Cut Off

A frequent motorcycle accident occurs when a motorcycle is cut off by a car because the driver didn’t see the motorcyclist.  This is distinctly different from a hit-and-run accident.  In a “cut-off” and run accident, there is no contact between the car or truck and your motorcycle.

A “cut-off” accident presents very important issues depending upon the facts:

  1. The driver of a car cuts off your motorcycle and keeps going after causing you to crash.
  2. The driver of a car cuts off your motorcycle and stops at the accident scene after causing you to crash.

In example 1, if you can, try to identify the car which cut you off by getting a picture of the license plate. If the car is gone and no one saw the license plate number, your only option is to file an uninsured claim on your motorcycle insurance policy.

Under New York State law, you cannot file an uninsured claim unless the car came into contact with you or your motorcycle. Other lawyers won’t take your case if there was no contact and the car is unidentified. BUT WE WANT TO REPRESENT YOU, so be sure to call us even if another lawyer told you that you don’t have a case. Call 1-800-487-8911 7 days/nights.

Accidents where you are injured because another driver cut you off almost always involve a car cutting off a motorcycle. It is not often that the driver of a car is injured because another car cut off the driver and left the scene. Because we represent many motorcyclists, we know how to handle these cases.  We have won many cases where a motorcyclist was cut off and there was no evidence of contact.

Important note: If the car did come into contact with you or your motorcycle; the car is gone; and you do not know the identity of the car, it is very important for you to use the proper words when speaking to the police, hospital personnel, doctors, nurses, and your insurance company.  They all will write what you say and the wrongs words can ruin your claim.

DO NOT say that the car “cut you off” if you or your motorcycle was hit by a car. Saying you were cut off implies that there was no contact. You should say the car “hit” you and kept going. After speaking with the police officer, it’s best to call us before you call your insurance company.

If there is contact, the contact can be as slight as brushing against your leg or causing a very small mark on your motorcycle.

GEICO initially denied the uninsured claim of our client whose motorcycle was struck by a car on the parkway at 2 AM. The car kept going and there were no witnesses. GEICO said our client was drunk and just fell off his motorcycle.  However, I noticed a very small streak of blue paint on the exhaust and asked my client if that was there before the accident. When he said no, I took several photos and told him to keep the motorcycle for GEICO to inspect. GEICO was forced to pay this claim.

Photo showing car paint on a motorcycle exhaust

Paint mark from a car on a motorcycle exhaust

In example 2, do not let the police officer tell the driver it’s okay to leave the scene because there is no contact until you obtain the license plate number and driver license information.

If the police officer refuses to obtain the information, take a picture with your cell phone of the license plate or at least write it down. If there are any witnesses, ask them to note the license plate number and get their names and phone numbers.

Police officers all over New York are under the incorrect impression that you cannot file a lawsuit against the owner and driver of a car that does not come in contact with you. This is absolutely wrong!

We have sent letters to several police commissioners advising that we will have to start lawsuits against the police departments if they do not take this information. One of the police departments advised that they will begin taking the information. We will follow up with the others and begin sending letters to smaller police departments. Read more information and our letters to police commissioners.

Even if there is no contact between the car and you or your motorcycle but we know the identity of the car, we can file a lawsuit against the owner and driver of that car.

Photo of crashed motorcycle on the street after being cut off by a car

Cut Off & Run Motorcycle Accident

Someone who was searching on the internet found by searching for “if you cut off a motorcyclist is it their fault for hitting you?  This person apparently thought, like many people, that the vehicle which strikes another vehicle caused the accident. This is wrong. Which vehicle struck which vehicle has nothing to do with who caused the accident.

If a driver cut off a motorcyclist, the term “cut off” is a non-legal term which essentially means to cut off the right-of-way of the person who was cut off.

To answer the question of the searcher, since he cut off the right-of-way of the motorcyclist, the driver is at fault and the motorcyclist is NOT at fault. We will do our best to win a motion for Summary Judgment ordering that as a matter of law, the driver who cut you off is 100% at fault.

Other Types of Motorcycle Accidents

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Motorcycle Attorney Phil Franckel talks about how motorcycle accidents are different

Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel is well-known in New York for representing motorcyclists and created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Motorcycle Injury Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Robert began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

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