Phil Franckel June 2016

philFrankelAre You Required to Lay Your Motorcycle down to Avoid an Accident?

Motorcyclists are always getting blamed by insurance companies, so here are two situations where they may blame you no matter what you do, but the law is on your side.

In the usual motorcycle accident where a car is making a left turn and crossing your path in front of you, does it matter if you lay your bike down to avoid the accident, or if you try to avoid the accident in another way?

We had a case where a motorcyclist put his bike down to avoid hitting a car pulling out of a driveway in front of him. The insurance company refused to pay, arguing that motorcyclist put his bike down for no reason other than he was unnecessarily afraid. The insurance company also claimed that the car was stopped before the accident and remained stopped at all times.

That argument was unsuccessful and the driver was found to be 80% at fault. The motorcyclist was 20% at fault because it was found that he could have taken evasive action earlier than he did.

In an accident where the motorcyclist kept going straight and was hit by a car making a left turn, the insurance company argued the reverse. The argument was that the motorcyclist should have laid down his motorcycle to avoid the accident.

In that case, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court ruled against the argument, but only because there was no evidence to support the argument that the motorcyclist should have put his bike down.

That could leave open the possibility of an accident reconstruction expert providing the evidence to claim that laying the motorcycle down would have avoided the accident. However, I can’t believe a court would ever rule that a motorcyclist could be negligent for choosing how to be injured.

In summary, it shouldn’t matter to your case whether you put your motorcycle down without hitting the car, or if you hit the car because you didn’t put your motorcycle down.

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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.