to provide the insurance company with:
- A copy of the accident report,
- Photos of your bike before and after the wreck,
- Photos or video of the accident scene and wreckage,
- Statements from any witnesses when possible and if appropriate, and
- A repair estimate that includes any custom work you have had done to your bike and the depreciation in value caused by the wreck.
Filing a Property Damage Claim for Bike Repairs
Once you’ve gathered the evidence you will need to prove that the other driver is liable and to prove the amount of property damage that you suffered, file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company as soon as possible.
If the insurance company refuses to pay your property damage claim, you can file a property damage arbitration claim in either the county where you live or the county where the collision happened.
An arbitrator appointed by the Clerk of Court will then decide the damages that you are entitled to, which should include:
- Actual damages (including your custom work if it is documented),
- Loss of use of the motorcycle and cost of a rental vehicle if one was needed,
- Diminished value of your motorcycle, and
- Damages to property other than the bike (saddlebags or personal possessions that were on the bike at the time of the accident).
Property Damage (Bike Repairs) vs. Personal Injury Claims
The insurance company should assign a separate adjuster for property damage claims and personal injury claims.
In most cases, you will not need a motorcycle accident lawyer to make your property damage claim. But, if the insurance company refuses to pay your property damage claim or if you were injured in the crash, you should call a motorcycle accident attorney immediately for a consultation.
Questions About Getting the Full Value of Your Bike Repairs?
The motorcycle accident attorneys at the Boles Law Firm can help you to investigate your crash, gather the evidence you will need in court, negotiate with the insurance companies, and recover the maximum compensation that you are entitled to for your injuries.
Call us at 843-576-5775 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation at our North Charleston or Walterboro offices or send us a message through our website.