What Is a “No Contact” Motorcycle Accident?
Even though it may seem like it would, a “motorcycle accident” doesn’t always refer to a collision between a motorcycle and another vehicle. In fact, 39% of motorcycle accidents in 2019 were single-vehicle accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
When a single-vehicle motorcycle accident occurs, it is often due to the driver’s negligent behavior. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the mistakes or dangerous actions of another driver can force the motorcycle to wreck. When this occurs, it is referred to as a “no contact” accident.
Even in a single-vehicle accident, a negligent driver can still be held liable for the motorcyclist’s damages. If the driver is found liable, the motorcyclist may be entitled to compensation. These cases require identifying all other drivers involved and thoroughly investigating all known factors. Reach out to a Tampa motorcycle accident attorney any time you are involved in a crash you feel was caused by another driver’s reckless and negligent actions.
How No-Contact Accidents Happen
A no-contact accident happens when a negligent driver causes a motorcyclist to crash without the two vehicles ever colliding. There are many different scenarios in which this can happen, but most tend to happen as a result of the driver of a vehicle failing to notice a motorcycle nearby. Seeking to avoid an oncoming collision, the motorcycle has no choice but to depart the road or drive in an area likely to cause a secondary accident.
For instance, a driver may not check their blind spot before merging into a different lane, which may cause the motorcyclist to swerve or ride off of the road in order to avoid being hit. Another example may be if a driver runs a red light and the motorcyclist has to swerve in order to avoid hitting the car, causing the motorcyclist to lose control of the bike and crash. In both of these scenarios, the driver of the vehicle could be held liable even though neither of the crashes resulted in a collision.
Common Causes of No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents
There are many different reasons why no-contact motorcycle accidents may occur. Motorcycles are much more likely to be involved in no-contact accidents as compared to standard motor vehicles due to their small size, limited visibility to other vehicles, and their ability to maneuver in places other vehicles could not.
No-contact motorcycle accidents can be caused by many different forms of driver negligence such as:
- Failure to notice motorcycles in close proximity to the vehicle when merging, switching lanes, or straddling multiple lanes
- Traffic law violations, such as speeding, failure to yield to the right-of-way, running red lights, etc.
- Failure to stop in time
- Turning left across oncoming traffic while failing to yield
- Failure to check blind spots
- Unsignaled or sudden lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Road rage
If a motorcycle hits the ground or wrecks due to driver negligence, the driver may be held liable under Florida law. It may fall to the motorcyclist to be able to prove the driver’s liability, however, which is why a motorcycle accident lawyer in Tampa can be beneficial.
Proving Liability in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident
No two no-contact accidents are the same, and because of that, a thorough investigation is necessary to establish liability. In order to prove liability in no-contact accidents, the motorcyclist needs to prove that the driver of the vehicle showed negligence. They must also show how this negligence directly forced the motorcycle operator to take any action in order to avoid a more dangerous (and potentially life-threatening) collision.
Negligence can be defined as not showing the reasonable care that other drivers would have shown under the same circumstances in the same or similar situation. All drivers have the expectation to follow the rules and laws governing the roads, which includes being aware of what is going on around them. If a driver causes an accident with a motorcycle because they failed to see it, the driver will most likely be declared negligent.
In order to prove negligence, the motorcyclist will be required to identify the accused driver and provide evidence of their negligent actions. The motorcycle operator must also be prepared to argue they had no other reasonable choice available when seeking to avoid the accident. The motorcyclist will have to gather eyewitness accounts, medical records, police reports, and expert testimony in order to support their claim.
Hiring a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer to help gather the evidence and prove that a reasonable driver would have been safer can help ease the burden on the motorcyclist during the aftermath of a serious accident. The court or the insurance company will listen to the evidence and make a ruling on who shoulders the liability in the accident.
Having an experienced attorney from Darrigo & Diaz by your side during these legal proceedings can make a world of difference. They can help gather the required evidence, hire experts, talk with your doctors, and interview eyewitnesses, leaving you more time and space to heal from your accident, all while giving you a better chance of receiving the compensation you need.
In the event that the other driver cannot be located, you may have to present your case to your insurance company in order to get the compensation you need. An attorney can also help you during this process. No-contact accidents can cause pain and suffering, but knowing that you have a lawyer on your side during these necessary legal procedures can give you peace of mind.
How to avoid a no-contact motorcycle accident
In the Tampa area, there are steps you can take to help ensure your safety as a motorcyclist. You can help prevent accidents by always being aware of your surroundings. Make sure to follow all traffic laws and practice defensive driving. Allow plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you in case of quick stops. Never drive while intoxicated. Be aware of cars around you, and assume they don’t see you.
However, no matter how cautious you are, accidents are bound to happen. If you find yourself or a loved one involved in a no-contact motorcycle accident in Tampa, contact the law offices of Darrigo & Diaz. At Darrigo & Diaz, you will reach experienced attorneys who will provide a free no-risk consultation. Call (813) 774-3341 or contact us online to schedule your free, confidential appointment now!