Do I bear responsibility f during a group ride an unlicensed individual swerved into me and caused my motorcycle to strike the tailpipe of his motorcycle?

Neither party was injured. A verbal agreement was made to have the exhaust pipe repaired. No police report was filed nor insurance claim was filed. the next day, This individual claims that his back was broken in the accident and is requesting my insurance information. Am I liable in this scenario? Can a claim be filed if no police report was filed? Even if my vehicle struck his, am I liable if he was not licensed to lawfully operate a motorcycle?

Asked on August 12, 2014 under Accident Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) You could be liable if it could be shown that you were yourself driving your motorcycle negligently (careless), your negligence caused or contributed to the accident, and your act then caused or contributed to his injury. Obviously, he'd have to be able to prove these things (including the exent of the injury) in a court of law in order to sue you and win money. You have to have been at least partially "at fault" to be liable.

2) A suit may be filed even without a police report.

3) A unlicensed driver can recover compensation, though if he were also negligent or careless (as an unlicensed driver may well have been), that negligence will offset or reduce what he could recover.

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