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 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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