Were you injured in a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s fault while you were driving drunk on a motorcycle? Do you think you can’t sue, file a lawsuit, or get money for your injuries because you were drunk?
Most People Think They Can’t Have a Lawsuit Because They Were Driving Drunk
If that’s what you thought, you’re not alone. I’ve spoken with people who were hurt riding a motorcycle while drunk and people who were drunk but were passengers who thought they couldn’t sue because they were drunk.
I’ve even been told by other personal injury lawyers that there is no case. But that’s not true.
We Represented Several Motorcyclists Who Were Drunk
We have successfully represented several motorcycle clients who were drunk at the time of the motorcycle accident.
Following is a case where we represented a drunk passenger who allegedly gave alcohol to the driver and another where we represented a very drunk motorcyclist.
Riding a Motorcycle While Drunk and Struck In a Hit-and-Run Accident
Our client was drunk while riding a motorcycle on the BQE when he was struck by a car in a hit-and-run accident. Unfortunately, he also lied at an examination under oath stating that he only had one drink,
Approximately 90 minutes after getting on his motorcycle (60 minutes after the motorcycle accident), his blood alcohol concentration was reported in a hospital lab report as 0.203.
The insurance company, GEICO, hired a toxicologist who wrote that the hospital records indicate that my client lost control of his vehicle and fell off.
The toxicologist also wrote, “0.18% is significantly in excess of New York State statutory limit for intoxication of .08%. In order for a level of 0.18% to be achieved, Mr. ____ would have had to have consumed a minimum of 9-11 drinks.”
The toxicologist stated this is equivalent to 12 (12 ounce) beers which made him markedly impaired and that this caused or significantly contributed to the motorcycle accident.
GEICO argued that our client was never hit by a car and just fell off his motorcycle because he was drunk. GEICO also argued that our client lied about his being drunk.
It wasn’t a problem that our client was drunk, but was a problem that he lied.
My argument was that the toxicologist could not know if the alcohol caused the motorcycle accident because he didn’t witness the accident. The insurance company did not have any other evidence that could prove our client caused the motorcycle accident.
I settled this case for $155,000.
Why Can I Sue For My Injury When I Was Drunk?
This is an obvious example for an illustrative purpose:
If you’re drunk and traveling through an intersection with a green light when you’re struck by a car that ran a red light, the car is negligent in causing the accident, not you just because you’re drunk.
If we can prove that someone else was even a few percent at fault for causing your accident, we can get you money for your injury.
Drunk Passenger Allegedly Gave Alcohol To Driver
There is no law prohibiting a passenger from being drunk.
Our client was a passenger who was drunk and injured his thoracic vertebrae when the car flipped over.
The insurance company refused to offer a settlement, giving two reasons:
- The insurance company argued that the passenger caused the accident by creating a disturbance when he was drunk.
- The insurance company argued that the passenger provided the alcohol to the driver who was also drunk.
But the insurance company was not able to prove either one of their arguments. They had to pay.
More Surprising Articles – When You Can Get Money and You Thought Not
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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.