When most people think of motor vehicle accidents, they think of collisions between two cars. One car makes an error in judgment and hits another car, but that is not the only way an accident can occur, especially when you are on a motorcycle.
When careless driving puts bikers at risk and causes you to crash your motorcycle, this is called a “no contact” motorcycle accident. A no-contact motorcycle accident does not mean that you are not injured or that your property is not damaged. It simply means that you did not physically collide with the other vehicle.
No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents Are More Common Than You Think
Most motorcycle accidents in the United States are no-contact accidents, but many motorcyclists think that if they weren’t hit by a car, they have no legal recourse to seek compensation. However, even if there was not a collision, you may still have legal options.
No-contact accidents happen more frequently than many riders realize. For example, crashing your bike after swerving to avoid a collision with an oncoming or merging car is classified as a no-contact accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 alone, there were over 5,000 motorcycle fatalities and 84,000 injuries, many of which occured as a result of no-contact accidents.
What Causes No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents?
Although you have probably seen “sharing the road” public service advertising, which is designed to help motorists be aware of bikers and motorcyclists, unfortunately, there remains a lack of awareness. This lack of alertness and understanding is the most common cause of no-contact motorcycle accidents.
When drivers switch lanes illegally in front of a bike and the rider has to swerve to miss the vehicle, the motorcyclist risks crashing their bike, hitting a guardrail, or colliding with another obstacle as they attempt to avoid a direct collision. Of course, illegal merging is not the only danger to motorcycle riders. Some of the accident-causing behaviors you can encounter on the roads include:
- Tailgating a motorcycle. A driver who gets too close to a bike can sideswipe the motorcycle or even tap it and send it out of control. This can result in severe injuries and property damage.
- Distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council, as one of the most common forms of distracted driving, texting while driving accounts for about 20% of all accidents. According to a recent study, sending a text will take the driver’s eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds, enough time to swerve into another lane or fail to notice a motorcycle, causing an accident.
- Driving under the influence. Drunk driving or driving while under the influence of drugs slows reaction times. Inebriated drivers pose a hazard to everyone on the road, including motorcyclists.
- Not following the rules of the road. Driving laws are in place to protect all vehicles on the road. For example, coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, yielding to oncoming traffic, and obeying traffic signs. Ignoring these rules puts everyone on the road at risk.
- Littering. Throwing trash out of a moving vehicle can put a biker in danger. When a motorcycle rider must swerve to avoid debris, they can wind up in an accident.
Because motorcyclists are not securely protected from injuries on the road by a car, they experience a much higher risk of suffering severe injuries in a single-vehicle accident caused by unaware motorists.
What To Do If You Are Involved in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident
If you have been in an accident, move yourself, your passenger, and your bike out of the road to a safe area. In many cases, moving out of danger completely is not an option because of injuries, but if you can get to safety, you should. If you must leave your bike and move yourself to the side of the road, do it.
As with any accident, you should report the accident. Call the authorities and do not leave the scene of the accident until they arrive. If other people have witnessed the accident, you can help your case by getting the names and phone numbers of anyone who does not want to wait for the police to arrive.
If you can get the license plate of the involved vehicle, write it down or have someone write it down for you. Seek medical attention for your injuries if necessary.
Keep in mind that some injuries are latent, meaning you may not feel the full brunt of them for a couple of days. Immediately following the accident, contact your insurance company to file a claim.
Finally, you will need to contact an accident attorney. Filing and following up on a no-contact motorcycle accident claim can be difficult. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process.
In the days and weeks after your accident, do:
- Keep good records. Keep all medical bills that you have incurred. Take pictures of the damage to your motorcycle.
- Assemble witness contact information. We touched briefly on the importance of getting names and numbers of people that witnessed the accident. Your attorney can take care of the rest.
The more information you have about the accident, the better. Providing your attorney with as much detail as you can will help your case.
What Not to Do Following a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident
Do not assume that insurance will not cover the accident if you did not collide with another car. Do not admit responsibility at the scene or to an insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster may seem like an ally, but their goal is not to support you. An insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, which means their loyalties do not lie with you or your best interests. The insurance adjuster seeks to save the insurance company money, and unfortunately, that is at your expense.
Making any statement, no matter how innocent, can be misconstrued and used against you. Always request legal advice from an attorney acting on your behalf before making any statements that will blame the accident on you.
Other “donts” to avoid after a no-contact motorcycle accident include:
- Do not modify the damage to your bike until after the insurance adjuster has seen it. You may wish to get the repairs done ASAP, but this can risk the total value of your claim. Wait on the adjuster, then follow your attorney’s advice.
- Do not pay your medical bills. Again, you may feel pressure to pay medical bills related to the accident, but hold off. Ask your attorney what you should do, then follow the attorney’s direction.
- Do not get involved in a confrontation with the driver who caused the wreck. The driver will often leave the scene because they are not aware or do not care that they caused a no-contact accident. However, if the driver does stop, keep your distance and do not initiate an argument. Let the police do their job.
Ensuring that you take the proper steps after an accident is critical to protect your rights and compensation for the accident.
What Type of Compensation May Be Available?
While every type of accident is different and no lawyer can guarantee that your claim will be successful, plaintiffs commonly seek damages and compensation in the following areas:
- Medical bills related to care for injuries sustained from the accident.
- Property damage to your bike. You may be eligible for the cost of repairs or replacement of the bike.
- Lost past wages from work. If you cannot work due to the injuries from the accident, you may receive compensation for lost wages.
- Loss of future wages. If the accident has caused severe injuries that impact future employment, you may be compensated for the loss of future wages.
No one can predict the outcome of any insurance claim, but having an experienced attorney on your side can help improve the outcome.
Discover What Sadaka and Associates Can Do for You
If you have been in a no-contact motorcycle accident, focus on recovering from your injuries and leave the legal processes to the team at the Law Offices of Sadaka and Associates. We will guide you through each step of the process, answer any questions you have, and advocate on your behalf from start to finish.
For our clients who have been in motorcycle accidents, we have strengthened their claim by:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Locating traffic camera footage of the crash
- Communicating with insurance providers
- Assembling documents such as medical records, medical bills, and more
Our attorneys at Sadaka and associates are responsive and work with you to find time to go over your case. We put your needs first and dedicate our years of experience with personal injury cases to help you navigate the claim process after your accident.
Call the experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Sadaka and Associates at 1-800-810-3457 for support today.