Category Archives: Motorcycle Damage

Reimbursement for Diminished Value

How is a Harley Davidson or a Ford GT similar to a violin?

If you have a Harley Davidson or other motorcycle which is desired by collectors and would be worth less after an accident even with proper repairs, you may now be entitled to reimbursement for the diminished value after an accident.

Reimbursement for the diminished value after an accident would be paid in addition to the cost of repairs even if the repair restored your motorcycle to look like its pre-accident condition.

In Franklin Corp. v Prahler (Dec. 10, 2011), the plaintiff, Franklin Corp. sought to recover $52,000 which included diminished value of a Ford GT which was struck by the defendant.  Although State Farm estimated that the cost of repairs to be $3,484.35, Franklin claimed that the Ford GT would be worth substantially less money after the repair.

The Appellate Division of the Fourth Department in New York concluded that the plaintiff is entitled to recover the amount of the diminished value in addition to the cost of repairs because the Ford GT is appreciating in value.

The Appellate Division compared the Ford GT to the plaintiff’s violin in Schalscha v Third Ave. R.R. Co., an 1897 case in the Appellate Division, First Department (19 Misc 141).  In Schalscha, the court held that the plaintiff could recover not only the cost to repair the damaged violin but also the amount of its depreciation in value after the repair.

With regard to the Ford GT, the Appellate Division stated:

“Where a vehicle, like any other piece of personal property, has increased in value and is subsequently damaged by the negligence of the defendant, the plaintiff should be entitled to recover the cost of that diminution in value. Otherwise, the plaintiff will not be made whole.”

The Appellate Division also stated:

“Here, plaintiff submitted evidence that, even if the GT was fully repaired, the mere fact that it had been in an accident had diminished its market value by $40,000 because it would no longer be in its “original factory condition.”

The ruling in this case allows for recovery of both repair costs and diminished value to a car or motorcycle which:

  1. Is damaged by someone else’s negligence;
  2. Appreciated in market value from the time it was obtained; and
  3. Has sustained proven diminished value.

If the motorcycle’s original pre-accident market value has depreciated, then reimbursement will be limited to either the reasonable cost of repairs or the motorcycle’s diminished value, whichever is less. However, my belief is that an argument could be made that this ruling should also apply to a motorcycle which has depreciated but has a market value after repairs that is less than the market value of the same vehicle without repairs.

Depending upon the demand for Harley Davidson’s, the ruling could even apply to a new Harley-Davidson but would certainly apply to any collectible motorcycle that has sustained diminished value because of an accident.

See Diminished Value at our website HURT911.org®

 

How Much Can a Motorcycle Shop Charge You for Storage Fees?

If you own a motorcycle shop, we can help you get paid quicker and make your life easier. Many motorcyclist don’t have collision coverage and we represent them for free for the collision damage.

If your motorcycle is towed to a repair shop after a motorcycle accident, you may be charged for towing, labor (because your motorcycle is an over-turned vehicle), storage and possibly disassembly fees.

How much a repair shop can charge you for towing and storing your motorcycle depends upon both local regulations in the town and NYS law.

New York regulations usually allow a maximum storage fee of $15 per day if your motorcycle is stored outside. If your motorcycle is stored inside, the shop must have a sign posted which indicates the storage fee. If your motorcycle has to be disassembled to provide an estimate, the shop may charge a disassembly fee.

This motorcycle was disassembled and stored outside
disassembled motorcycle in storage

Towing and storage charges are also regulated by the town. On Long Island, in the Town of North Hempstead, towing and storage regulations allow $125 towing charge which includes the first mile plus another $5 per mile plus a $15 fuel surcharge. Because a motorcycle will be lying on its side after an accident, motorcycles are subject to an additional labor fee of $50 allowed for “when the use of special skills is required to right an overturned vehicle”. Storage charges after seven days are allowed to increase to $30 per day.

New York Motor Vehicle Repair Shop Regulations PART 82.8 (c) (1) provides that a customer may not be charged for storage unless notice in writing is given by a statement on an estimate or other document given to the customer.

(2) Storage of the motorcycle may not be charged during the period from which the customer has authorized repairs to one business day after the repair shop has notified the customer to pick up the repaired motorcycle. (There is a contradiction on page 22 of the Motor Vehicle Repair Shop Regulations which states that the repair shop cannot begin charging for storage until two business days after they have notified you to pick up your motorcycle.

(d) Upon reasonable notice a customer may remove the motorcycle from a repair shop during the shop’s business hours upon paying for storage charges.

Know Your Rights | Information and Complaints about NY Inspection Stations, Repair Shops, Body Shops and Dealers | NYS DMV Vehicle Safety Complaint Unit tel phone: 518-474-8943

Information on towing your motorcycle in New York City

Find a towed vehicle

Retrieving a Towed Vehicle from an NYPD Tow Pound

NYC Towing Service Guide [PDF]

NYC Towing Service Guide

disassembled front for and wheel of motorcycle in storage

It’s best to remove your motorcycle as soon as possible from storage to mitigate (lessen) the damages for which the car that caused your motorcycle accident will be responsible for. If you are unable to remove your motorcycle, the insurance company insuring the car which caused your motorcycle accident should be notified that you are unable to remove the motorcycle from storage so they can prevent being responsible for even more money.

If there is any paint from the car on your motorcycle or other evidence showing where the car contacted your motorcycle, this could help to show that the driver was at fault for causing your accident.

If you had a motorcycle accident, please call us as soon as possible. We never charge a legal fee to help you recover the money for your motorcycle.