We’ve been asked many times and there are many searches coming to our website for
Q: “If I’m on a motorcycle and get hit by a car doesn’t no-fault mean I’m not at fault?” or
Q: “Does no-fault mean that I’m not at fault if I’m on a motorcycle?”
A: No, it doesn’t. Likewise, it does not mean that the car which hit your motorcycle is not at fault. No-Fault has nothing to do with whether or not you are considered at fault for causing an accident.
Easy Answer: Think of no-fault as insurance that pays your medical bills and lost wages when you’re injured while sitting in a car or if you are a pedestrian.
No-Fault refers to the type of insurance coverage and the New York State laws about that coverage. No-fault usually applies only to car accidents and pedestrians struck by a motorcycle. No-Fault provides certain insurance benefits including medical payments, lost wages, and other benefits, without looking at who’s at fault when determining whether you are entitled to those benefits. That’s why it’s called No-Fault.
Back to the question about fault, whether or not you will be considered at fault and how this will affect you. You may think that you are at fault but that doesn’t mean you are at fault.
Even if you are at fault, you may be only partially at fault for your motorcycle accident. This means that the car which hit you is also partially at fault. Under New York State law, if you were only 20% at fault, then you are entitled to receive 80% of your damages.
As an example, your motorcycle may have been struck by a car making a left turn in front of you but you were found to have been traveling over the speed limit or not looking in front of you and you failed to brake. If you are awarded $650,000 for a broken ankle but you are found to be 20% at fault, your award will be reduced by 20% for a total of $520,000.
We won a $465,000 jury verdict for a motorcyclist who struck a car which was making a left turn in front of him. The jury found the driver 100% at fault and our client had a torn meniscus in his knee and had arthroscopic surgery.
We just won a summary judgment motion against a driver where the motorcyclist struck a car pulling out of a parking lot to make a left turn. Summary judgment means that the court found the driver to be 100% at fault so the jury will never get to decide who is at fault. Also, when we win summary judgment, our client is awarded 9% interest on the amount the jury awards.
Do not try to decide if you are at fault for causing your motorcycle accident, without speaking with Attorneys Phil Franckel and Rob Plevy.
Even if you think you are definitely at fault, you may not be. For instance, you can be drunk while operating your motorcycle and convicted of DWI yet the car which struck you can be 100% at fault for causing your motorcycle accident.