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My bike was totaled in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver. His insurance denied my claim to pay for my bike!

Richmond, VA |

I was hit by a truck on my motorcycle. The driver was straddling the center line& had committed to the left lane by the time I went to pass him on the right. He suddenly came into my lane w/o looking or signaling & smashed into me at 30 mph, knocking me off. He was cited for an improper or unsafe lane change at the scene but told his insurance rep he never left the right lane (which is impossible, I could not pass a dodge dakota in the same lane as me on my bike). If he didn't come into my lane then I would not have been knocked off my bike with enough force to end up 15 ft away or hit hard enough to leave a paint transfer on his truck from the front of my bike. It was totaled. His insurance denied my claim. I only have liability insurance so the cost of my bike, towing & storage is on me!

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Attorney answers 4


Denying claims is what insurance companies do. Why are you surprised. Their customer insists that the accident was not his fault. Your course is clear. If you want to pursue this you must file suit. Personal injury claims are subject to a two year statute of limitations in Virginia. Propery damage claims are subject to a five year statute of limitations. Good luck.

The author of this post is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. This post is intended as general information only, and is not provided as legal advice in connection with any specific case, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Your best option may depend on the amount of the loss. You can sue in our general district courts for up to $15,000.00. These courts are faster than circuit courts where the amount sued for is unlimited.
If you were injured that is a separate case which I would love to discuss with you. 800 752 0042


As a lifelong rider, I have to point out two things to you. First, I am very pleased that you have not suffered serious personal injuries as a result of this crash. If you have suffered injuries, you should immediately call an experienced attorney who can handle both your personal injury claim and your property damage claim as well. If you have no personal injuries, you will probably have a difficult time finding legal counsel to help you. If you only have a property damage claim, you might check what the small claims limits are in Virginia. If they are high enough to cover your property damage including towing and storage etc, you should file a claim immediately. If the jurisdictional amount of small claims court is not high enough to cover your losses you should check out the next highest level of court, like municipal court or limited jurisdiction court. Remember also to make a claim for your gear such as your gloves, helmet jacket and boots, whatever got torn up or scuffed.
The final thing I have to say is that you also should consider some degree of contribution for your own conduct in causing this crash. If you began your pass of the truck before he had completely left your lane, you were comparatively negligent. As a motorcycle rider, you are responsible to leave a certain space for yourself. If Virginia does not allow lane sharing, your pass was premature, and your conduct has contributed to your crash as well as the negligent conduct of the truck driver. This is a bitter pill to swallow, however you are likely to be attributed some fault by a court. Bear this in mind as you negotiate with the insurance company later. Good luck, Claude


It appears this is a dispute as to liability. If you feel strongly enough about this, you may want to consider taking the other motorist to small claims court.

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