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Wreck Advice....(5 posts)

Wreck Advice....Jekyll
Sep 23, 2001 11:17 AM
Yesterday on the way to our club's weekly MTB ride some idiot ran into the back end of my car.
My bike (a 3 week old C-Dale Jekyll 3000) was on a trunk rack and its pretty much toast (main triangle has numerous dents, swing arm is bent to the side, the fork is dented, both wheels are toast - the only salvageable things seem to be the hubs, stem, bars, saddle and brake calipers).
The rear end of my M3 is bent in pretty good as well and I got some good whiplash in the process (but that's a different matter all together).
The guy claims that he did not notice that I had slowed down to allow a car I was following to complete a turn and plowed into me with his mid 90's F150. I had just let off the gas and let the engine slow the car down in gear - I did not even hit my brakes. He was cited for following at an unsafe distance. The sate of this affair is PA.
If anyone has been in a similar situation I would appreciate their input:
1. Will the insurance company bitch and moan about the fact that the bike was on a trunk mounted rack?
2. Will they bitch and moan about the price tag of replacing the bike (I purchased the bike new of August the 25th of this year and the shop has provided a receipt for the price of the bike with accessories and tax of apx. $4600). I would assume since the bike is only about 3 weeks old I should be able to get it replaced with a new one?
3. Will they want the old bike? Or will I be able to keep it?
4. How long does it usually take to get something like this resolved?
5. Is there anything I should do to make matters go smoother and more to my benefit?
If anyone has any answers to the above or suggestions on how deal with the insurance company please feel free to let me know.

Thanks in advance,

re: Wreck Advice....Cliff Oates
Sep 23, 2001 12:08 PM
This happened to me a year ago in June. Here's a web page I put up prior to negotiating the settlement with the at fault driver's insurance company: wreck page.

1. No.
2. A little. I would also get a statement from the shop indicating that the bike is not repairable. I itemized my costs for my bike to include any applicable shipping and sales tax. I attached copies of my receipts, and I told the claims adjuster that this is the amount I need to receive to be made whole. My bike was a year old when it was damaged. He cut a draft for the requested amount during our meeting.
3. They will most likely keep the damaged bike.
4. See #2
5. Just have your loss documented as best you can. Based on what you have said, you should be OK.

FWIW, I was hit by a customer of State Farm. They handled my claim so fairly, particularly in contrast to my own insurance company, that I switched my insurance business over to them.

re: Wreck Advice....Birddog
Sep 23, 2001 4:49 PM
They might be willing to sell you the salvage (your old bike) for a reasonable price. Make them an offer and they might accept. If you haven't already, get your injury checked out by an MD or at the local emergency room. Even if they give you an OK it will help your claim. BTW, insurance co's for the most part hate Chiropractors.
re: Wreck Advice....COlnagoFE
Sep 24, 2001 7:19 AM
1. Probably not though you gotta remember they are working to get you to settle for as little as possible. Do you have any medical probs or are you sure you won't? A F-150 can smack you pretty hard.

2. I doubt they will complain about the bike's cost. A car repair can often be much more than that. Just be sure you can document it. Get your shop to give you a replacement estimate (at full retail) to prove what it costs.

3. Depends. Most often they want the entire bike including accessories...maybe pedals, maybe even the rack.

4. Depends...longer if you get a lawyer involved although if there is any dount that the ins company is jacking you aroound get a lawyer. Assume everything you say to them from this point on is used as evidence to get you to settle for as little as possible. Don't rush to a settlement if you aren't totally satisfied.

5. Get a lawyer if it looks like there is going to be any problems with settlement. Don't sign or agree to anything quickly. Take pix of everything and don't mess with the bike or car before the adjuster gets to document it.
Target Fixationgrzy
Sep 24, 2001 8:20 AM
Sounds like a classic case of target fixation ;-) That's the phenomeon that pilots on bombing runs get when they stare at the target too long and run the plane into the target and score a direct hit with them and the aircraft. the guy was probably admiring your sweet Jekyll and since you didn't hit the brakes he didn't realize he was closing on you. I ride one myself and am sorry to hear about your loss. having been rear ended once (w/out bike) you should be OK. |A lot depends on your insurance company. Actuall HIS insurance company. You make the claim with yours' and they go after his.

1. Nothing wrong with the bike on the trunk - you weren't doing anything illegal and they sell zillions of trunk racks. I prefere roof racks, but they aren't fool proof either (i.e. pull into a garage with bike(s) on top...). Too damn bad for them - they'll have to pay.

2. they will try and chisel you down and depreciate the bike by some percentage. Take it too a good shop and have them document that the bike was like new.

3. You'll probably need to turn in the old bike, but there's a chance you may get to keep it. Ultimately it would be nice to have some spare parts, but who cares as long as you have a new bike. Right?

4. If YOUR insurance company is good they'll let you get the car fixed and buy a new bike right away. Some have a "direct repair" program - take it to one of their prefered shop and it won't cost you a dime out of your pocket. The bike will probably require a check and a documented appraisal.

5. Document EVERYTHING, especially phone calls, make sure they note everything on their computer system since you don't always get the same person and take pictures. Get the bike appraised and produce the original bill of sale. Tell them you want to buy the same bike from the same shop so that you get the good service from the LBS. Your LBS will be happy to sell another bike.

Finally if you're not happy with the settlement go after them immediately. Sometimes they try and "low ball" claims to see who is going to go away and who is going to stay and fight. Ultimately they'll pay -- especially if you ,mention that you're going to bring it up with your state's insurance commissioner.