Phil Franckel April 2017

Who do I Sue, the Driver or the Insurance Company?

Many of our clients ask if we will sue the driver or the insurance company. Some riders don’t want to sue the driver, but don’t mind suing the insurance company. Sometimes, riders are not injured and just want to be reimbursed for the damage to their motorcycle and need to know who to sue.

The lawsuit does not name the insurance company as a defendant because the insurance company didn’t cause your accident and doesn’t own the vehicle. The insurance company only indemnifies their insured. This means that the insurance company agreed to pay for claims against the person you are suing. The insurance company also provides an attorney at their expense to defend the lawsuit.

If you were not injured and want to file a lawsuit only for damage to your motorcycle because you did not have collision coverage, you can file a lawsuit for:

  • up to $5,000 in Small Claims Court or
  • up to $15,000 in District Court in Suffolk or Nassau County and
  • up to $25,000 in New York City Civil Court.

These courts have fill-in-the-blank forms and a clerk can help you fill them in.

In a Small Claims Court lawsuit for damage to your motorcycle, it should be sufficient to file a lawsuit against the driver and registrant of the vehicle.

In a lawsuit for personal injuries it is extremely important to name every possible defendant. There are several reasons, one of which is to make sure that every available insurance policy is available to pay for your injury.

A personal injury lawsuit should name as defendants: the driver, the registrant of the vehicle, the title owner, and any named insured on the policy. It is possible for the same person to be the driver, registrant, title owner and insured but there could be several people and/or companies.

John Doe could be the driver of a car registered to his wife Jane Doe, which is owned by her father Joseph Rowe, whose name is on the title and whose wife Josephine Rowe is listed as an insured on the policy. There could be one or more insurance policies insuring this car.

If you need to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by an accident, you should always call a motorcycle accident lawyer immediately.

If you have a question to submit for an article or would just like to say hello, please call Phil Franckel at 1-800-HURT-911 or send your question to

Philip L. Franckel Esq. and Rob Plevy, Esq. are attorneys with FRANCKEL & PLEVY, LLP representing people hurt in motorcycle and other accidents.  Disclaimer: This article should be considered advertising to represent people HURT in an accident; is for informational purposes and should not be relied upon because it could contain errors; the correct information may be different for your set of facts even though they seem similar; and is not legal advice which should only be obtained by contacting Phil Franckel, Esq. or Rob Plevy, Esq. for a free consultation to discuss your specific circumstances at 1-800-HURT-911.

See our web sites, and  If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, speak directly to Phil Franckel 24/7 at 1-800-HURT-911 — 1-800-487-8911.