Being a motorcycle owner is like being a parent, you have to treat your ride with utmost care because it would be a headache, not to mention costly, if it incurs property damage. To be safe, you must diligently follow all the road rules and regulations for being on the road. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents can still happen even though you’re being extra careful.
Some drivers are driving an unregistered motorcycle (we hope you are not) despite the disadvantages of being unrecorded. When you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in California, filing an insurance claim can be a difficult process if your motorcycle is unregistered. Even if you have valid insurance coverage and believe you’re entitled to compensation, you may face additional obstacles if your motorcycle is not registered with the state.
Unregistered Motorcycle: Section 4000(a)(1) of the California Vehicle Code provides that…
“A person shall not drive, move, or leave standing upon a highway, or in an off street public parking facility, any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole or pipe dolly, or logging dolly, unless it is registered and the appropriate fees have been paid under this code or registered under the permanent trailer identification program, except that an off-highway motor vehicle which displays an identification plate or device issued by the department pursuant to Section 38010 may be driven, moved, or left standing in an off street public parking facility without being registered or paying registration fees.”
Motor vehicles must be properly registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you’re driving in California. Hence, if you have an unregistered motorcycle, you may not be able to file an insurance claim. In some cases, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company, but it will be subject to certain restrictions, such as a lower payment amount or a denial of the claim altogether.
However, if your motorcycle is unregistered and you were involved in an accident, there are still some options available to you.
Number one is to contact your insurance company and explain the situation. Depending on your specific circumstances, they may be able to work with you to find a solution that satisfies both parties.
You may also be able to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the other driver was responsible for the accident, their insurance coverage may cover your damages, even if your motorcycle is unregistered. This is especially true if the other driver was found to be negligent.
If you are not able to file an insurance claim, you may be able to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit if the other driver was found to be at fault. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine the best course of action for your particular situation.
No matter if the other driver’s vehicle is registered, the driver at fault for the collision will remain the same. The other driver isn’t automatically responsible for the wreck just because their vehicle registration isn’t up to date.
Regardless of whether the other driver’s vehicle is registered, the process after getting into a collision remains the same. Be sure to collect all necessary documentation, including the following information from the other driver:
- Driver’s license
- Phone number
- Insurance identification
Meanwhile, these are offenses related to driving an unregistered motorcycle or vehicle:
- CVC 4463 – Vehicle Registration Fraud
- CVC 40508 – Failure to Appear for a Traffic Ticket
- CVC 16028 – Proof of Financial Responsibility
Section 4463 of the California Vehicle Code imposes criminal penalties for the following:
- Altering, forging, counterfeiting or falsifying a vehicle registration card, license plate, registration sticker or smog certificate, with intent to defraud;
- Displaying, causing or permitting to be displayed, or possessing a blank, incomplete, canceled, suspended, revoked, altered, forged, counterfeit, or false vehicle registration card, license plate, registration sticker or smog certificate, with fraudulent intent; or
- Publishing, passing or attempting to pass as true and genuine a false, altered, forged or counterfeit vehicle registration card, license plate, registration sticker or smog certificate, with intent to defraud.
- Vehicle registration certificates,
- Vehicle registration stickers,
- Vehicle license plates, and
- Vehicle smog test certificates.
Meanwhile, Section 40508 of the California Vehicle Code penalizes failure to appear for a traffic ticket.
After receiving a traffic ticket in California, you are obligated to sign a written promise to appear in court. You violate the law just by breaking a promise to:
- Appear in court,
- Appear to pay bail,
- Pay bail in installments,
- Pay a fine within the time authorized, or
- Comply with any condition of the court.
Lastly, we have the Proof of Financial Responsibility in accordance with Section 16028 (a)
which says that you must:
- Have evidence of financial responsibility of your vehicle, and
- Have this evidence when requested to provide it to a police officer.
Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? Call Motorcyclist Attorney!
In case you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, Motorcyclist Attorney is here for you. We have skilled lawyers who will help you get the claim that you deserve. No lowball offers from the insurance adjusters! We will help you get the best medical treatment so you can get back on your feet in no time.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers will protect your rights, help you get the amount that you deserve, or represent you during trials. At Motorcyclist Attorney, we are after your well-being and welfare. We don’t charge any fees unless we win.