What could I do if I was hit on my salvage titled motorcycle and end up without enough fiscal compensation to get my motorcycle back toegether or another one altogether?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What could I do if I was hit on my salvage titled motorcycle and end up without enough fiscal compensation to get my motorcycle back toegether or another one altogether?

I was a motorcyclist in an accident where they took fault and full responsibility. That said, the bike I was on was a salvaged title bike and it seems that their insurance will only pay value based on that condition. I have yet to hear their estimate but I’m concerned I’ll end up in the situation of being without my motorcycle and not able to afford getting into another. Is there anything that I can do to ensure I’m not stuck without my only mode of transportation? I’m also going through some medical hoops as my knee is potentially injured for a long while.

Asked on September 12, 2017 under Accident Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In terms of vehicle damage, all the at-fault party or their insurer is responsible for is the then-current (as of the moment of the accident) fair market value of the vehicle, whcih in this case is the value given the salvage title. If they are already giving you this, that is all you are entitled to for the motorcycle. It does not matter if you will have difficulty getting a new vehicle: the compensation in an accident is the value of the thing destroyed, not the replacement cost.
If you were injured in the accident, you should also get compensation for your out-of-pocket medical costs (i.e. costs not paid by some form of health insurance, Medicare/caid, etc.). If you suffer significant, long-term (typically many weeks or longer) life impairment or disability from the injury, they should give you something for "pain and suffering," too. If they will not voluntarily offer you compensation for your injury, you could sue the at-fault driver (you sue the driver, not their insurer) for injury-related compensation.

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