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I need some advice(45 posts)

I need some adviceRode Warrior
Oct 30, 2002 7:20 AM
I was recently hit by a car (Dodge Durango), that damaged the frame of my bicycle. The insurance company is reluctant to buy me a new one, not to mention replacing the clothes that were damaged also. They want to give me depreciated value for my bike, and nothing for the clothes that I don't have a receipt for. I have serious issues with this position, since I was struck, and they have admitted liability.

Is it unrealistic for me to want my bike, and my clothes replaced with new? What experience does anyone have with this? I will be happy to answer any questions.

Thanks in advance,
Steve
never was hit on a bike...Steve_0
Oct 30, 2002 7:26 AM
but standard auto-insurance practice is to depreciate value. If you drive your brand-spanking-new car off the lot and are hit in front of the auto-dealer, you will NOT receive replacement cost...they will depreciate by book-value and/or mileage.

Seems resonable to me to apply the same to other types of vehicles....but theirs probably no common standard of depreciating bicycles (as there is for cars), so I'd just keep fighting them on a 'fair' depreicated value. If you cant get a fair price from the carrier, you can always sue the driver for the difference, and hope the judge agrees with you (though I think most judges tend to depreciate awards also).

As far as clothing, that should be covered (less depreciated value)
details?ColnagoFE
Oct 30, 2002 7:31 AM
Was the driver cited? Whose fault was it? If it was the drivers fault and they were cited you should get a new bike and replacement of clothes ruined plus probably some for pain and suffering. Were you injured other than road rash? If so that complicated things more. You probably won't get around the depreciated value for the bike, but you can get a estimate at "full price" from a good LBS that will get you close to a new one. If they play hardball with you consider getting a lawyer and I bet their tune will change quickly since they are going to be out a lot more $ with a lawyer involved. A lawyer should take this in a second because if they other party admits liability it's an open and shut case for them, though there isn't as much of a need for one if you weren't injured badly, but it is an option if they won't work with you.
why a new bike?Steve_0
Oct 30, 2002 7:45 AM
I believe most states only require "actual cash value"; not "replacement cost".

BIG misonception and sometimes disappointing to receive the check.
"Believe" based on what?djg
Oct 30, 2002 8:51 AM
1) How many states do you mean by "most states"?
2) Is a survey of law in the various states relevant to the law of the state in which the accident took place? If so, how?
3) How do you know?
4) Does the poster's state law provide for a damages algorithm that churns out some particular value of award check that mysteriously arrives to be "sometimes disappointing"? (and sometimes not?)

Look, I don't know the situation or how it is to be resolved. Neither, I gather, do you. My suspicion is that if the poster was run down by a car or truck, and his bike actually trashed, he ought to be able to get a new bike.
"Believe" based on what?Steve_0
Oct 30, 2002 9:15 AM
Certainly, I have never surveyd the law of various states regarding requiements of insurance carriers.

I think common sense dictates this as being true; a totaled 1990 chevy blazer will not be replaced by a 2003 chevy blazer in most states (to qualify, by 'most states', i mean that i doubt anyone on this board lives in a state that does require this type of coverage).

I, like you, dont know the situation, but I do know that despite all the claims of 'youre entitled to a new bike', if the insurer did not provide replacement, they aint required to pay it.

I'm not sure what youre getting at with number 4, but I suspect you would be 'disappointed' if you had to pay any amount out-of-pocket to replace property damanged by another...which is usually the case with auto claims.
I think that you're confusing the relationship here.djg
Oct 30, 2002 10:51 AM
You say: "I, like you, dont know the situation, but I do know that despite all the claims of 'youre entitled to a new bike', if the insurer did not provide replacement, they aint required to pay it."

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I get the impression from the original post that he's dealing with the driver's insurer, not his own. If so, the driver's liability is not fixed by the driver's insurance contract, but by the facts of the case and the relevant state's law. Pragmatically, it's fixed by what a court says, if it comes to that, or by what folks are willing to settle for, if it doesn't. If that's right, it just doesn't matter what the heck the driver's insurance policy does or doesn't say about "replacement value" (I mean, there might be some sort of limitation on how much of the driver's liability the insurance company is contractually bound to handle, but that does not exhaust the question--and it's hard to imagine that any contractual limitation would be exhausted by the price of a new bike, even a real nice one). In any case, we cannot start with what the insurance company (via its one particular agent) has offered to do, up to this point, and reason backward to what they are "required to pay" as you seem to be doing.

I don't know that either one of us is in a position to give reliable legal advice over the internet here (to a stranger, in a strange land, about facts of which we are ignorant), but I'm getting the idea that you are jumping to conclusions and that it's at least possible that you are selling the guy short.
I think that you're confusing the relationship here.Steve_0
Oct 30, 2002 11:28 AM
The court's decision as to the DRIVERS liability is far different from the Insurer's Liability.... Remember, the Insurer is merely providing protection from liability for the insured; not accepting responsibility.

I can cover my property against lawsuit for 100k. That doesnt mean someone cant sue me for 200k. And THAT doesnt mean the insurer will be required to pay 200k if the plaintiff wins his case against me.

Likewise, If i'm foolish enough to limit myself to minimum auto liability (15k/30k in my state), that is the SOLE AMOUNT my insurance co. is liable for, DESPITE the extent of the damages. Any victim of my action can sue ME, but they cant sue my Ins. Co.

I view this devaluization (word?) to be along the same lines; the extent of damage was not covered by the agreement between the insurer and the insured.

We obviously have different opinions on the obligations of an ins. co. in this specific case. I'm sure there are judges and juries out there with the same differing opinions.

I'll agree to disagree; we'll see how our friend makes out in the end.

One last point, I agree I'm not in a position to give legal advice, and wasnt intending to do so.... the original poster solicited experience; and my (personal) experience has been the insurance companies routinely, and legally, devalue damaged property; that's not to say (as other posters have) that one couldnt successfully argue the inability to devalue.

peaceout
I think that you're confusing the relationship here.djg
Oct 30, 2002 11:45 AM
As I said in my post, there may be various limitations on what the insurer is contractually liable to provide for the insured. And yes, the injured party, if he has to sue, sues the party who injured him. Whether there is any insurance contract at all is another matter. Whether that contract requires the insurance company to defend the lawsuit on behalf of the insured (it probably does) is another matter still. The extent to which the insurer is to indemnify the insured is another matter still (although if there is a liability policy to begin with it's hard to imagine it would be inadequate to covering any award or settlement equal to the price of any ordinarily available bicycle). So far as that goes, we do not appear to disagree.

I still think that you are giving bad advice, even as you are taking great pains to justify it. That's all.
So there lies our disagreement;Steve_0
Oct 30, 2002 11:51 AM
I dont recall ever giving advice. My only pains were in trying to articulate to you my opinion; not a recommended course of action.
So there lies our disagreement;djg
Oct 30, 2002 12:59 PM
Perhaps that's it. I thought that, implicit in your opinion regarding the limits of liability, was advice about what to expect and, perhaps, what to (reasonably?) shoot for therefore. If I misread you in that regard, I'm sorry.

I still think the opinion unhelpful, but that is, of course, just my opinion.
you guys are arguing past each other. Steve, you are correctbill
Oct 30, 2002 12:02 PM
that you sue the guy, not the company, and djg (or, as I know him, DAN), you are correct that the contract between the insurance company and the guy will not determine what the guy can sue for.
I think that you're still both a little wrong, in your focus if not your substance.
There undoubtedly exist some differences among state laws for property damage recovery and for insurance. I daresay, however, and I'm not going out on too big of a limb here, that, for the issues relevant to our hero's problem, these differences don't matter. Laws just about everywhere are going to be the same. Trust me.
The measure of damages just about everywhere in the known universe is the lesser of the cost to repair the item to pre-damage condition or the value of the property before versus the value after. There are a few corollaries or exceptions to this rule based on whether there is in fact a genuine market for the item, as discussed elsewhere.
And, everywhere in the known universe, assuming that there is insurance coverage and a few other conditions to coverage, the insurance company not only will defend the defendant but will pay all damages the insured is legally obligated to pay up to the policy limits. The measure of damages is based on the law of damages and the rules for recovery, not the insurance policy language (except if the damages exceed policy limits). The "legally obligated to pay" clause pretty much removes the question of the measure of damages from the policy (other than as to limits).
We straight now?
Well yeah Bill. I was straight the first time.djg
Oct 30, 2002 12:12 PM
Thanks for trying to make peace, though.
"Believe" based on what?Steve_0
Oct 30, 2002 10:44 AM
Certainly, I have never surveyd the law of various states regarding requiements of insurance carriers.

I think common sense dictates this as being true; a totaled 1990 chevy blazer will not be replaced by a 2003 chevy blazer in most states (to qualify, by 'most states', i mean that i doubt anyone on this board lives in a state that does require this type of coverage).

I, like you, dont know the situation, but I do know that despite all the claims of 'youre entitled to a new bike', if the insurer did not provide replacement, they aint required to pay it.

I'm not sure what youre getting at with number 4, but I suspect you would be 'disappointed' if you had to pay any amount out-of-pocket to replace property damanged by another...which is usually the case with auto claims.
cost of new bike minus depreciation (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 30, 2002 9:01 AM
Even though I used the word depreciation, it's not correct.bill
Oct 30, 2002 11:19 AM
Depreciation would not be the proper measure. Depreciation is a technical measure of assumed value premised on an item's decreasing in value over time because of use. In reality, however, although depreciated value is meant to approximate market value, sometimes it is anything but.
The actual measure of damages, pretty much anywhere in the relevant universe, is the very practical and logical measure of the market value of the item before the damage against the market value of the item after the damage. Depreciation has nothing to do with it. If, for example, the market in an item has caused its value to increase, then you should get damages based on market value, not depreciation. If there is no market for the item -- that is, if you could not go to the marketplace and acquire the item or its equivalent, then you should be able to get replacement value.
For bicycles, you would argue to the insurance company that you loved this bike, that this bike showed the love and was specially maintained, that there is nothing out there like it, and that, even if you could theoretically find something with the same name, you have no guarantees of the frame integrity, etc. The adjustor's little pointed head will start to hurt, and you'll get your new bike.
replacement cost vs ACV relates to your own policyK-Man
Oct 31, 2002 9:50 AM
not for claimant damages! claimants are to be make whole 100%

KMan
details?Rode Warrior
Oct 30, 2002 8:04 AM
The driver was cited 'failure to yeild/oncoming traffic'.

I won't get p&s because Colo. has a medical bill threshold of $2,500, and my bills won't be that much. Injuries include bruises, abrasions, and a hematoma (big nasty lump on my elbow)

I am considering getting a lawyer very strongly, but I wanted to defer to the common sense of this board.

Steve
I don't know if you are giving a complete description of yourbill
Oct 30, 2002 8:16 AM
injuries, and you may not even know yet the full extent of your injuries, so, I am not trying to discourage you prematurely. Let it all sit and see what happens. But, unless you were riding a museum piece worth far more than any bicycle I ever have seen, no lawyer worth a sh*t ever would take this case. If you were able to find a lawyer, any lawyer, to take it, you wouldn't want to (a) have the lawyer that would take the case and/or (b) pay for this or any other lawyer under any circumstances, because any advantage the lawyer could obtain would disappear quickly in fees. The depreciated value would start looking pretty good to you.
Sorry.
I'm a little surprised at the insurance company, although they are within their rights. There are no readily available sources for used bike values, so you would think that they wouldn't quibble with you. Did you piss someone off?
Remember that it would be your burden to prove what you lost, and, unless you can establish to the Court's satisfaction that there is no market for your bike (that is, you could not replace the bike in the marketplace at the so-called depreciated value, because the depreciated value is a complete fiction if there is no bike you could buy), you're going to win the depreciated value.
Of course, if you went in with the new bike sticker, and the insurance company hasn't done their homework, you could win.
I don't know if you are giving a complete description of yourRode Warrior
Oct 30, 2002 8:46 AM
It's been almost a month, and I am fully healed. The CT Scan came back normal, and only the scars remain, although I am a bit skittish when cars come towards my left.

I didn't think I pissed him off, but he is going out of his way to give me as little as possible.

Thanks,
Steve
yeah this seems strangeColnagoFE
Oct 30, 2002 9:05 AM
most ins. companies would love for you to settle right away and the cost of a new bike--even an expensive one like I had trashed (Merlin XL.) It is small potatoes to them if they can avoid P&S and medical costs.
Lawyer.........?Rusty Coggs
Oct 30, 2002 8:22 AM
Consider what one will cost, unless you have substancial enough injuries and ligetimate damage claims to make it worth his while to take it on contingency.Even then if you win ,you get 2/3, the lawyer gets 1/3. Keep haggling the ins. comapny as their tactic is to lowball and hope you take it.
yeah without long term injuries it might not be worth itColnagoFE
Oct 30, 2002 9:07 AM
If you had broken something or needed PT then I'd say go get a lawyer right away, but as this happened a while ago and you'd lose more than you gain then I'd try to settle yourself if possible. Also without a big enough payout there won't be that many lawyers hot to take this on I would think.
details?TJeanloz
Oct 30, 2002 8:34 AM
Knowing a little bit more, we'll assume that the person turned accross traffic into you? Exact same thing happened to me, coincidentally, in the same state. I had no real injuries (though I did insist on going to the emergency room)- it was far less of a crash than most bike wrecks I've been in.

Your first tact should be: "It seems like I'm not really hurt, but the symptoms of a concussion could develop, so I'd like any doctors visits that might be related to this injury covered for the next two years".

They will reimburse you for the cost of a new bike. This is a no-brainer. The fact of the matter is that the bike is probably going to cost about the same as the ambulance ride, and you being a pain in their ass is going to cost more. Go to a good shop, have them quote out a repair/replacement, use that as ammo with the insurance company. In my role at the shop, I did a lot of these, and when push came to shove, the insurance always [over]paid.
details?Rode Warrior
Oct 30, 2002 8:50 AM
This is exactly what happened. I took the ambulance ride, and had a CT scan done, and I am trying to be a royal pain in their ass.

I went to a bike shop, and they were very helpful, even faxed the appraisal on their dime, but the ins. called them, and didn't like their answer. He is now trying to get a lowball estimate. Round 2 begins.
PITA53T
Oct 30, 2002 9:59 AM
Aha, you are already a pain in their ass. The only thing you can offer them now is a promise to stop being a pain.

When I was hit, not as badly as you were, the insurance company was more than happy to write me a check for $1000 to sign away my potential medical, pain and suffering, etc. claims. I had not seen a doctor or an attorney, and that's what ins. companies like to hear. In Mass, they aren't lible for P&S until $2500 in actual damages are ammased, but they still value a clean, low cost, disposition. They paid for the repairs to my bike at bike shop estimate prices (plus the cost of doing the estimate, $20) no questions asked.

You don't get something for nothing, you have to sign away your claims for medical and everything else before they start to be "reasonable" with the money.

If you want to play by the rules, you will have to take them to small claims court to get their attention. Replacement value is teh only thing that exists on a bike, since the depreciation rate is very very slow, I would argue close to 50 years, or 2% per year. How old is your bike?
GET A LAWYER. DONT EVEN TALK WITH THE INSURANCE!! (NM)onespeed
Oct 30, 2002 8:03 AM
Can't agreejtolleson
Oct 30, 2002 8:19 AM
...and I am an attorney!

This is what, maybe a $2000 claim? If an attorney is even willing to touch it, you'll pay 1/3 of your settlement (at least) plus reimburse his postage, copying, fax, and courier fees for demand letters or whatever it takes.

Give the insurance company your bottom line demand figure (don't break it out, who cares what items it is attributed to. They are, after all, having you waive all claims -- known and unknown -- as to possible physical injury). Make it reasonable.

If they won't do it, file an action in small claims court against the driver. Then if the insurer gets counsel and removes your case to a regular trial court, you may want to consider not continuing unrepresented.

But I can't concur in the advice that you run to a lawyer and not deal directly with the insurer. Contrary to popular opinion, insurers are not afraid of lawyers and you having a lawyer will not increase their offer.
It is true that insurers are not afraid of lawyers,bill
Oct 30, 2002 10:51 AM
and your having a lawyer will not, in itself, increase the offer. Good point. My clients often enough want to think otherwise, and I need to convince them that I am not a magician, just hopefully a reasonable voice and a competent advocate.
I have encountered several instances, however, where people have come to me unable to move the insurance company to reason on their own. In those instances, I have been fortunate to justify my fee (I won't take the case if I think that I won't be able to justify my fee -- so far, I haven't been wrong).
Insurance adjustors are not always out to screw you, it's true. Insurance companies on the whole, however, are evil. Often gratuitously so. Their stupidity sometimes costs them more than simple largesse would -- I can't tell you the number of cases I have had to litigate for a year to get a reasonable recovery that I would have taken on day one. End result -- costs them money and time (sometimes more than the case is worth), costs me money and time (ditto), and costs the system lots of wear and tear. Maybe not evil, but certainly stupid.
You and I have discussed this before. In my view, with exceptions of course, it is not plaintiffs but insurance companies who clog the courts.
another SUV driver nmalansutton
Oct 30, 2002 8:09 AM
re: I need some advicePaMTBRider
Oct 30, 2002 8:13 AM
Keep in mind that insurance companies are in business for one reason, to make money. They are not looking out for your well being. If you contact a lawyer keep in mind that an initial consultation is usually free. Since you will not have a pain and suffering claim, which means no big cut for an attorney, you will have to pay a fee for their services which may be equal to or greater than the difference the insurance will pay. Good Luck.
Unlike lawyers, Insurance companies are just in it for the moneySteve_0
Oct 30, 2002 8:34 AM
(sorry jtollsen, couldnt resist).
Some AdviceTJeanloz
Oct 30, 2002 8:21 AM
Without knowing the particulars of the accident, it's hard to know what leverage you have, but, having been on the bike shop side of this equation far more than I would have liked to, here's how it usually goes:

Bring your bike to a reputable shop, preferably who you bought it from, or a dealer in the same brand. Have them quote what it will cost to replace the bike (make sure they know it is for insurance). Every insurance company starts with the 'depreciated' line- tell them to stuff it, you want your bike replaced 100%, or you're going to sue them. They are responsible for putting your bike back into the condition that it was before the crash. Ask the shop to also quote what it would cost to repair the frame- (which will almost always be more than replacement). If they studder, tell them you're going to get a lawyer. Be nice about it- but make it clear that if they don't give you what you want, you are going to have a lawyer try to get what you want before you take what they're offering. Bring the clothing to the shop too, and get an 'expert' opinion on what it's all worth. You don't need receipts for anything- just an appraised value, or replacement cost (you don't have to prove you owned the stuff, just that they damaged it).
Thanks everyone, great info hereRode Warrior
Oct 30, 2002 12:18 PM
I appreciate everyone's responses and advice. I am still fighting the good fight, and hope to get my bike replaced. My person opinion is that if through no fault of my own my property is damaged, then that property should be replaced with like quality. I'll let you know what happens

Thanks,
Steve
What's wrecked? I don't believe that you ever said. nmbill
Oct 30, 2002 12:54 PM
What's wrecked? I don't believe that you ever said. nmRode Warrior
Oct 30, 2002 3:45 PM
Schwinn SS '97. It is an older bike, but lovingly cared for.
Thanks everyone, great info herexxl
Oct 30, 2002 12:59 PM
I was in a similar situation as you, and I agree with those who think you should get legal counsel. Granted, insurance companies aren't "afraid" of lawyers, and a lawyer's contingency fee does have to be paid, but that first consultation is free, and the lawyer will figure out pretty quickly if the case is worth it for both of you. Plus, most people really aren't very good at negotiations, and they're going up against skilled practitioners who do it for a living. While an attorney will cost, they generally do get greater awards than the self-represented, even when the cost of their fee is parcelled out.

Finally, can you state with absolute confidence that your injuries are completely better? I'm not advocating falsifying your symptoms, but soft tissue injuries do have a way of "developing" over time, and I'd want a doctor's OK before I settled. Example: A man I knew was injured in an accident, and settled with the insurer after about a month. A year went by, and he started developing serious neurological problems, which turned out to be a direct result of the accident. Unfortunately for him, his settling earlier shut the door on any more liability on the insurer's part, and he ended up having to pay some major (and ultimately bankrupting) medical bills. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

If you just don't want to screw with an attorney, you can always let the adjuster know that you are "looking for a good PI lawyer, unless we can come to some agreement sooner." It won't scare them in the least, but they do realize that they'll pay less in total if you don't see a lawyer, and sometimes this can get a balky adjuster to just cough up a few hundred extra to shut you up so he can clear his case.
re: I need some adviceSpoiler
Oct 30, 2002 12:56 PM
Where did you get the bike? How old was the bike? If you're lucky enough to have bought it new from a local bike shop, you can ask the shop to contact the insurance people. A court would consider the bike shop to be experts on replacement value.
Bikes don't depreciate in value in the same way cars do. Some frames have a lifetime guarantee. How many cars have a lifetime guarantee?
re: I need some adviceRode Warrior
Oct 30, 2002 3:49 PM
I bought it at my lbs, but then moved to another localle. It was a model year '97 purchased in '98. The bike shop has contacted the ins company, but the ins company didn't like the appraisal.
This might be the best betREPO42
Oct 30, 2002 10:47 PM
I have read the scenario but not all the post, so if I repeat someone don't sue me, please. First thing is the Insurance wants to settle it quickly. Costs more money for them handling the paperwork then this accident. They probably also don't want lawyers involved. Yes it costs them attorney fees too. Depending on your state you live in I think you are entitled to fair market value minus depreciation. Now here's the catch. Who is the insurance to think they know the slighest snot about bicycles? They know about cars, property, etc.... If you really want to play hardball, start seeing a chiropractor then a therapist, then call them and ask them if they are going to pay. If you have no previous history of any type of injury that you are now seeing a doctor for, you most likely will be able to get the Insurance Co. to pay. You may be able into pressuring them to want to bargain like picking up tabs for doctor bills and explaining you want to settle for a fair market price for all property damaged on your part according to estimates given. Once they think you are seriously injured they may want to cooperate more quickly. To all who read this if you ever get hit by a vehicle get a ride to the hospital in an ambulance and get a damn checkup...As soon as Insurance companines know you were in an ambulance they will want to settle.. Never, ever, ever walk away untill you are thouroughly checked by a medical doctor.. When you are pumped with addrelin you don't feel the pain. And basically if you ride home or walk they will assume the injuries were minor and it will be hell to get them to pay for anything..Now what you do is get estimates from a few bicycle shops. The bike store will be more than happy to assist you knowing that you may return to buy a bike from them...So the insurance company wants to play hardball with the estimates...Ok, then now you sue the driver of the vehicle!!! Find out the max of small claim court in your area and do not go over that amount... If small claims court in your area is max at$3000 before you have to have to take it to civil court then stay under that...You do not want to have to bring lawyers into this...Nor will they want your case, cuz you ain't busted up enough to make them any $$$ They could give a rats A#$^^$% about your bike... You would lose more dealing with an attorney then just going to small claims courtand representing yourself. This is a cut and dry case. Now you present your evidence to the judge..Explain you tried to settle out of court for a fair market value of the items damaged...Present him the estimates from reputable bike shops..
Remeber to include sueing for loss of work wages to be in court.
day care for child if needed.
gas mileage.
you may be able to sue for pain and suffering in small claims court. I'm not sure about that one...
remember you can't for any long term health conditions unless you started recieving treatment soon after the accident.
any fees the court charges for this fiasco.
doctor bills...everyone one of them.
and items damaged or destroyed according to estimates.
If the bike was custom built have a local frame maker give estimates.
Remember to bring receipts and pictures if necessary
Find the best picture of your bicycle you have...Judge probably doesn't know the difference between a Colnago or a Wall Mart special..Pictures speak a thousand words..
I wouldn't tell him how old the bike is unless he asks and if and when he does tell him it's only about 2 years old. and in immaculate condition at the time of the accident.
Well I goto to go for now...I am by no means a lawyer, but this is BS to the max...The whole concept is not to go in this with the attitude that I am entitled to a new something, but that I am entitled to fair market value for damaged property according to estimates given by reputable dealers....hope this helps....
More to add.....REPO42
Oct 30, 2002 11:00 PM
I caught the part that you did ride in an ambulance.. Wooderfull that everything came out ok... You can sue for pain and suffering but without major injuries you won't get much. I think the insurance companies have a value system they use to determine the price for payment on injuries...Like paralyis get way more then per say bumps and bruises. Stop calling the insurace...Take the driver to court as stated above...Let the judge determine how much you are entitled to according to receipts and estimates. Now what happens is once that amount is determined by the court the insurance will pay up according to his policy, and let say Joe Blow(the driver) insurance policy only cover $25 dollars for I think it's comprehensive damage(destroying someone elses crap), then the Joe Blow will have to foot the rest of the tab and make payments or whatever as determined by the judge....If I am wrong then shoot me, but I think this is how it works in most cases...hang in there bro...
Lots of good advice here.Len J
Oct 31, 2002 4:19 AM
Going thru the exact same thing currently as a result of the accident I had in late September. Here is what I have found/am finding:

1.) As someone else said, if you totaled a 4 year old Honda Accord, they wouldn't buy you a new one. You would get reimbursed for the current market value of the car destroyed. Same is true for a bike. That being said, you can do pretty well. I had a 2001 Trek 5500 with about 11,000 miles on it that was totaled. Frame and fork were both shattered. I paid $3,400 new, I can raplace it with a new bike for about $3,400, they have offered me $2750/ walk away or $2500 & I take the trashed bike. I'm taking the bike plus $2,500. I can salvage more than $250 worth of usable parts off the bike. If I wanted to, I could replace the bike by buying a 2001 used 5500 for around $2,200 based on a review of the classifieds. This sounds more than fair to me. Why should you get a bike in better shape (New)than what was destroyed (Used)?

2.) They do want to settle the claim as simply and easily as possible, they know the longer it drags out the more it costs them. Use this to your advantage.

3.) As many others have said, an attorney for this level of claim is a waste (If you could even get one to take the case). If they are willing to give you $2,000 now, with an attorney, they would have to give you almost $2,900 for you to "take home" $2,000 (After the attorney takes his cut). If you think you need $3,000 for a new bike, the Ins co would have to fork over $4,200 for you to take home $3,000 (after the atty cut. Who is going to give you $4,200 for a bike worth $2,000? or even worth $3,000? Be reasonable.

4.) It doesn't sound like you were hurt much, but I'd milk it (as someone else said) and use the threat of continued medical care to get the total settlement up. This is the only way IMO thaqt you will get what you want.

5.) Unlike many people, I don't believe that an accident should put you in a better position than where you were before the accident. Expecting to get a 2003 bike becuse your 1997 bike was destroyed is being greedy IMO.

Good luck & I'm glad the only thing hurt was the bike.

Len
I agree mostly...Rode Warrior
Oct 31, 2002 12:14 PM
First, thanks for the last comment, it is much appreciated.

Secondly, I agree, I shouldn't improve my position because of this accident. I would be happy with a similar quality product.

The problem is that after market value, and depreciation, I am going to have to spend money out of my pocket to reach the same level of quality that I had previously. This I have an issue with. I feel that my property was damaged through no fault of my own, and I shouldn't have to pay anything to get it replaced.

And I do see the validity of your point.

thanks,
Steve
Understand......Len J
Oct 31, 2002 1:35 PM
and I felt the exact same thing......until I really thought about it. In my case, I spent $3,400 for a new 2001 5500 in early 2001. Today I Could replace the exact same bike (A 2001 Trek 5500) for Between $2,000 and $2,300. What should I expect from the Insurance Co?

You said: "The problem is that after market value, and depreciation, I am going to have to spend money out of my pocket to reach the same level of quality that I had previously. This I have an issue with. I feel that my property was damaged through no fault of my own, and I shouldn't have to pay anything to get it replaced. " Why? Can you buy a used bike exactly like the one you had damaged for what the Ins co is willing to pay you? If so then your statement isn't correct, you won't have to pay anything to get it replaced.

I know exactly what you are feeling, I've been there. Check out what it will cost you to replace the bike you had damaged, same year, same model, same shape. Compare that and if what they are giving you is less then you have legitimate data to show them to negotiate more. If not, you are getting reimbursed.

Good Luck, anyway you cut it it sucks dealing with Ins companies. At least you weren't hurt.

Len
SMALL CLAIMS COURTREPO42
Nov 1, 2002 2:25 AM
Like I posted before..take the driver to small claims court with estimates of how much your bike is worth, and all the other stuff I listed above..The judge will most likely award you the amounts quoted from a bike store. The insurance company ain't going to budge.. Do what you got to do and include lost wages if you have to miss work..