There are ways that a motor vehicle driver can cause a motorcycle accident even without touching the motorcycle – and be held financially responsible for the crash. This type of accident is known as a “no-contact” motorcycle accident. If you get injured in this type of crash as a motorcyclist in Missouri, find out how to protect your rights and bring a claim against the other driver.
What Are Common Examples of No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcyclists are unique vehicles that can crash in ways that are different compared to standard passenger cars. One example is if a motorcyclist lays his or her vehicle down. This can happen when the motorcyclist attempts to avoid a collision. While trying to avoid a collision with another vehicle, the motorcyclist may lose control of the bike and crash anyway (a no-contact crash).
One example of a no-contact motorcycle accident is if a motor vehicle driver attempts to change lanes or merge on top of a motorcycle that is in the adjacent lane without checking to see if the destination lane is clear or using a turn signal, forcing the motorcyclist to take evasive action to avoid a sideswipe accident. The motorcyclist may swerve and lay the motorcycle down. Although there was no contact between the two vehicles, the driver would still be found liable (financially responsible) for the wreck.
Another common example is if a motor vehicle driver runs a red light or makes an unsafe left-hand turn, forcing an oncoming motorcyclist to veer off of the road to avoid a T-bone collision. Any traffic violation or driver error that forces a motorcyclist to take evasive action – resulting in a motorcycle accident – can constitute a no-contact crash and place liability with the driver.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident?
The other driver involved in a no-contact motorcycle accident – known as the phantom driver – can be held financially responsible for this type of wreck even without any physical contact between the two vehicles if the driver made a mistake that caused the crash. Contact is not a legal requirement for liability for a traffic accident. If the phantom driver was breaking a traffic law or behaving negligently, he or she can still be held liable for making the motorcycle crash.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to hold a phantom driver responsible for a no-contact accident, as they often don’t realize that they caused a motorcycle accident and fail to stop at the scene. If you get into this type of collision as a motorcyclist in Missouri, call 911 to report it. Then, immediately document everything that you can remember about the accident while the details are still clear in your mind. This includes a description of the vehicle and partial plate numbers, if possible. This can help the police locate the perpetrator.
It is possible for the motorcyclist involved in a no-contact accident to also bear some responsibility for the crash. For example, if the motorcyclist was weaving between lanes (lane splitting) or tailgating at the time of the crash, he or she could be at least partially responsible for a related no-contact accident. In this scenario, Missouri’s comparative negligence law may reduce the motorcyclist’s monetary recovery but may not bar the individual from financial compensation entirely, depending on the circumstances.
When to Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
A no-contact motorcycle accident is a unique type of crash that can come with a complicated claims process for the motorcyclist and personal injuries suffered. These collisions often take the form of hit-and-run accidents, for example. They also do not come with property damage as a form of evidence against the motor vehicle driver, which can make it more difficult to prove your case. The best way to protect your rights in this scenario is by hiring a Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you. It can be especially important to hire a lawyer if you suffered serious injuries in the crash that will need future foreseeable medical care.