If I don’t have a motorcycle license and have a motorcycle accident, can I get money for my injuries?
If I don’t have a license and caused the motorcycle accident. Can I get money for my injuries?
The problem in this unusual motorcycle accident is that the motorcyclist caused the motorcycle accident.
The fact that the motorcyclist didn’t have a motorcycle license is not the problem. Even though he caused the motorcycle accident, if it wasn’t his motorcycle and depending upon other circumstances of the motorcycle accident, the rider can get money.
The Motorcyclist Didn’t Have a Motorcycle License But Also Caused The Motorcycle Accident
The mother of a New York motorcyclist posted a comment on our website stating that her son wanted to try out her motorcycle and she allowed him to use it only in the driveway. The rear wheel of his motorcycle locked up and he suffered a severe road rash injury. The skin was taken off the arm and he has muscle exposed on his hand.
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The Frightening Problem
- Her insurance company told her that NYS No-Fault or PIP would not pay for his medical treatment and he does not have health insurance. She is worried that he would get a bad infection without treatment.
The comment was posted on my article “Can I Get Money for Injuries If I Was Driving without a Motorcycle License?“.
Her insurance company is correct. New York State no-fault insurance will pay for medical treatment of injuries caused by the use of a car but NY law prevents no-fault insurance from benefiting motorcyclists.
The Legal Problem
2. Another driver wasn’t at fault for causing his motorcycle accident, so who can he sue?
If his mother knew or should have known he was not competent to ride a motorcycle, we can get money for pain and suffering from his mother’s motorcycle insurance to compensate the motorcyclist for his injuries. He can use that money to pay his doctors to treat his injuries.
How can the injured motorcyclist get money from his mother’s motorcycle insurance?
There is a legal principle called “Negligent Entrustment” which can allow the motorcyclist to be compensated for his injuries from his mother’s motorcycle insurance.
The common law legal principle of Negligent Entrustment is defined by the “Restatement Second of Torts” as:
“One who supplies, directly or through a third person, a chattel for the use of another whom the supplier knows or has reason to know to be likely, because of his or her youth, inexperience, or otherwise, to use it in a manner involving an unreasonable risk of physical harm to himself or herself or others whom the supplier should expect to share in or be endangered by its use, is subject to liability for physical harm resulting to them.”
My plain language interpretation puts it this way:
A person can be liable to pay for injuries if he or she provides, loans, or gives something to another person and either knows or should have known that the other person could use it in a way that could cause an injury.
In this motorcycle accident, a mother owned a motorcycle that she allowed her son to ride. She only allowed him to try it in the driveway because she didn’t believe he was experienced enough to ride it on the road.
The case of Perkins v County of Tompkins, says that the owner of a motorcycle may be liable for negligent entrustment If the owner was negligent in giving it to someone he knew or should have known was not competent to operate it. Perkins v County of Tompkins, 160 A.D.3d 1189, 74 N.Y.S.3d 648, 2018 N.Y. Slip Op. 02530
Interestingly, the Perkins case also says that a person’s lack of a motorcycle operator’s license has to do only with the legal authority to operate the motorcycle and has nothing to do with whether the person was negligent.
Consequently, if his mother thought he was experienced in operating a motorcycle but didn’t allow him to ride it in the road only because he didn’t have a motorcycle license, he would not be able to get any money from his mother’s motorcycle insurance.
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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.