A Car Forced You to Put Your Bike Down – Can You Sue?
Absolutely! If you had a motorcycle accident and your motorcycle did not come into contact with a car or truck, we must know the identity of the vehicle. Call us now to see if we can get money for you.
It’s not only the police who think there must be contact between a car and your motorcycle for you to file a claim or lawsuit to compensate you for your injuries. One of our clients was forced to put his motorcycle down to avoid hitting a car and the car’s insurance company couldn’t understand why they should be responsible!
Our client was riding down a street when a car suddenly backed out of a driveway in front of his motorcycle. Our client tried to brake but was forced to put his bike down or hit the car. The driver was going to leave until other motorcyclists told him to stay at the scene.
Our client suffered ligament tears to his thumb but the insurance company refused to offer more than $5,000 because they said the car wasn’t moving and the motorcyclist put his motorcycle down because he was just scared. But we know that no motorcyclist would ever put a motorcycle down unless it was unavoidable.
After we started a lawsuit, the insurance company still refused to increase their offer. While the case was proceeding through the court, the insurance company offered to arbitrate the case. The claims representative believe their insured that the car wasn’t moving and she was sure they wouldn’t be held liable.
We agreed to arbitrate the case before a retired New York State Supreme Court judge. An arbitration is like a simplified trial decided by the arbitrator instead of a jury. We only agree to arbitrate with a retired judge although arbitrators can either be a lawyer or a retired judge.
The judge wrote in his decision, “Defendants contend that there was no contact between the plaintiff’s motorcycle and the defendant’s vehicle and that the defendant’s vehicle was stopped before the accident and remained stopped at all times up until the moment of impact.”
The retired NYS Supreme Court judge knew that contact was not needed and found that the defendant was backing out of the driveway. The arbitrator awarded $100,000 to our client.
I previously wrote an article in a motorcycle magazine about police officers who let drivers go without putting their information on the police report because the car did not contact the motorcycle.
I sent letters to the Suffolk County, Nassau County and New York City Police Commissioners advising of the problem and demanding that they instruct their officers to record the information on the police report. So far, the Suffolk County Police Commissioner’s office called to say that they will comply with my request.
If you’re hurt in a motorcycle accident where there is no contact, such as a car backing out of a driveway or when a car cut off your motorcycle, make sure you get the information of the car and driver or at least get a photo of the license plate or write it down.