As your motorcycle skidded along the asphalt to the sound of screeching metal and glass, you felt a hard thud as you collided into the curb. You and your bike are banged up badly. Moments earlier, you’d been riding in your lane when suddenly a car cut into your lane, causing you to swerve dangerously. You lost your balance and careened onto the ground in a cacophony of crunching metal. You never hit the other car, but you sure hit the ground.
It’s called a no-contact motorcycle accident. As a motorcyclist, you know you must be vigilant on the road. Responsible riders perform safety inspections and take added precautions while riding because they know they’re more vulnerable on the road. They must always be prepared and on guard, wary of the unexpected.
Who is at fault in a no-contact motorcycle crash?
Like all road accidents, it depends on the facts and circumstances of the incident. If the driver of the vehicle caused your injuries and damage to your motorcycle, then the driver is at fault—even if there was no physical contact between the two vehicles. The driver could have caused the accident by not driving with reasonable care. They may have:
- failed to notice the motorcyclist;
- failed to signal or check blind spots for a lane change;
- broken traffic laws, such as speeding, making an illegal pass, not yielding the right of way, or not stopping for a red light;
- driven recklessly;
- driven distractedly; or
- been suffering from road rage.
If the driver was negligent or reckless, they can be held liable for your medical bills and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
However, the driver of the car is not always at fault. For instance, if the motorcyclist had been following too closely and did not notice the car reducing its speed, and the motorcyclist only swerved at the last possible moment before crashing into the car, then the motorcyclist would be at fault. As with any accident, the incidents leading up to the crash are important.
What should you do if you’re involved in a no-contact motorcycle accident?
First, you should seek medical treatment for your injuries. You will also need to protect yourself by contacting the police so they can investigate, speak with eyewitnesses, and issue a report.
Sometimes the driver of the other vehicle doesn’t stop. The motorist may not have ever seen the motorcyclist, and they might continue driving away. If this happens, it’s important to try to gather as much information as you can about the other vehicle from other eyewitnesses and your own memory so you can try to locate the other driver. If you can identify the other driver, you will be able to file a personal injury claim against them.
What if you can’t locate the driver of the other car?
One challenge of a no-contact accident is that the other driver may not stop and will not have sustained any damage to their vehicle. You may never find the other driver who caused your injuries and property damage.
In this case, the no-contact accident is akin to a hit-and-run accident. You should contact your own insurance company to file an uninsured motorist claim, which compensates you if you’re involved in a collision with a driver who doesn’t carry insurance or who doesn’t stop as in a hit-and-run accident. Remember, though, that the insurance company will try to minimize its payments, and it may try to argue that you’re partly at fault for the accident.
How can you recover for your damages?
No-contact motorcycle accident claims can be difficult to win, whether they’re a lawsuit with the other driver or a claim with your own insurance company. They require evidence, such as police reports, eyewitness accounts, medical documents, and expert witnesses.
Your expenses could be significant, and your injuries can be life-changing, so it’s important that you receive good advice and assistance from an experienced attorney who can investigate the fault underlying the accident and help you recover compensation. Hunter & Everage is on call for you, with experienced personal injury lawyers in Richmond, Virginia, and Charlotte, North Carolina.