Legal Brief - Claiming Bike Damage (US) [Momentum]

Jim Freeman
If your bicycle is damaged by a negligent driver, you’ll probably want to make a claim against the driver or his or her insurance company for the cost of repairs or a replacement bike. First and foremost, if you are injured, it is a good idea to speak to an attorney before contacting the insurance company. But if you are sure you are not injured, it’s probably fine to handle your claim for property damage yourself.
If the bicycle can be repaired for less than its market value, whatever you pay for repairs is your claim for property damage. If your bicycle is totaled, you are generally entitled to recover the bike’s reasonable market value. The reasonable market value of a bicycle can be established through testimony of an experienced bicycle salesman/ mechanic who has knowledge of local market prices for comparable bicycles.
Take pictures that show the whole bicycle from the drivetrain side. You’ll want to take close-up pictures of any specific areas that are damaged. You should get one or more damage estimates from different bike shops – often there is no charge for this service. Sometimes the shop will point out damage that you didn’t notice initially. Take more photos of additional damage.