Can I get money for injuries if I was driving without a motorcycle license? Part 1

I received a call from someone who was hurt when a car struck his motorcycle and he was calling to find out if he could have a case.  He didn’t think of calling a motorcycle lawyer at the time of the accident because he was driving without a motorcycle operator’s license.

The caller said because he was driving the motorcycle illegally and was issued a ticket for driving without a license, he thought that he would not be able to have a lawsuit.  I asked him if he had a valid motorcycle license at the time of the accident would that have prevented the accident?

Someone could be driving without a valid motorcycle license for various reasons but the lack of a license didn’t cause the accident:

  • it was valid but left at home;
  • was suspended or revoked; the driver failed to renew it; or
  • the driver never obtained a license.

Some people think that if the motorcycle operator obeyed had the law by not driving without a license, he would not be in that place at that time and the accident would never have happened.  But that argument is ridiculous. The lack of a driver’s license is not what caused the accident.

The only issue is whether the other driver is at fault.  The caller’s injuries were 100% caused by the other driver’s negligence when the caller’s motorcycle, which was stopped at a red light, was hit in the rear by the car.  The motorcyclist is therefore entitled to be compensated for his injuries.

If a motorcyclist did not have a motorcycle license, it would only become an issue if he lied about having a license.  If the motorcyclist testifies at a deposition or in court that he or she had a motorcycle license when it was only a learner’s permit or there was no license at all, evidence from the DMV can be submitted for the purpose of showing that the motorcyclist did not have a license and lied.  The jury could now consider whether the motorcyclist is a liar and whether other testimony should be believed.

If at the time of the accident, the injured operator of a motorcycle never had a license or previously had a motorcycle license which was expired, suspended, or revoked, the motorcyclist IS entitled to compensation for injuries.

Continued at “Can I get money for injuries if I was driving without a motorcycle license? Part 2

Also see: Can I Sue for My Injuries If I Was Drunk?

If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident in which you were operating the motorcycle without a valid license, please call the New York motorcycle accident lawyers

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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®.

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New York Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

New York Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and 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.

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