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What is Considered Modification on a Motorcycle?

NJ Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you put money into your motorcycle, you expect to get that money back after an accident. If you modified your motorcycle to increase its value, that should be reflected in your accident settlement.

Motorcyclists modify their bikes when they make alterations to improve rider experience or personalize their motorcycles. For example, bikers might get unique paintwork done or add vintage parts to a rebuild. Depending on the modifications, they might increase or decrease the motorcycle’s actual cash value (ACV). If your bike was damaged in a crash, our lawyers can make sure the settlement accounts for motorcycle modifications so that you’re compensated for all damages, including property damage.

To get a free case review from motorcycle accident lawyer Jerry Friedman, you can call 1-800-529-4464 today.

What Are Motorcycle Modifications?

A modification is any change made to a motorcycle to increase its value or make it more enjoyable for its owner. They are common in the biking community, and motorcyclists use modifications to personalize their bikes and make them stand out from the rest.

For example, motorcyclists might add vintage or newer parts to a bike to improve its appearance or performance. Bikers might change out tires regularly to keep good traction, add windshields to improve visibility or adjust the suspension for a smoother ride.

Cosmetic modifications include detailing and paintwork. Repairing torn or old seats, changing out handle grips, and updating certain elements of a bike are routine practice for many motorcyclists, especially those who enjoy working on their bikes.

Other modifications happen over time as motorcycles need repairs or replacement parts. If you modify your bike, keep the original parts and keep track of the exact modifications, even slight alterations.

Some motorcycle modifications, like attaching windscreens and adding a motorcycle stand, are fairly inexpensive. More major modifications to a motorcycle’s engine or other mechanical parts typically add up and might boost a motorcycle’s actual cash value (ACV), depending on what they are.

Making aftermarket modifications to a motorcycle is a risk. If you change out the bike’s original parts in favor of other parts, they might be incompatible, making your motorcycle dangerous to use. Before making any aftermarket modifications to your motorcycle, make sure they are safe.

Can Motorcycle Modifications Impact Accident Settlements?

Motorcycle modifications can increase a bike’s actual cash value, impacting the settlement a biker gets. That said, you should not assume that the money you put into your bike will automatically be reflected in a settlement.

After a motorcycle accident, assess the damage to your bike. If you modified your vehicle in any way, tell the insurance company. Our lawyers can compile records outlining the modifications to your bike and how those modifications increased the bike’s value.

Not all modifications increase a bike’s ACV. Most many do not. For example, if you removed some of the bike’s original parts in favor of vintage parts, the bike’s value might drop. That’s because motorcycle modifications are typically made to suit an individual driver’s needs, meaning they can hurt a bike’s resale value.

If you receive a low settlement offer based on previous modifications, our North Bergen, NJ motorcycle accident lawyer can review it to confirm whether it is fair. For example, the insurance company might have unfairly assessed the bike’s value before and after it had been modified, resulting in a bad offer.

The bulk of your accident settlement will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We can help victims track all of their damages so that there is ample proof should the case go to trial.

Can Motorcycle Modifications Cause Accidents?

Be careful what modifications you make to your motorcycle. If you modify your bike in such a manner that it makes it unsafe, it could be attributed to the accident’s cause, lowering your settlement.

Furthermore, some aftermarket parts might be incompatible with certain bikes, causing malfunctions or issues that lead to accidents. When this happens, a negligent driver might argue that the victim’s negligence in modifying the bike contributed to the incident.

If a victim is partially to blame for an accident, the court will lower their damages in proportion to their negligence. For example, if the jury finds you to be 10% at fault and the defendant 90% at fault, you would only walk away with 90% of your awarded damages.

Should You Modify Your Motorcycle After an Accident?

Wait to make any modifications to your damaged bike until your claim concludes. Otherwise, you could face issues recovering compensation in your case.

Motorcycles lose value fairly quickly. Furthermore, because motorcycles are smaller than cars, the force of impact might cause more damage. Because of this, motorcyclists might be more likely to total their bikes in accidents. If your vehicle is totaled, modifying it or attempting to fix it may not be worth it. At the very least, wait to file your lawsuit before repairing your motorcycle.

Vehicle damage can provide our lawyers with ample information about an accident. For example, damage to motorcycles can show the force of impact, the speed at which the other driver was driving, the direction you were traveling in at the time of the accident, and the direction the other driver was traveling in at the time of the accident, among other information.

An accident reconstruction expert can assess the damage to your bike in addition to other evidence from the scene to determine fault for the incident. Such experts can present their findings in court, giving the jury additional context regarding the accident.

If you get your bike repaired too soon, that crucial information could be lost, leaving you without sufficient evidence to prove fault and recover compensation for your various damages.

Call Jerry to Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident Today

Call Atlantic City motorcycle accident lawyer Jerry Friedman at 1-800-529-4464 to get a free assessment of your case today.

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