If someone borrowed my motorcycle and was injured in an accident, can I be held liable?

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If someone borrowed my motorcycle and was injured in an accident, can I be held liable?

I went motorcycle riding with some friends this weekend. I have 2 bikes and when one of our party’s bikes broke down, I let him ride my spare. However, he crashed it and broke his arm in 4 places. He then opted for a ride out to the hospital in a helicopter. He is now asking if I have insurance on my bike. I don’t; it is an off road only motorcycle and I have never put insurance on this type of bike. Is there any way that I can be held responsible for any of his medical costs and related expenses?

Asked on May 27, 2014 under Personal Injury, Utah

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As the registered owner of the motorcycle, you are liable for your friend's injuries incurred when he crashed.  Your friend's damages (compensation he is seeking) would include his medical bills including the helicopter ride to the hospital, pain and suffering (an amount in addition to the medical bills) and wage loss.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is determined by the medical reports which document the nature and extent of the injuries.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If your friend files a lawsuit against you, it would be advisable to file bankruptcy when he obtains a judgment against you.  It would be premature to file bankruptcy until there is a judgment against you because prior to that you wouldn't know the amount of the judgment.

Depending on your income and other factors, you may be eligible to file Chapter 7, which is a type of bankruptcy that eliminates certain types of debts (such as the monetary judgment your friend will obtain against you).  If you are ineligible to file Chapter 7, you can file Chapter 13; however, Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a plan (budget) for repayment of creditors.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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