What Is a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident?
Not all car accidents are two motor vehicles colliding. Some are single-vehicle accidents caused by roadway defects, crossing animals and other hazards. Other crashes do involve two vehicles, but they do not collide with each other. These are called no-contact accidents, and they are most common with motorcycles. The other driver – the phantom driver – could still be at fault for a no-contact motorcycle accident in California.
About No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents
A no-contact motorcycle accident specifically refers to a wreck in which the negligent or reckless acts of one driver cause a motorcyclist to crash, without the two vehicles ever touching. These crashes occur most often when a motor vehicle driver fails to notice a nearby motorcyclist. A driver may merge on top of a motorcycle in his or her blind spot, for example, forcing the motorcyclist to drive off the road and crash to avoid a collision. This would be a no-contact accident. No-contact crashes can occur during lane changes, merges, left-hand turns, at intersections and in other traffic scenarios.
No-contact accidents often come down to driver negligence. Motor vehicle drivers may not be paying enough attention to the road to notice nearby motorcyclists. Distractions such as passengers and cellphones could cause driver inattention. A reckless driver could also be driving drunk, speeding or ignoring rights-of-way. These risky behaviors can lead to dangerous maneuvers near motorcyclists that force riders off the road or to lay down their bikes. Drifting between lanes, making an unsafe lane change, cutting off a motorcyclist, speeding, running a red light and making an illegal pass are all examples of actions that could force a motorcyclist to react and crash.
Who Is Liable for a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident?
If you get into a no-contact motorcycle accident in LA, protect yourself by calling the police. Some phantom drivers notice when they cause no-contact accidents, while others may never see the motorcycle crash and keep driving. If the at-fault driver stops, make he or she stay at the scene until law enforcement arrives. If the phantom driver takes off, talk to eyewitnesses to try to obtain a description of the vehicle. Writing down the driver’s license plate numbers can serve as important evidence, if possible. Receive medical attention for your injuries. Then, contact a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
A no-contact motorcycle accident could change your life as a victim. Identifying and holding the at-fault driver responsible could provide the financial compensation you need to put your life back together. If the negligence or recklessness of another driver caused your no-contact crash, that driver could be liable for damages according to California’s tort-based insurance law. It will be up to you or your motorcycle accident attorney to identify the phantom driver, file a claim with his or her insurance company, and negotiate for a fair settlement for your injuries and property damages.
If you do not know the identity of the phantom driver that caused your no-contact motorcycle accident, other options may be available. Contact your own auto insurance provider to see if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance that will cover your damages after a hit-and-run accident. Collision, comprehensive or medical pay coverage may also cover your losses. If not, a lawyer can investigate the fault of a third party, such as a third driver, the driver’s employer or the City of Los Angeles for a dangerous roadway. A lawyer can explore all your options after a no-contact crash.
How to Avoid a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident
As a motorcyclist in the Los Angeles area, you may be able to prevent a no-contact crash by being aware of your surroundings. Stay alert to drivers around you, especially on the highway. Practice defensive driving techniques to prepare for anything. Assume surrounding drivers do not see you and will merge on top of you, for example, and move safely out of the way when you see someone nearby changing lanes. Remain within the speed limit and do not ride while drunk or intoxicated. Avoid riding too close to the back of a vehicle in case the driver slams on the brakes. If you cannot avoid a no-contact crash, contact an attorney for a consultation as soon as possible.