Sandy, UT asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Utah

Q: Is a driver liable for causing an motorcycle accident if they initiate a turn in front of the bike and it goes down?

The driver of the car initiated a left turn into a school and stopped a foot in the lane of traffic of the motorcycle who was traveling in the opposite direction. The car didn’t hit the motorcyclist. The driver of the motorcycle assuming they would be hit braked hard locking the front wheel while swerving to avoid being hit and laid the bike down injuring their right hand. The driver of the car is claiming no liability because they stopped before making contact. The police officer who came to the hospital to take the statement of the motorcyclist stated the vehicle driver contributed to the accident but issued no citations. Speed was not a factor in the accident. The cars insurance is denying any liability for injury to the motorcyclist stating the motorcyclist could/ should have swerved to avoid the accident or stopped and not laid the bike down.

1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: I do not practice in Utah, but your question remains open for four weeks. A local attorney could best advise on the operation of Utah's vehicle and traffic laws. However, as general legal doctrine, one can be liable for an accident even if they do not actually physically impact the other vehicle. It's good that the police officer here was thorough in investigating the accident and went to the hospital to take a statement from the motorcycle driver. I don't think a reasonable jury is going to buy the other vehicle's argument that the motorcycle should have swerved, especially if there are any motorcycle drivers on the jury. The motorcycle driver should contact a Utah attorney; many would likely provide a free initial consultation on this type of case. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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