Motorcycle Consumer News
Reader Questions

Motorcycle attorney Harry Deitzler has responded to reader questions about motorcycle legal issues in Motorcycle Consumer News since April, 2010. The Motorcycle Consumer News legal articles are reprinted below with permission from the publisher. To submit a question for publication, fax your question to Motorcycle Consumer News at fax# 949.855.0654, or send an e-mail direct to Harry through this website. A different question is selected each month. To subscribe to Motorcycle Consumer News, call 888.333.0354 or sign up online.

Harry Deitzler's legal articles published in Motorcycle Consumer News:

May, 2019: Can I appeal when a jury finds against me regarding my crash with an ambulance that pulled out in front of me from a side street?

April, 2019: Can a police officer search my bags when he stops me for a minor traffic infraction?

March, 2019: How can I get the driver of a car to pay for damage to my motorcycle when he turns left in front of me and my bike goes down?

February, 2019: If I wish to contest a motorcycle traffic ticket, do I need an attorney or can I represent myself?

January, 2019: Riding from state to state, if something (such as lane-sharing) is not specifically made illegal, is it therefore legal due to lack of legislation?

December, 2018: Can a buyer who wrote a bad check to pay for my motorcycle subsequently claim that he does not owe the full amount because the bike is not running properly?

November, 2018: Can my insurance company deny insurance coverage on my motorcycle because I do not have a valid inspection sticker?

October, 2018: How can we make a major injury claim against the truck driver who pulled out from the right and caused my son to crash without making physical contact with the truck?

September, 2018: What claim can a rider make against the state or a construction company when a crash occurs because of the failure to post signs warning drivers of a construction zone?

August, 2018: How can I be compensated when the driver who blindsided and paralyzed me declares bankruptcy?

July, 2018: What is the most common factor leading to motorcycle crashes, other than rider inexperience or error?

June, 2018: Will deceased motorcycle victim possibly share fault after an overloaded truck lost power going up a hill, stalled its engine, was unable to brake, and backed over the motorcyclist?

May, 2018: Are modulating brake lights legal?

April, 2018: How can CHP cite me for passing on the right in the HOV lane when lane splitting is legal in California?

March, 2018: How do I dispute a toll invoice based upon an incorrect license camera shot?

February, 2018: When I sell my motorcycle, if something subsequently goes wrong with the bike, can the buyer make me pay for the repairs?

January, 2018: What resources beyond insurance on the bike are available to a rider who is injured because a drunk driver pulled out in front of him?

December, 2017: How do I collect from the insurance company for the monetary difference (the reduction in value) of a damaged motorcycle after it has been repaired?

November, 2017: Should motorcycle insurance pay for my motorcycle passenger's injury?

October, 2017: Do I trust my insurance agent when he suggests that I "stretch the truth" a little to save money on my premium costs?

September, 2017: How do I protect myself from liability exposure when a prospective purchaser test-rides my motorcycle?

August, 2017: Can my health insurance refuse to pay my medical bills arising from a motorcycle crash? Is the other driver's insurance only responsible for what the health insurance does not pay?

July, 2017: Does a rider's motorcycle insurance provide fair compensation when an unidentified hit-and-run driver causes the rider to crash?

June, 2017: Not that either would be good, but from an insurance compensation standpoint, are you better off if you hit a cow than you would be if you hit a deer (seriously)?

May, 2017: Is a lawsuit not worth the effort for collecting compensaton after a motorcycle crash?

April, 2017: Are motorcycle manufacturers purposefully evading NHTSA defect recalls to avoid the expense of fixing mechanical failures?

March, 2017: Can my co-op apartment ban motorcycle parking in the garage where I have already paid for a parking space?

February, 2017: Is my motorcycle insurance deductible waived if I am struck by an uninsured motorist, or is that a decision that is at the discretion of my insurance company?

January, 2017: Do most lawyers just take "slam dunks"? I had a motorcycle crash and could not find a lawyer who would take my case.

December, 2016: Does motorcycle club insurance cover the members and officers if an injured person names them as defendants in a lawsuit?

November, 2016: Does Medicare cover medical expenses arising from a motorcycle crash?

October, 2016: Who is at fault when the car in front of me suddenly stops due to an illegally parked car alongside the road?

September, 2016: Will California's proposed Vehicle Code Section 21658.1 give motorcyclists the legal right to lane split?

August, 2016: Can my insurance company refuse to provide coverage for damage to my motorcycle that occurred during a street riding school?

July, 2016: Can a Texas insurance company deny a motorcylist's claim because the rider did not have a motorcycle endorsement on his license?

June, 2016: What are my options for compensation when another driver causes me to crash and my own insurance pays for my bike?

May, 2016: Will my insurance pay me when my motorcycle fell and amputated my thumb?

April, 2016: How do I get insurance information from the driver of the motorcycle upon which I was a passenger when he crashed?

March, 2016: What can I do about a highway paint crew who spread glass reflector beads on the traveled portion of the lane, causing my motorcycle to slide out from under me?

February, 2016: What should I do to make sure that I will receive necessary medical treatment if I am injured while riding in another country?

January, 2016: What can I do when my insurance company will not pay for my crashed motorcycle?

December, 2015: I live in California. Is lane splitting legal or illegal?

November, 2015: How should I deal with a police officer who stops me for what seems to be a very minor violation and subsequently threatens to arrest me?

October, 2015: Are "motorcycle-only" traffic checkpoints legal?

September, 2015: Can my insurance company deny me coverage if I refuse to allow access to my motorcycle's event data recorder (black box)?

August, 2015: What is the penalty for using a fake DOT sticker?

July, 2015: Can I win a lawsuit and collect for my injuries from a lane-splitting crash?

June, 2015: Is it Constitutional to apply a "road usage charge" to motorcycles?

May, 2015: What can I do when my bike has problem after problem and the motorcycle dealer is really slow implementing repairs?

April, 2015: What is the risk of loaning my motorcycle to a rider who does not have a motorcycle endorsement?

March, 2015: Can my health insurance deny coverage for medical treatment arising from a motorcycle crash?

February, 2015: Are helmet laws about safety or are they based on the monetary cost to society when a rider becomes permanently injured?

January, 2015: Can I go to court and force my state's department of transportation not to leave hazardous grooved pavement exposed for days or weeks at a time during constuction projects?

December, 2014: Do other states have the right to ticket me and tow my motorcycle for not having insurance when motorcycle insurance coverage is not required in my home state?

November, 2014: What can be done to an offending driver who injures me and has no insurance and no assets (worse yet, I have no underinsured motorist coverage to pay my bills)?

October, 2014: Do I have a Constitutional Right not to wear a helmet?

September, 2014: How do I secure insurance compensation for the theft of my vintage 1970 Honda CL-350 K2?

August, 2014: Does a motorcycle rally organizer need permission to depict a motorcycle brand logo on an event video?

July, 2014: Who is responsible for payment if I crash a motorcycle during a test ride?

June, 2014: Will signed liability waiver forms protect our motorcycle club and its officers?

May, 2014: If aftermarket modifications to my bike are legal in my home state, can I ride into other states without being ticketed?

April, 2014: What legal concerns arise when I provide medical help to a seriously injured rider?

March, 2014: Who is responsible if I crash my motorcycle because the local government fails to maintain the road and allows ice to accumulate?

February, 2014: How do I get my bills paid if a drunk driver with minimum or no insurance causes a crash that injures me on my motorcycle?

January, 2014: Who pays for the damage if a friend borrows my motorcycle and is involved in a crash?

December, 2013: An unleashed dog attacked the front wheel of my motorcycle and caused a crash-- who is responsible?

November, 2013: What liability issues are involved when a car tire is used on a motorcycle?

October, 2013: My son's motorcycle is titled in his name, but he lives in my home-- am I responsible for a lawsuit beyond his motorcycle insurance coverage?

September, 2013: What legal concerns and insurance issues are implicated by the use of a trailer attached to my motorcycle?

August, 2013: Can I request that an out-of-town speeding ticket be transferred to the county where I reside?

July, 2013: Is there any way for me to get compensation for my medical bills after I crashed my motorcycle because a car pulled in front of me from a retail store driveway? (The driver got away and cannot be identified.)

June, 2013: What can I do when another driver pulls out from a parking lot into my path of travel and causes a crash, but the police officer does not find fault with the other driver?

May, 2013: What special arrangements are necessary to insure against the possible loss of my fully-restored classic motorcycle?

April, 2013: How much money should I receive from the insurance company that insures the company truck and driver who totaled my motorcycle, broke my foot, and caused me to miss several months of work?

March, 2013: Is it legal for commercial parking lots to require several motorcycles to park in the a single vehicle space?

February, 2013: What amount of monetary compensation should my wife and I expect for pain and suffering following serious injuries in a motorcycle crash?

January, 2013: Why is it necessary that I carry significant motorcycle insurance, particularly if I usually ride solo?

December, 2012: Is uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage necessary if I have a comprehensive health insurance policy?

November, 2012: Does my original "motorcycle only" driver license from 1961 allow me to avoid taking another road test for purposes of a motorcycle endorsement on my current license?

October, 2012: As a motorcycle rider, how much insurance do I need to buy?

September, 2012: As the leader of a group ride, what is my liability if a rider in the group crashes?

August, 2012: Can my motorcycle insurance deny coverage for items that were stolen from my motorcycle while it was parked overnight during a road trip?

July, 2012: What special protection does the law offer motorcycle riders when texting drivers kill or maim us?

June, 2012: What can (or should) I do about a reckless driving citation that was issued to me after I crashed due to a defect in the highway?

May, 2012: How much trouble do I get in by purchasing drinks for my friends after a ride?  Also, letter to the editor response regarding car tires on motorcycles

April, 2012: What happens to my case if my crash occurs left of center due to emergency braking when a truck pulled out in front of me?

March, 2012: What happens to my case if my crash occurs left of center due to emergency braking when a truck pulled out in front of me?

February, 2012: What should I do with regard to my motorcycle injury that is covered through Workers' Compensation?

January, 2012: How do I determine the settlement value of my motorcycle injury claim when my future medical prognosis is uncertain?

December, 2011: Can my insurance company deny my motorcycle damage claim because my address is listed incorrectly on the insurance policy?

November, 2011: As motorcyclists, what can we do to defend our right-of-way?

October, 2011: What is the liability of participating in a ride "escorted" by retired police officers with sirens and lights?

September, 2011: Is it illegal to ride with stereo earplugs?

August, 2011: The dealer sold me the wrong wheel bolts for my BMW R1200GS and they damaged the flange-- what can I do?

July, 2011: Who will pay for the repairs when a pizza delivery driver illegally pulls out in front of me and causes $1500 damage to my motorcycle?

June, 2011: What recourse do I have against the other driver (and possibly the police officer) when a motorcycle crash cause me to suffer severe brain injury, but the jury finds against me?

May, 2011: What is the liability of using a car tire on a motorcycle?

April, 2011: Does my uninsured motorist coverage on my car policy cover me on my motorcycle insured with the same company?

March, 2011: Is there such a thing as a 50-state legal motorcycle inspection that can protect me from illegal equipment stops in other states?

February, 2011: As a motorcyclist, how do I deal with police misconduct in a traffic stop?

January, 2011: Can an employer give me a bad annual review because I missed work after a motorcycle crash?

December, 2010: How do I get top dollar out of my motorcycle when it is totalled because a full-size vehicle ran into me from behind?

November, 2010: Does my motorcycle club need liability insurance to cover weekly rides posted on the club website?

October, 2010: Do insurance companies stop dealers from mounting third-party tires on motorcycles?

September, 2010: What can I do about an SUV driver who pulled out in front of my motorcycle? The driver took off and I only suffered bumps and bruises?

August, 2010: Can motorcycle club member share copies of factory service manuals?

July, 2010: Can I get reimbursement when the motorcycle repair shop causes damage to my motor?

June, 2010: Why should I buy uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for my motorcycle if I already have health insurance?

May, 2010: Where should I submit the medical bills after my motorcycle collision with a log truck?

April, 2010: Do I need uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on my motorcycle?