I had a motorcycle stored at a friends house, but he took it with out my knowledge, and had an accident. There was no insurance on it. What should I do?
You should wait. Since your posting doesn't make it clear if there was property damage or injuries related to the accident, at the moment there is nothing to do. Assuming there is some personal or property injury caused by your friend, and the injured party goes looking for recovery, it will ultimately be a quesion of fact whether he was using the bike with your permission or not. I think you're in pretty good shape, but if push comes to shove (that is if you were sued), you will likely have to explain why the bike was stored at your friends house if he wasn't allowed to use it from time to time. I am in San Diego, so if you have any questions feel free to give me a call.
Another reason not to store motorized vehicles at a friend's residence without insurance, right? I think my fellow posters have written great responses to your question. I would say your best bet is to prove the non-permitted use of the motorcycle. Any evidence to support this would be beneficial. I do not know if anyone was injured, or if this was just a property damage claim. If only property damage, you can sue your friend in Small Claims (assuming the damage is within those limits).
If the only damage was to the motorcycle you can sue your friend. If your friend injured someone else in the accident you, as the owner of the motorcycle, can be liable up to $15,000 in damage.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.
I suggest that you file a report with the Police Department in which you advise the police that he did not have permission to drive your uninsured motorcycle. Since he is a non-permissive driver of the vehicle, I question whether you would have any liability at all. However, I suggest you immediately make the record with the police department concerning his illegal driving of your vehicle.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure that proper advice is received.
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