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A motorcycle without its rider smashed into my parked car. He told police a deer struck him causing him to fall off the bike. The bike continued 200 yards before hopping a curb and hitting my car. His insurance company says if they find evidence of a deer hitting his bike, it will not pay for the damages to my car. Is this correct?

Yes, if the driver wasn't negligent then his insurer could say their insured is not legally liable for the accident and deny your claims against the motorcyclist’s insurance

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Negligence of a driver is taken into account. If a person didn’t do anything wrong, their insurer does not need to pay. A biker isn’t in control of a wild animal and therefore can’t be responsible for the damage his bike made due to a deer. While this may not seem fair, think about it if you were in the biker’s place. 

For example, what if you were driving and another car hit you, causing you to crash into another vehicle, while the car sped away?  Would you want to be held responsible for the damage to the third car that was really caused by the vanishing vehicle?  Of course not.

In your situation, the insurer for the motorcyclist is investigating the accident.  If the biker’s insurance company finds he simply lost control and made up a story about the deer, it will find him at fault due to negligence.  This means the company will pay for your damages. 

If the other insurer doesn't pay, and if you have collision coverage, you could make a claim with your own auto insurance provider.  You would have to pay your collision deductible, even though the accident and resulting damage weren’t your fault.

Last updated: Jun. 23, 2014 Redesign Survey