If Someone Else Crashes Your Motorcycle, Are You on the Hook?
Suppose you buy a brand-new motorcycle. You’ve only ridden it a few times. Your neighbor asks if they can take it for a quick ride around the block. You’re eager to show off your new bike so you let them. You figure – what’s the worst thing that can happen in five minutes?
Well, the worst thing that can happen usually does happen. If your neighbor crashes your motorcycle and someone gets hurt, you’re the one on the hook. It’s your insurance company that is going to have to cover the damages.
This is why you should always think twice before letting someone borrow your motorcycle. We represent clients all the time who are hurt by someone other than the vehicle owner. The same rule applies to motorcycles.
If someone crashes your bike, you’ll be the one left holding the bag. Not only will your insurance have to cover the damages, but your rates will also skyrocket as a result. Your motorcycle accident attorney handles cases like this all the time.
Insurance Follows the Motorcycle – Not the Driver
A lot of people think the vehicle insurance follows the driver. That isn’t the case. Insurance follows the vehicle, not the person behind the wheel. This is why you’ll be on the hook even if someone else is driving your motorcycle at the time of the crash.
Your insurance policy will have to cover any injuries suffered in the motorcycle crash. They’ll also have to cover any property damage that’s sustained in the collision. This is why it’s important that you think long and hard about who you let borrow your bike.
The good news is that you won’t be personally liable for the damages. You won’t be sued personally for any damages. There’s only one exception to this rule.
If your insurance refuses to pay the claim and the person driving your motorcycle doesn’t have any insurance, you could be held personally liable. That’s because the person driving your bike probably has insurance. Their insurance will kick in if your policy doesn’t cover all of the damages.
What if the Person Driving Your Bike Has Insurance?
The way it works in third-person driving cases is, the policy on the motorcycle kicks in first. If the damages exceed the limits of this policy, the remaining damages have to be paid by the driver’s personal insurance.
Let’s consider an example:
You loan your motorcycle to your neighbor. They crash into a car and cause serious injuries. The damages claimed by the other driver is $200,000.
Your policy has a limit of $100,000. This means there will be an additional $100,000 left to be paid. If the person driving your bike has insurance. Their policy will have to kick in to pay the rest.
Let’s say their policy limit is $50,000. That means there will be $50,000 left unpaid. The victim can file suit against either you or the person driving for the remaining $50,000. This is when things can get messy.
What to Do if You Get Sued Personally for the Accident?
In the above example, you could be sued for the $50,000 that isn’t paid by the two insurance policies. The other driver will probably name both you and your neighbor in their lawsuit. If they don’t, your motorcycle accident attorney will have to bring them in as a third-party defendant.
The other driver won’t care who pays them – as long as they get paid. If you have more assets than the person driving your motorcycle, you may be the one they target. Their lawyer is going to want to go after whoever has deeper pockets.
If you do own assets – such as a house – they could be at risk in a personal injury lawsuit. If the plaintiff wins and gets a judgment against you, there could be a lien placed against your house. Rather than let this happen, it’s always a good idea to settle your case instead. Nobody wants to risk losing their personal assets – especially when the accident wasn’t even your fault!
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you get injured in a motorcycle accident, you should call a motorcycle accident attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They can help you get the damages you deserve. Call Babcock Trial Lawyers and schedule your free initial consultation today.
If the person who hit you wasn’t the owner of the motorcycle – don’t worry. Your motorcycle accident attorney will pursue both the driver and the owner of the bike. Between the two of them, you should be able to recover for your injuries.