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Who Is Liable in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident?

December 27, 2021 Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents occur in a wide variety of ways throughout the state of California. In most cases, motorcycle accidents involve direct contact with another motor vehicle or a stationary object. However, there are times when “no-contact” motorcycle accidents occur. Here, we want to further define no-contact motorcycle accidents and examine who could be held liable in these situations.

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When we look at the information presented by the California Office of Traffic Safety, we can see that 474 motorcyclists lost their lives during the latest reporting year across this state. Additionally, there were nearly 13,000 total motorcyclist injuries recorded during that same reporting year. Overall, California has more registered motorcycles than any other state in the country.

When most people think of motorcycle crashes, they consider collisions with other vehicles. However, no-contact motorcycle accidents can lead to injuries and fatalities as well. A no-contact accident can occur in a wide variety of ways, and it can occur with any type of vehicle. However, motorcyclists are more likely to be involved in no-contact accidents due to the nature of the type of vehicle they ride on. The shape, weight, and size of a motorcycle mean that riders must maintain an upright position and forward momentum.

However, the actions of other drivers on the roadway can lead to a motorcyclist losing their ability to remain upright or keep that forward momentum going. These other drivers can essentially cause a motorcycle accident without ever coming into contact with the actual motorcycle. Even though these incidents occur in very much the same ways as other accidents, the only difference is that there is no physical contact between one driver and the motorcyclist. If a motorcyclist has to take evasive actions because of the actions of another driver, the results can be devastating.

Other drivers can still hold liability for these accidents, though. This is particularly true if their negligent actions lead to the no-contact accident happening in the first place. Some of the most common ways that motorcycle accidents occur include vehicle drivers:

  • Changing lanes unsafely
  • Operating too fast for conditions
  • Violating basic traffic laws
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Failing to stop at a stoplight or stop sign
  • Operating while distracted

Anytime the negligent actions of another driver lead to a motorcyclist having to take evasive actions, thus causing a crash, it may be possible to hold the negligent driver responsible for their actions. Their insurance carrier may have to pay compensation to the motorcyclist, or the motorcyclist could file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Proving Liability After a No-contact Motorcycle Accident

In order to secure compensation after being involved in a no-contact motorcycle accident, it will be essential to prove that the other party was responsible for the incident. This can be challenging, especially if there was no direct contact between the other vehicle and the motorcycle. However, there are various types of evidence that can be gathered to help establish what happened so that the insurance carrier or a personal injury jury can paint a clear picture of the incident.

Some of the main types of evidence that can help prove a no-contact motorcycle accident in California include:

  • Statements from eyewitnesses to the incident
  • Photographs taken at the scene that show debris, skid marks, vehicle damage, and more
  • Video surveillance of the incident
  • The police report

We strongly encourage any person who has been involved in a no-contact motorcycle accident to work with a skilled San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer who can examine every aspect of the claim. An attorney can use their resources to conduct an independent investigation into the incident, gather all evidence needed to prove liability, and handle all negotiations with aggressive insurance carriers.