Determining Fault When Your Parked Motorcycle Is Knocked Over
If you’re lucky enough to have a motorcycle, you’re probably riding it around constantly, enjoying its economic and convenient value to the fullest. However, like all vehicles you have to park it on the street. This can be problematic depending on your area’s busyness and crime.
Accidents can and will happen, even when your prized motorcycle is stationary and out of the way. So what happens if your bike gets hit by another car while parked?
Let’s take a look below.
Do You Know Who Did It?
If you didn’t actually see someone strike your bike, then they are being a good Samaritan by telling you, or a good Samaritan happened to be in the right place to capture the hit-and-run driver’s info. While people shouldn’t strive to be hit and run drivers, according to USA Today, it happens more often than any insurance company or motorcycle owner is willing to admit. Assuming that either you saw it or someone saw it and let you know (a witness), you have the ability to make them pay for it. Any specifics like vehicle type and color, and ideally, a license plate number will be your best bet in getting the at-fault party to pay for damages.
What is the State Law?
If another driver is able to claim that your bike was parked too far out in the street, or if they can say that both parties were equally negligent (say your kickstand wasn’t secure or you were parked on a hill), then you have to be careful. According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurance liability differs from state to state, and if you are even partially negligent or you happen to reside in a no-fault state, then under certain accidents and claims you might not be able to have the other driver pay (or pay fully) for their damages.
It’s important to know your state’s law, and also what you’re covered for when you actually obtain quotes. Your policy can always step in but you will need to compare motorcycle insurance quotes from a handful of different providers to truly know what you’re getting coverage-wise.
Can You Prove It?
As terrible and pessimistic as it is to say, can you prove that someone actually knocked over your bike? You obviously have the best of intentions, but what if someone made a claim against you that had no backing? Would you really want to be liable for any claim or remark that someone made about you even if they didn’t have any proof? The road goes both ways in this scenario in that if you can’t prove someone else hit your bike and knocked it over, then you may have a hard time getting their policy to pay.
You’ll obviously want to sort things out as quickly as possible if your bike is hit while parked, but rest assured you’ll be covered with a comprehensive package. Comprehensive coverage for motorcycles is the same as if a car was damaged during a hit and run; someone else is at fault, so they should pay. If fault cannot be determined (or you can’t prove it), then you’ll still be covered from a comprehensive point of view.
The only thing that you’ll be on the hook for in a worst-case scenario is your deductible, and you might even be able to get that back if you can prove fault is on the other party.
While you might get upset with the legal system of some states, and possibly even lose faith in other motorists on the road, you can at least be at ease when it comes to the protection and maintenance of your motorcycle. As long as you have quality coverage then you know you’ll be covered in any incident. Paying anything, even a few hundred dollars toward your deductible in an incident you didn’t cause, is annoying, but it’s small change compared to not having adequate coverage and having to pay big dollars should the hit-and-run driver get away scot-free.