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Can You Still File a Claim in a No Contact Motorcycle Accident?

July 12th, 2019

Thousands of motorcycle deaths occur every year in the U.S. Approximately 15 percent of traffic deaths involve motorcycles, and these accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, as well as other serious injuries such as paralysis and quadriplegia. Accidents between motorcycles and cars can cause serious injury or death, even if there is no actual physical collision between the two vehicles. 

What is a No Contact Motorcycle Accident 

A no contact motorcycle accident is an accident in which a driver of a car or truck causes a motorcyclist to wreck, but there is no actual collision between those two parties. The driver of the car or truck can be held responsible for the motorcyclist’s injuries and property damage even if the two vehicles never touched each other, so long as the car or truck driver was negligent by failing to act as a reasonably prudent driver under the circumstances.

Common No Contact Accident Scenarios

A motorcyclist may lay their motorcycle down or crash into another object or area, as they try to avoid a collision with another vehicle. The most typical scenario in which a motorcyclist is injured by a negligent driver despite a lack of actual contact with the vehicle occurs when a driver changes lanes without signaling to the motorcycle. This causes the motorcyclist to swerve and lose control of the motorcycle as they attempt to avoid a collision with the vehicle that is changing lanes. 

Common Causes of No Contact Accidents 

There are several ways no contact accident between a driver and a motorcyclist can occur, including:

  • Violating traffic laws, such as running a red light, crossing the center line, failing to yield the right-of-way or speeding
  • Driving distracted by talking on a cell phone or texting
  • Failing to monitor the ongoing traffic and detecting that a motorcyclist is near them
  • Making an unsafe lane change
  • Driving recklessly 
  • Driving under the influence

All of these scenarios involve negligent conduct that could force a motorcyclist to react to avoid a collision, yet ultimately crash their bike as a result.

Proving Negligence

To prevail in a claim for damages against a driver after a no contact motorcycle accident, the motorcyclist must provide evidence that shows:

  1. The driver had a legal duty to drive with reasonable care
  2. The driver failed to drive as a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances
  3. The driver’s negligence was the actual and proximate cause of the accident
  4. The motorcyclist suffered damages as a result

Drivers must obey the rules of the road, and they must also maintain awareness of the activity around them, including motorcyclists.  In most cases, if a driver fails to see a motorcyclist, or is acting imprudently, they may be held responsible for injuries and damages due to their negligence. 

Too often, motor vehicles fail to stop after a motorcycle accident, simply because they are oblivious to the situation and are unaware that the accident occurred.  Obtaining the statements of witnesses to the accident is very important and can help establish that the driver’s negligence caused the motorcyclist’s injuries and damages. 

Recovering Compensation After a No Contact Motorcycle Accident

If you have been involved in a no contact motorcycle accident, make sure to do the following:

  • Take as many pictures as you can of the accident scene, the vehicles, the road, and any other conditions that may assist in your claim
  • Write down the driver’s license number, license plate, insurance information, and any other information provided
  • Ask witnesses for their names and telephone numbers
  • Contact the police and specifically request that a police report be filed

An Advocate on Your Side

Determining which party was negligent in a no contact motorcycle accident can be difficult. 

The facts involved in each case are unique and, while the information contained in this article is useful for informational purposes, it is not advice for your specific situation. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana, it is crucial that you speak with a lawyer directly about your particular circumstances.

Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys can work with you to ensure that your claim is handled properly, and you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today for a consultation of your case.

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