PDA

View Full Version : Legal Advice -----Motorcycle Accident


AR Footer
10-18-2008, 09:51 AM
I was involved in a motorcycle accident the last day of September. I was hit from behind by a pickup driven by a teenager. I was lucky that I did not receive any broken bones or cuts. The other partyís insurance declared the bike a total loss over a week ago. They have offered a settlement but I think the amount is too low. I have only had the bike for 2 1/2 months (just made the third payment this week).

I bought it because it was a bike in pristine condition (with the exception that it needed a new tire), low miles, and an extended warranty. Now that the bike is totaled there seems to be no value above what is considered Fair Market Value (FMV) for pristine condition, the extended warranty, or any other money that I was out in getting the bike. What is being offered is the FMV plus sales tax. With the offer that is on the table, I stand to lose about $1000.

I have looked for a like bike but there just arenít very many available, none that are close, and the ones that are available are out of reach on price since I will

The insurance company has only called me once. I have had to call them numerous times to find out what was going on. I received a letter from them yesterday telling me that I either had to release the bike to them to move out of storage, start paying storage myself, or move the bike myself. Of course, I am in the process of moving it.

I have tried to reason with them. I just want to be back in the position I was in before I purchased the bike. I want to settle and get this all behind me. I did not rent a car that they offered to me and at this point, I am not seeking anything other than my out-of-pocket expenses plus the cost of the bike. I have produced invoices that they requested to prove my losses yet I get no response.

Any ideas?

OhioX14
10-18-2008, 10:10 AM
Have you spoken to YOUR insurance agent yet? Even though the other party is at fault, if you have insurance you also should have an agent and a whole team of lawyers at your disposal that will go to bat for you since you're their customer.

I'm not an attorney, nor am I giving legal advise, but I would start there, and if you're not satisfied, call your own attorney for help. I realize you're not out to "stick it" to the other party or their insurance company, but it sounds like you're getting hosed instead of getting a fair resolution. Heck, they're damn lucky you didn't get seriously hurt or they could be on the hook for a LOT more!

Best of luck to you!

D3skier
10-18-2008, 10:24 AM
from my understanding this is what insurance companies do (no offense Monte) Provide the paperwork that you bought an extended warranty and any expenses you have incurred on the bike to show them that this is the bottom dollar of what you would be willing to settle for. Since you've only had the bike for 3 months you should be able to recover all the money you've put in to it with no question. I'd also suggest what OhioX14 suggested and contact your agent for further help. Also try finding a comparable bike from 3 other dealers and get a written quote from them for the cost of the bike to show this is what it will cost to replace the bike. Also if you have any pictures of the bike present them as well to show the actual condition of the bike to prove your case.

Glad to hear you're ok and didn't get injured in the accident. Hope everything works out...

rholmes
10-18-2008, 10:26 AM
How did they come up with FMV for the bike? Have you called to get a refund on the extended warranty or are they helping you with recouping the cost?

Generally when there is a discrepancy between what you paid and what they offer, it is up to you to come up with examples of what the bike is worth. FMV is what an average bike costs, not one in pristine condition. You need to find examples of bikes in the condition yours was in and provide them with those pricing examples. If you have documented proof of the condition of the bike pre-wreck, you need to show that too.

TMCNo1
10-18-2008, 12:04 PM
You meet the nicest people on a motorcycle, Lawyers, Doctors, Interns, and Undertakers!:rolleyes::D

Bruce
10-18-2008, 12:30 PM
As they put you through this you might suggest to them that you neck is starting to hurt! Not a stance I generally approve of but if they are truly not being equitable then---.

Hrkdrivr
10-18-2008, 01:58 PM
Glad you are OK. I just returned to riding myself after about 10 yrs and this kinda stuff reminds me why I quit back then.

Get a lawyer or get your insurance company's help, like suggested above. I had a car totaled by someone else years ago and their insurance company was the same way.

You need to deal with them as if you're selling them your bike. There's no deal until you agree to a price and sign the papers; they can't force you to accept a price, you and they have to agree. It's a pain in the a$$, I know...sorry for the hassle.

AR Footer
10-18-2008, 02:19 PM
Have you spoken to YOUR insurance agent yet? Even though the other party is at fault, if you have insurance you also should have an agent and a whole team of lawyers at your disposal that will go to bat for you since you're their customer.

I'm not an attorney, nor am I giving legal advise, but I would start there, and if you're not satisfied, call your own attorney for help. I realize you're not out to "stick it" to the other party or their insurance company, but it sounds like you're getting hosed instead of getting a fair resolution. Heck, they're damn lucky you didn't get seriously hurt or they could be on the hook for a LOT more!

Best of luck to you!

I have spoken to my agent and I was a little surprised at his response. He basically said that FMV was what they usually offered and that I needed to provide documentation of any other charges and they might reimburse those. He also said that the extended warranty and pristine condition probably would be lost because it is too hard to prove. He then said if I felt I wasn't being treated fairly that as a last ditch effort my neck and back might start hurting.

AR Footer
10-18-2008, 02:24 PM
from my understanding this is what insurance companies do (no offense Monte) Provide the paperwork that you bought an extended warranty and any expenses you have incurred on the bike to show them that this is the bottom dollar of what you would be willing to settle for. Since you've only had the bike for 3 months you should be able to recover all the money you've put in to it with no question. I'd also suggest what OhioX14 suggested and contact your agent for further help. Also try finding a comparable bike from 3 other dealers and get a written quote from them for the cost of the bike to show this is what it will cost to replace the bike. Also if you have any pictures of the bike present them as well to show the actual condition of the bike to prove your case.

Glad to hear you're ok and didn't get injured in the accident. Hope everything works out...

I sent them the paperwork last Tuesday and after not hearing from them I called on Thursday to make sure they received it. They confirmed that they had it but said that they would not have an anwser before Thursday afternoon. Thursday afternoon came and went and then so did Friday. Haven't heard anything and quite frankly I am getting tired of making all of the calls.

I have found comparable bikes but I haven't presented those yet. I can't find any in the same year model but even those that I do find are considerably more expensive as far as asking price.

AR Footer
10-18-2008, 02:29 PM
How did they come up with FMV for the bike? Have you called to get a refund on the extended warranty or are they helping you with recouping the cost?

Generally when there is a discrepancy between what you paid and what they offer, it is up to you to come up with examples of what the bike is worth. FMV is what an average bike costs, not one in pristine condition. You need to find examples of bikes in the condition yours was in and provide them with those pricing examples. If you have documented proof of the condition of the bike pre-wreck, you need to show that too.

I don't really know. I sent them a page out of a current NADA book showing that their number and the NADA average retail value were even off (NADA average retail being more).

I called to cancel the extended warranty and apply for a refund but since I am the second owner of the bike Honda denied the refund. Basically the insurance company said that the extended warranty had no value other than what was included in their FMV.

I am gathering all of the information that I can to prove that I deserve more. Hopefully my work will pay off. It just seems so unfair that I have to work so hard to get what is fair when I am the innocent party.

AR Footer
10-18-2008, 02:33 PM
Oh, and to add insult to injury, I went to pick the bike up today because the insurance company cut the storage fee payments off yesterday and I had to pay $418.68 of accrued storage fees and an estimate preparation charge just to get the bike back in my possession. I know that the insurance comapny will surely reimburse this part but it is on my credit card until we settle everything.

FrankSchwab
10-18-2008, 02:59 PM
Purchase 2-1/2 months ago should be sufficient to establish FMV, or at least establish the damage that you have suffered. NADA values, comparable motorcycles, etc shouldn't mean much so close to your purchase date.

Remember, the other guy's Insurance company has no relationship to you - you have no contract with them or anything else. They are there for the other guy. Don't jump through their hoops.

Have a lawyer send them a letter stating the damages that you have incurred, and suggesting that they should pay promptly and quit screwing around or a suit will be filed against them and their client to recover your damages and costs.

And, of course, as I am neither a lawyer nor involved in the insurance industry, this is JMHO and YMMV.

/frank

AR Footer
10-18-2008, 03:04 PM
Purchase 2-1/2 months ago should be sufficient to establish FMV, or at least establish the damage that you have suffered. NADA values, comparable motorcycles, etc shouldn't mean much so close to your purchase date.

Remember, the other guy's Insurance company has no relationship to you - you have no contract with them or anything else. They are there for the other guy. Don't jump through their hoops.

Have a lawyer send them a letter stating the damages that you have incurred, and suggesting that they should pay promptly and quit screwing around or a suit will be filed against them and their client to recover your damages and costs.

And, of course, as I am neither a lawyer nor involved in the insurance industry, this is JMHO and YMMV.

/frank


I agree totally. I am not wanting to get an attorney involved but it is leaning more and more that way every day that I have to wait to get this settled.

Monte
10-18-2008, 03:37 PM
An attorney is only going to take about a third of what you can get on your own. If you are not hurt the best thing to do is keep a reasonable head about it. Talk to the adjuster, and come to a reasonable agreement with them. You can ask for the money it would have cost you for the rental car. As for the 418.68. That is awfully high for a storage fee for one day. Take that receipt to the adjuster and let them reimburse you for it. Just because they cut off the storage payments, that doesn't mean you have to pay the whole thing. Find out what the daily rate is. I suspect however since you went to get it in a timely manner they will probably stroke a check for the entire amount. They want your claim off of their desks as bad as you want it settled. Just talk reasonably with them and it should work out. You get more flies with honey:twocents:

bigmac
10-18-2008, 03:38 PM
Consider waiving the insurance company's offer and take the driver to small claims court.

Footin
10-18-2008, 03:59 PM
Tell them your neck and back are kinda starting to hurt...they will want to close this case as soon as possible.

FrankSchwab
10-18-2008, 04:31 PM
In my experience, many or most attorneys will listen to your story for free or for a nominal fee. Writing a letter may be a nominal fee also - but simply having an attorney send a nice but professional letter on his letterhead often frees up the bureaucratic processes that you're fighting.

You won't have to sign a contract with the lawyer, or pursue the matter with them. For $50-$100 to the lawyer, you get to raise the stakes and see if the insurance company folds. They'll offer you what you're asking, or say "If you file suit, we'll see you in court". Then it's your play - raise or fold. In any case, I don't think you'll be worse off than you are today.

/frank

TMCNo1
10-18-2008, 04:43 PM
I agree totally. I am not wanting to get an attorney involved but it is leaning more and more that way every day that I have to wait to get this settled.


If you need a lawyer, check out Doowee, Sckrewum and Howe, LLC, Attorney's at Law!:rolleyes::D

AR Footer
10-18-2008, 05:42 PM
An attorney is only going to take about a third of what you can get on your own. If you are not hurt the best thing to do is keep a reasonable head about it. Talk to the adjuster, and come to a reasonable agreement with them. You can ask for the money it would have cost you for the rental car. As for the 418.68. That is awfully high for a storage fee for one day. Take that receipt to the adjuster and let them reimburse you for it. Just because they cut off the storage payments, that doesn't mean you have to pay the whole thing. Find out what the daily rate is. I suspect however since you went to get it in a timely manner they will probably stroke a check for the entire amount. They want your claim off of their desks as bad as you want it settled. Just talk reasonably with them and it should work out. You get more flies with honey:twocents:


I am trying to remain reasonable but it is very frustrating at this point. I was really liking the $9 per week I was spending to go to work versus the $65 - $85 I am spending now.

I am asking for the money for the rental car for sure. The $418.68 is really for all of the storage fees and the wrecker fees from when the bike was picked up at the scene of the accident.

I'm trying the honey but it is really trying my patience.

AR Footer
10-18-2008, 05:43 PM
Consider waiving the insurance company's offer and take the driver to small claims court.

Definitely a thought but I hope to avoid that if at all possible.

AR Footer
10-18-2008, 05:46 PM
In my experience, many or most attorneys will listen to your story for free or for a nominal fee. Writing a letter may be a nominal fee also - but simply having an attorney send a nice but professional letter on his letterhead often frees up the bureaucratic processes that you're fighting.

You won't have to sign a contract with the lawyer, or pursue the matter with them. For $50-$100 to the lawyer, you get to raise the stakes and see if the insurance company folds. They'll offer you what you're asking, or say "If you file suit, we'll see you in court". Then it's your play - raise or fold. In any case, I don't think you'll be worse off than you are today.

/frank

I have a friend that is an attorney so if this thing doesn't start turning my way within the next week then I am going to go talk to her to get her thoughts. The fact that we are friends will give me a clear view since if I am off base on anything that I have discussed with the insurance as far as a settlement she will be the first to tell me.

AR Footer
10-18-2008, 05:47 PM
Tell them your neck and back are kinda starting to hurt...they will want to close this case as soon as possible.


Not an option that I want to consider but it has mentioned to me several times.

AR Footer
10-18-2008, 05:49 PM
If you need a lawyer, check out Doowee, Sckrewum and Howe, LLC, Attorney's at Law!:rolleyes::D

:D THAT IS TOO FUNNY!! :D

jimmer2880
10-19-2008, 06:06 PM
Same thing happened to my ex-wife a few years ago (only with a jeep). Other insurance company wouldn't budge. Suddenly, she went to the ER for "back pain". Got a call the next day from the other insurance company (ER notified them). Amazing that they had re-adjusted what FMV would be, to exactly equal what we were asking for. We took their offer and didn't go for more, even though we were tempted to. After all, they were trying to s(rew with us. Turn about would have been fair play. :)

Take my, and many others advice. Run to your local ER right now with back/neck pain. Be sure to tell them it was from a motor cycle accident, be sure to have all the information.

jimmer2880
10-19-2008, 06:07 PM
Same thing happened to my ex-wife a few years ago (only with a jeep). Other insurance company wouldn't budge. Suddenly, she went to the ER for "back pain". Got a call the next day from the other insurance company (ER notified them). Amazing that they had re-adjusted what FMV would be, to exactly equal what we were asking for. We took their offer and didn't go for more, even though we were tempted to. After all, they were trying to s(rew with us. Turn about would have been fair play. :)

Take my, and many others advice. Run to your local ER right now with back/neck pain. Be sure to tell them it was from a motor cycle accident, be sure to have all the information.

Also, we tried the lawer route. He told us you can't get blood from a stone. Said the only way we can get more than what they were offering, (if we couldn't convince them to raise their offer), was to go after medical compensation.

atlfootr
10-19-2008, 07:32 PM
Glad your alright, but did you take any pics of your totaled motor bike?

wakolman
10-19-2008, 08:31 PM
Ask for more than you want. You can always negotiate down. Kinda hard to negotiate up. ;)

AR Footer
10-19-2008, 08:41 PM
Same thing happened to my ex-wife a few years ago (only with a jeep). Other insurance company wouldn't budge. Suddenly, she went to the ER for "back pain". Got a call the next day from the other insurance company (ER notified them). Amazing that they had re-adjusted what FMV would be, to exactly equal what we were asking for. We took their offer and didn't go for more, even though we were tempted to. After all, they were trying to s(rew with us. Turn about would have been fair play. :)

Take my, and many others advice. Run to your local ER right now with back/neck pain. Be sure to tell them it was from a motor cycle accident, be sure to have all the information.

I am going to make one more attempt tomorrow to get this thing taken care of by sending them what I would consider a fair settlement. I am including a lot of information that will back up my claim. Hopefully I can avoid the back pain or other medical route. The back pain wouldn't be a stretch since I have already had back surgery several years ago and have been experiencing pain again.

AR Footer
10-19-2008, 08:46 PM
Glad your alright, but did you take any pics of your totaled motor bike?

Here you go. It doesn't look all of that bad but all of the frame from the middle of the seat back is bent beyond repair.

AR Footer
10-19-2008, 08:47 PM
Ask for more than you want. You can always negotiate down. Kinda hard to negotiate up. ;)

I am definitely going to give myself some room to negotiate.