Call the 1-800-HURT-911® motorcycle attorneys in New York for free legal advice immediately, preferably before you speak with any insurance company.
Maybe you were run off the road or struck a car, curb, or pole because a car cut you off but did not hit you. When other motorcycle injury lawyers in New York tell you that you don’t have a case, call us to find out if that’s true.
Difference Between a Motorcycle Cut-Off vs. a Hit-And-Run Accident
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.
Accidents that cause an injury 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 motorcycle accidents when you get cut off.
Two Types of “Cut-Off” Accidents
A “cut-off” accident presents very important issues depending on the facts of these two different types of accidents when a motorcycle gets cut off:
- The driver of a car cuts off your motorcycle and keeps going after your motorcycle crash.
- The driver of a car cuts off your motorcycle and stops at the accident scene after causing you to crash.
A Driver Cuts off Your Motorcycle and Keeps Going
If you were able to identify the car which cut you off by getting a picture of the license plate, we can file a lawsuit against the driver and owner of the car.
If the car left the accident and no one saw or recorded the license plate number, there is no one to file a lawsuit against, but we can file an uninsured claim on your motorcycle insurance policy.
But, New York State law does not allow you to file an uninsured claim unless the car came into contact with you or your motorcycle.
Other lawyers in New York 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 for a second opinion even if another lawyer told you that you don’t have a case. Call 1-800-487-8911 7 days/nights.
We have won many cases where a motorcyclist was cut off, and there was no evidence of contact.
What You Should Not Say When a Car Cuts You Off
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 wrong words can ruin your claim.
After being hit by a car that keeps going, motorcyclists usually tell the police, “A car cut me off.” Instead, you should say, “A car hit me and kept going.” After speaking with the police officer, it’s best to call us before you call your insurance company.
DO NOT say a car “cut you off” if you or your motorcycle was hit by a car. Insurance company claim reps think that if you say you were cut off, then there was no contact. It’s ridiculous because your motorcycle can be cut off and hit by a car or cut off by a car that did not hit your motorcycle. So we have to go through extra steps to prove that you or your motorcycle came into contact with the car.
What Is Contact When a Car Cuts Me Off?
If there is contact, the contact can be as slight as brushing against your leg or causing a very small mark on your motorcycle. Sometimes a motorcyclist will push off the side of the car with their hand or bang on the car to warn the driver when the car gets too close. That’s enough contact to win an uninsured claim.
We had a motorcycle accident client in Nassau County who got angry when a car cut him off and got too close. He hit the car’s window with his hand, broke the window, and was almost arrested. That was definitely contact! We successfully settled his case for the entire insurance policy.
But you don’t have to cause damage to the car. You just have to hit the side of the car with your hand.
Often when there is contact between a motorcycle and a car, the damage is obvious, but when it’s not obvious, a motorcycle lawyer must carefully inspect the motorcycle for any evidence of contact.
In the photo below, you can see a tiny line of blue paint that was evidence of a car contacting our client’s motorcycle. Our client knew he was hit, but there was no damage to his motorcycle, and he didn’t see the paint.
When I inspected the motorcycle, I noticed a very small streak of blue paint on the exhaust. I 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.
Our client’s Ducati motorcycle was struck by a car on the Belt Parkway in Queens, NY, at 2 AM. The car kept going, and there were no witnesses. Our client was drunk. GEICO initially denied our client’s uninsured claim, saying there was no other car and he just fell off his motorcycle. Because we found that small spec of paint, we settled this claim with GEICO for $155,000.
A Driver Cuts off Your Motorcycle and Stops
If a driver cuts off your motorcycle and stops, we can file a lawsuit against the driver and owner of the car if we know the license plate number of the car.
However, when a car stops at the accident scene after cutting off your motorcycle, often the police officer tells the driver it’s okay to leave because there was no contact with the motorcycle. But the police are wrong because they don’t understand the law.
Later, you find that the police officer did not identify the car or the driver on the police accident report! That prevents you from suing the driver who cut you off, but you may be able to file an uninsured claim.
If you got the driver’s information or the vehicle license plate because you took a photo of the license plate or a witness wrote it down, you can file a lawsuit.
What You Should Do When a Driver Cuts off Your Motorcycle and Stops
Get a Photo of the License Plate of the Car That Cut Off Your Motorcycle
If you are physically able to, try to use your phone to get a photo of the license plate of the car that cut off your motorcycle. If you get a photo of the license plate, we can sue the driver and owner of the car that cut off your motorcycle.
Ask the Police Officer to Record the License Plate Number
Ask the police officer, before letting the driver go, to record the license plate number and driver’s license information in the notes or on a piece of paper if the police officer won’t put it on the police report.
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!
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.
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. The Police Commissioner’s office at the Suffolk County Police Department called me and said advised that they will begin recording the information in the notes section of the police report. Read more information and our letters to the Suffolk County and Nassau County police commissioners. Read our letter to the New York City Police Commissioner.
Ask a Witness to Write Down the License Plate Number
We have had motorcycle accident clients who asked a witness to write down the license plate number. Because we had the license plate number, we were able to file a lawsuit against the driver.
If you or a witness didn’t write down the license plate number, you can’t sue the driver because you don’t know their identity, and if there was no contact between the car and either your motorcycle or any part of your body, you can’t file an uninsured claim (But we still may be able to get money for you).
Don’t Use the Phrase “Cut Off” When Your Motorcycle Is in an Accident
Someone who was searching on the internet found newyorkmotorcycleaccidentlawyer.com by searching for “if you cut off a motorcyclist is it their fault for hitting you? This driver, like many motorcyclists, used the phrase, “cut off” when he was hit.
If a driver cuts off a motorcyclist, the term “cut off” is a non-legal term that essentially means to cut off the right-of-way of the person who was cut off. It is misunderstood by insurance company claim reps, and you should never say you were “cut off.” Always call us, and we’ll speak with the insurance company claim rep.
But the motorcyclist also thought, like many people, that the vehicle which struck another vehicle caused the accident. This is wrong. Which vehicle struck which vehicle has nothing to do with who caused the accident.
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.
Even if you don’t know the identity of the car that cut you off and there was no contact, we may be able to help you. We got money for quite a few clients in this situation! Just call us immediately at 1-800-487-8911.
Get New York Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Rob Plevy, Esq. and Phil Franckel, Esq. at the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!
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Motorcycle Attorney Phil Franckel talks about how motorcycle accidents are different
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website, one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York, well-known for representing motorcyclists. He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and is a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.
Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is a motorcycle accident lawyer and 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.