Another driver's negligent actions can result in a motorcycle accident, even if there is no collision. When this happens, the other driver may still be liable for the motorcyclist's injuries and associated property damage.
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident while avoiding a collision with another vehicle, you may be wondering if the other driver is at fault – even though no crash occurred. These types of accidents are called non-contact accidents, and the driver of the other vehicle may be considered liable for the motorcyclist's injuries and any resulting property damage.
An experienced Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer such as Freddy Saavedra can help you pursue the damages to which you're entitled when involved in a non-contact motorcycle accident. If you had serious injuries in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, call the Saavedra Law Firm today at 602-753-8917.What is negligence?
Negligence happens when someone fails to exercise reasonable care. If that failure results in bringing harm to another person, the negligent individual may be held liable for damages suffered by the victim.
Damages could include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Road rash
- Brain injuries
- Lost wages or other consequences from the accident
In the legal community, the basis for determining negligence is the reasonable person standard. Negligence occurs when a reasonable person's actions or failure to take action result in damages to another person or their property. In determining whether a person's actions were negligent, an insurance company or a jury reviews the circumstances and all parties' actions related to the accident.
Having 360-degree awareness is essential for all drivers operating a vehicle. All vehicle operators have a fundamental duty to observe traffic laws and reasonably respond to their surroundings. Drivers must be vigilant, continuously observant, and exercise sound judgment when responding to objects or other factors while driving.
Conditions or things to consider while driving include:
- Other vehicles
- Traffic signals
- Inclement weather
- Poor road conditions
Here are some examples of no-contact motorcycle accidents to help determine negligence.Quick Lane Changes
A car and motorcycle travel in the same direction on the street with each vehicle in its respective lane. The car, slightly ahead of the motorcycle, abruptly changes lanes without using its turn signal or providing some indication of its intention to the motorcycle rider - or maybe the bike is in the car's blind spot. To avoid colliding with the car, the motorcyclist must either swerve, lay down their bike, lose control, or crash into something.
While no contact occurred with the other vehicle, the other driver would likely be found negligent in this situation. Avoiding the accident was possible if the driver had made a reasonable effort to determine whether it was safe to change lanes. By not signaling their intention before changing lanes, the motorcycle rider had to take action to avoid colliding with the other driver.Abrupt Slowing or Stopping
A motorcycle is following another vehicle down the street in the same lane, and the car in front slows or stops abruptly. If the motorcyclist fails to notice the lead vehicle's deceleration and maintains speed, they will have to react quickly to avoid a collision with the other vehicle. The motorcyclist may need to swerve, collide with another object, or lay down the bike to avoid a collision with the other car.
Even if there is no contact between vehicles, this type of no contact accident is treated like a rear-end collision, and the car following is nearly always held liable in rear-end collision cases. Responsibility for the no-contact motorcycle crash falls to the motorcyclist in this situation because they failed to notice the decelerating vehicle ahead and crashed or laid down their bike to avoid a collision. It would be difficult for the motorcyclist to win a personal injury claim against the other driver in this situation.
These examples demonstrate that no-contact motorcycle accidents are essentially the same as other types of traffic accidents. The problem is not a two-vehicle collision. The issue is which of the drivers was negligent and whether that negligence resulted in a motorcycle crash.
Ultimately, if a driver's negligence results in a motorcyclist crashing his or her motorcycle, the other driver is considered liable regardless of whether the vehicles collided at the accident scene.Get the help you need
If you crashed or had to lay down your motorcycle to avoid colliding with another vehicle, it could be the other driver's negligence that caused the accident. You need legal advice from a personal injury attorney with experience in motorcycle accident claims to help you settle a claim with the other driver's insurance company and ensure your interests are protected.
Call the law office of Freddy Saavedra at 602-753-8917 for a confidential, free consultation. The attorney-client relationship is essential, and we will review your case to see if you are entitled to compensation. Let us help you defend your interests if you suffered damages from a no-contact motorcycle accident.