Who is liable for his motorcycle personal injury accident? 19 Answers as of July 16, 2015

My son was riding on his motorcycle when he was involved in an accident. We realized that the person who hit him let his insurance lapse. The driver of that vehicle is not the registered owner. Who must I contact and hold liable for repairs, medical, and time off work? The registered owner?

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Robinette Legal Group, PLLC
Robinette Legal Group, PLLC | Jeffery Robinette
First contact your own agent about uninsured motorist coverage, and then call a motorcycle injury lawyer in WV for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: West Virginia
Replied: 7/16/2015
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
You should contact both the driver and the owner of the car that struck your son and his motorcycle. If your son has uninsured motorist coverage he should also contact his carrier. He should also probably speak with legal counsel to help him.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 7/16/2015
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
Presuming the other driver was at fault and your son was completely free of fault, you would look to the driver of the other vehicle. If there is insurance on the vehicle he/she was driving, it will cover them, presuming they were a permissive driver. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 7/16/2015
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
The owner AND the driver. You need a real lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/16/2015
Utah Injury Lawyer
Utah Injury Lawyer | Will Rodgers
Given the facts you set forth in your question, most likely the registered owner of the motorcycle (if he had valid insurance coverage at the time of the accident since you state that the driver's insurance lapsed) would be the person whose insurance company the claim for bodily injury damages would begin. However, if there is car insurance that covered your son on the motorcycle he was riding at the time he was injured (presumably your insurance) there may also be a claim that can be made with that / your insurance company too. Situations like the one you ask about involving your son are one of the most important reasons we have car / motorcycle insurance for ourselves and why I tell all my clients to be well insured - namely so we can be compensated well when the person that caused the accident is "UI" (Uninsured) and we have to make the claim with our own insurance company. For your son's benefit, immediately contact an injury lawyer to evaluate your case and if taken, represent you in the case without any money coming from you. The reality is car insurance companies jerk people around who are not injury lawyers. As injury lawyers, we represent our clients and help them get their healthcare bills paid and get the best financial compensation they can get on their case.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 7/16/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Your insurance company will handle that. If your son had no insurance, you can go after the driver and registered owner.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    The drivers are the only negligent parties. If the vehicles have no insurance and the other driver didn't have his own insurance, you can sue the driver, but recovery of any money is unlikely from a financial deadbeat. Motorcyclists don't have to have insurance, but they are crazy not to because of the high and serious injury rate and the high percentage of uninsured drivers in Montana.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
    Initially, the one causing the accident is liable. But you should consider pursuing a claim against the owner under the theory of negligent entrustment. That sounds like a reasonable course of action. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Both the owner and the driver are potentially liable. The driver if he was careless, certainly. The owner, if he loaned the vehicle to someone he should have known was a less than careful driver. Since it's the owner who is (now) legally obliged to buy insurance, his failure to do so very likely renders him 'self-insured.' So you have two possible defendants and you can sue both. But the legal doctrine can get a bit hairy. Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer: it's almost always worth it. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Since a car is a "dangerous instrumentality" under Florida law for many decades, the owner of a car is liable for any injuries or property damage that car causes, even if it was being driven by someone else, provided that the driver had the permission of the owner to drive the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    In California, the owner of the vehicle is jointly liable with the driver for up to $15,000 in damages. That the driver has no insurance is irrelevant except as to his ability to pay. Contact the owner.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Law Office of Lisa Hurtado McDonnell | Lisa Hurtado McDonnell
    If the driver did not have insurance and the motorcycle owner did not have insurance the you need to file with your insurance. Let your insurance company go after the non insured driver and motor cycle owner.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You need to hire an attorney to handle it.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    See an attorney with details.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    Has your son contacted his own insurance company concerning his uninsured motorist claim?
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C. | Russell Gregory
    You contact your own insurer of the motorcycle. Assuming your son wasn't at fault, the deductible will be waived for bike repairs. Your insurer also picks up medical and work loss. These are called first-party benefits. If your son's injuries were severe enough, he can sue the other driver and the insurer of the other vehicle for personal injuries. This is suing for third-party benefits. He would have to have incurred a serious impairment of body function. Precisely what this means is addressed amply in Michigan case law. Whether the threshold is likely met in a particular instance must be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C.
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C. | Richard M. Levy
    Yes, owner and driver.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    The owner is just as liable as the driver if he gave permission to the driver to use the vehicle. If there is no coverage you have an uninsured motorist claim with your carrier. You would be best served to have a lawyer represent you to maximize your recovery and properly build the claim. There are more areas of compensation then you listed.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/16/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Driver is primarily responsible; the owner is responsible for $15,000.00 max.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2015
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