What Is a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident?
A motorcycle accident does not always refer to a collision between a motorcycle and a motor vehicle. Many motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle accidents, in which only the motorcycle crashes. Yet even in a single-vehicle accident, with no contact between a motorcyclist and a driver, a driver could still be liable for the motorcyclist’s damages. This could be the case in what the law calls a no-contact motorcycle accident.
How Do No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
A no-contact motorcycle accident refers to a situation in which someone else causes a motorcyclist to wreck, but no actual collision between the two parties occurred. For example, if a driver runs a red light, and a motorcyclist swerves to avoid striking the vehicle, the driver could be liable for the motorcyclist’s damages – even if the motorcyclist crashed the bike to the ground before ever touching the vehicle. In this example, the driver who ran the red light would be liable for the wreck due to reckless driving, despite never striking the motorcycle.
Another common example of a no-contact motorcycle accident is an unsafe lane change. A motorist may not see a motorcycle that is in his or her blind spot, and may merge quickly without warning or turn signals. This could force the motorcyclist to move into another lane, potentially causing a crash. It is up to motor vehicle drivers to use reasonable care and prudence while driving at all times. Otherwise, they could engage in negligent or unsafe practices that cause no-contact accidents.
Common Causes of No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of no-contact accidents than motor vehicle drivers. The size, shape, and capacity of a motorcycle mean a rider must maintain certain speeds and maneuver a certain way to stay on two wheels. It is much easier for a motorcycle to wreck without interference from another vehicle or object than a standard passenger vehicle. A driver could cause a no-contact motorcycle accident with many forms of negligence.
- Red light running
- Failing to check blind spots
- Failure to check for motorcycles
- Unsafe lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Road rage or reckless driving
- Violating other traffic laws
If a driver’s negligence causes a motorcyclist to hit the ground or wreck, even without contact between the two vehicles, the driver may be liable in Pennsylvania. The motorcyclist may have to prove the driver’s liability if the motorcyclist chose to purchase fault-based insurance rather than no-fault.
How to Prove Liability
An injured motorcyclist may receive more money for his or her damages by filing a personal injury claim after a no-contact accident, with or without fault-based auto insurance. Pursuing a claim, however, comes with a burden of proof to obtain compensation. The injured motorcyclist must prove, through a preponderance of the evidence, the negligence and fault of the driver. This means the motorcyclist must prove the driver’s failure to exercise reasonable care.
To prove liability in a no-contact accident, the motorcyclist must use evidence such as eyewitness accounts, police reports, and expert testimony to establish the standard of care based on the situation. The plaintiff or his or her attorney must prove that a reasonable and prudent driver would have reacted differently in a similar situation, and would have avoided the action that caused the accident.
Hiring a lawyer can lighten the burden of proof on a plaintiff during a no-contact motorcycle accident injury claim. A skilled Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer can help identify the proximate cause of the accident, collect available evidence, and demonstrate the driver’s responsibility to a judge or jury. If the defendant left the scene of the crash, the motorcyclist may have no choice but to seek benefits from his or her own insurance company. No-contact accidents can cause painful road rash, broken bones, and other serious injuries. An attorney can fight for recovery from the accountable party.