Motorcycle accidents are dangerous and often result in severe injuries or fatalities. When a motorcycle rider is involved in an accident without physical contact with another vehicle, it raises questions about who is at fault.
What Is a No Contact Accident?
A no contact accident occurs when a motorcyclist falls off their bike or crashes without making direct contact with another vehicle. These accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, such as sudden braking, swerving to avoid a crash, or being forced off the road by another driver’s actions.
Even though there might be no apparent damage to another vehicle, the consequences of a no contact motorcycle accident can still be devastating to the rider.
Who Could Be At Fault?
Determining fault in a no contact motorcycle accident can be challenging. However, several parties may potentially be held accountable:
A driver who causes a motorcycle crash by breaking the law or acting negligently may be held accountable for the resulting injuries and damages. Examples of such negligent behaviors include:
- Failing to signal when changing lanes
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving (e.g., texting while driving)
In these cases, the negligent driver could be held responsible, even if their vehicle didn’t physically touch the motorcycle.
Government or Municipal Agencies
In some instances, poorly maintained or defective road conditions can cause a no contact accident. If the government or municipal agency responsible for maintaining the road failed to do so adequately, they may be liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries.
Examples of insufficient road maintenance that can lead to a no contact motorcycle accident include:
- Uneven pavement
- Inadequate road signage
The Motorcyclist Themselves
There are cases where the motorcycle rider might share some or all of the responsibility for the accident. A rider can be found at fault if they were:
- Driving recklessly (e.g., weaving between lanes)
- Riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol
California follows a pure comparative negligence law, which means that each party involved in an accident is responsible for their percentage of the blame:
“…”pure” comparative negligence, the fundamental purpose of which shall be to assign responsibility and liability for damage in direct proportion to the amount of negligence of each of the parties. “This means that if you, as a rider, bear some of the blame for the no-contact collision, your compensation claim will be lowered.
For example, if you’re found to be 30% at fault for the accident, you can only recover 70% of the total damages from the other party.
Proving Fault in a No Contact Accident
To prove fault for a no contact motorcycle accident, the injured motorcyclist must establish that another party’s negligence or reckless actions caused the accident. Here are some critical pieces of evidence to collect:
- Witness Statements: Eyewitnesses can provide valuable testimony about the accident, the other party’s behavior, and the factors leading to the accident.
- Security Footage: Security camera footage from nearby businesses or traffic cameras can show the actions and behavior of the other party, helping to prove their negligence.
- Accident Reconstruction: An accident reconstruction expert can recreate the events leading to the crash and determine if any negligence from the other person was responsible for the accident.
- Vehicle Damage: Photographs and reports from mechanics can help identify damage caused by the accident and the cause of the crash.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a no contact motorcycle accident, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced Fresno motorcycle accident attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.