Lending A Motorcycle To An At-Risk, Impaired Driver Reflects Poor Judgment
Motorcycles are often perfect for running short errands. A three-mile trip to a convenience store becomes a lot quicker when riding a bike vs. walking. If you own a sleek motorcycle and a close friend asks to borrow it, handing over the keys might not seem like a big deal. However, a motorcycle owner could share responsibilities for the behavior of someone who gets into an accident. Knowingly lending a motorcycle to someone under the influence or known to abuse drugs and alcohol could get the motorcycle owner into significant legal trouble.
Permission and Liability
When someone takes the keys and rides out on the motorcycle without the owner's permission or knowledge, the owner might not be held liable. If the owner knew the individual was prone to taking things without permission, however, escaping litigation might not be so straightforward. A case for liability can derive from many aspects of negligence. Knowledge about someone's substance abuse history, for example, can factor into claims of negligence Here are some things to consider when handing over the keys to someone with addiction issues:
- Ongoing Rehab or Treatment: Is the person currently involved with an outpatient substance abuse treatment program? If so, is there any detailed, specific proof that the person isn't presently drinking or using drugs? Someone struggling with addiction might be at risk when operating a motorcycle or other vehicle. Perhaps the motorcycle owner needs to use discretion when lending out keys.
- Ascertaining a Motorcycle License: Although someone knows how to operate a motorcycle, he/she cannot do so without a Class M license. Knowing the person lacks a sufficient license and still lending him/her the motorcycle won't look good in court. Even not asking about possessing the appropriate license could be an oversight deemed negligence.
- Displays of Belligerent Behavior: Does the would-be motorcycle borrower appear angry, upset, or lose control? A chemically-altered mind doesn't always display proper temperament or judgment. Such an attitude might contribute to ill-advised decisions on the road and accidents.
All points about negligence, big and small, do add up to make a case against the motorcycle's owner. For these reasons and more, the owner should display good judgment when lending the vehicle.
Contacting a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
When hurt in a motorcycle accident, the injured party can file suit against all those contributing to the mishap. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney would likely know how to approach litigation and claims for damages against all who are liable.
Lending out your motorcycle can be a bit risky. For more information on other legal risks, contact Iron Horse Motorcycle Lawyers.