proper order of operations involving a minor accident.
August 21, 2008 7:06 AM   Subscribe

URGENT: Proper handling (e.g. legal/insurance) of the situation - my motorcycle was knocked over when parked, there are witnesses.

Fun parking in NYC. I came out this morning to move my motorcycle (parking regulations), noticed fluid underneath. After moving it, I realized the fluid was because the radiator had been knocked off it's mount, totally smashed, and a number of secondary parts had been as well. Thank god for frame sliders, I think the tank is ok.

While looking at it, a woman came up to me, her husband witnessed the event, knows the car (someone else from the neighborhood). And they hit it *hard* - Hard enough to knock it over on the right, on an incline.

I want the bike fixed ASAP, but it's going to take days before I can straighten things out with the husband, find this guy, etc.

How do I handle things from a claim perspective? Should I just get the bike fixed now, and then go back with the invoice?

Thank you.
posted by swngnmonk to Law & Government (9 answers total)
When there's an accident, the first thing you do is call your insurance company.
posted by desjardins at 7:09 AM on August 21, 2008

Seconding call the insurance company, file a police report ASAP.
posted by fixedgear at 7:15 AM on August 21, 2008

Thirding police and insurance company. You were the victim of a hit and run.
posted by puritycontrol at 8:00 AM on August 21, 2008

Probably goes without saying, but get the witnesses' names and contact info.
posted by jon1270 at 8:04 AM on August 21, 2008

Response by poster: ok. got the police report. Won't file with my insurance, as I'm not covered for collision (too expensive for too cheap a bike). Will be reaching out to the offender in the next day.

Right now, the bike is waiting for the tow. Darn it.
posted by swngnmonk at 8:46 AM on August 21, 2008

IANAinsurnce expert, but you may find that w/n you have collision is irrelevant, since you were not driving. Since this is damage to a parked vehicle I believe it's comprehensive coverage that applies.
posted by JimN2TAW at 9:54 AM on August 21, 2008

Also not an insurance expert, but since it was clearly the other guy's fault, your insurance company should chase after him and make sure he pays. That's kind of their job and they're kind of relentless (at least Progressive was when I had my [moving car] accident).
posted by desjardins at 10:29 AM on August 21, 2008

I've never been in a hit-and-run, but talk to the police (vis a vis your report) and your insurance company. They may not want you to make direct contact with the other party and to leave it up to them.
posted by rhizome at 10:43 AM on August 21, 2008

Not an expert and cannot give any legal advice on this, but I'd check BARF for general answers and maybe post this question there - excellent folks/riders!

I agree with the others that this likely falls under comprehensive so whether and what you'll recover from your insurer depends on whether you have comprehensive.

If the insurance company itself does not have to pay (i.e., the damage was not covered) then they likely will not try to get the person who damaged the bike to pay --- basically, it's not their problem.

Instead, you could file a police report or take them to small claims court depending on the rules in NYC.

Alternatively and hopefully most likely to result in quick repair and payment - go to the perso who did it. They probably did not realize the damage they did or the extent. They were probably just hoping that the damage or fluid was there before. Whether such a hope/assumption is smart or not does not matter - just that you explain that they caused the damage and you expect to be compensated. Hold off on threatening legal action or that the neighbors saw them do it until it becomes clear that they will not pay or deny responsibility.

Best luck getting back on your ride!
posted by unclezeb at 11:08 AM on August 21, 2008

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