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Why are motorcycle and vehicle claims treated so differently? Although on the surface, or at least form the consumer side, it seems like any motorcycle, truck, and car crash claims are all the same. That’s not the case when you’re caught in the middle of a claim, though. In fact, if you’ve gone through the process of handling a car crash claim, then you might be in for a huge shock with your motorcycle claim.
The valuation, addressing particular crash elements, and even fault go in vastly different directions than what you would expect from a car insurance claim. Motorcycle riders go through extensive scrutiny for fault and face other obstacles as well. We’ll help you prepare to face unexpected challenges in your claim. If you've been injured in a wreck, contact a local motorcycle accident attorney for help.
Typically cars begin losing their value immediately and will continue to lose value instead falls over the extent of their life. However, motorcycles don’t work the same way. In fact, it can be either a blessing or curse, that the motorcycle value is hardly ever accurately represented by Kelly Blue Book.
During the first few years of the bike’s life, you should expect it to drop about 20% of its value, similar to a vehicle. There are other factors to keep in mind, though. For example, speedster or sport bikes usually lose their value faster, especially when you factor in miles traveled versus time owned. Whereas cruisers will usually retain their value for longer based on miles traveled versus time owned. Finally, you need to account for legacy. For example, if you’re driving an Indian that only came back into production for a year or two, yes, you have a vehicle, but you also have a collectible.
The value of your injuries is usually preset by your medical bills, prescription fees, and sometimes your travel expenses. But what makes people so confident about seeking the value here is that it’s pretty much set in stone. Well, for you. People don’t realize until they get into settlement negotiations that the insurance companies will often haggle with medical providers and networks in an effort to reduce the amount they have to pay out, which means that you and the insurance company will receive two different valuations for your damages related to your injuries.
What could be $28,000 in medical bills for you might only be $16,000 for your insurance company. They’re happy to pay on that, but as part of it, they want to see the medical bills paid before you receive any portion of your compensation. It doesn’t decrease the value of your injuries, only the outstanding medical debt.
Pain and suffering are difficult to value because you’re looking at that high possibility of assigning dollar values to things that are far beyond that. For example, PTSD may have caused you to miss special moments. You may have been undergoing treatment or staying in a facility when your child took their first steps or graduated high school. How can you reclaim the value of those lost moments? Through a pain and suffering claim, you can assign some value to those moments and hope to collect.
Most motorcycle claims adjusters will simply use Kelly Blue Book, which we mentioned earlier isn’t actually representative of a motorcycle’s value. Instead, they may use Nada Guides, for vintage motorcycles, or other online tools such as Hagerty USA. Additionally, you may need to resource an expert witness that could clarify what a private buyer and a dealer would have bought the bike prior to the damages.
What you can do is to ensure that you’re protected from the constant scrutiny of motorcyclists. As a rider, you deserve protection, not more suffering. Your insurance policy should stand in place to ensure that you have every opportunity to make a full recovery. As you begin your recovery, you’ll quickly see that the medical bills and rehabilitation are expensive, time-consuming, and physically demanding.
Those elements, among many others, should fit into your claim neatly. As you build your demand letter and advise your company on what you expect in compensation, you’ll find that most of it will be denied. Receiving a denial is only part of most motorcycle claims. However, you can control much more than what you initially believe is possible. With a local motorcycle crash law firm, you should be able to get the value out of your claim that you might have expected or even more. Contact Young, Reverman & Mazzei for support during your motorcycle crash claim process.