motorcycle on the road at dusk

What Is a “No Contact” Motorcycle Accident?

A motorcycle can crash in many different ways. Any motorcycle accident could be devastating to the rider, inflicting injuries such as broken bones, road rash or traumatic brain injuries. A no-contact motorcycle accident is a special type of crash in which a driver causes a motorcycle accident, but the two vehicles do not collide. A driver could be liable for a motorcyclist’s injuries in South Carolina even if the vehicle did not touch the motorcycle.

The Mechanics of a No Contact Accident

When most people picture a motorcycle accident, they imagine a motorcycle colliding with another vehicle. In a no-contact accident, however, this does not occur. The motorcycle may crash without colliding into anything. A no contact motorcycle accident can cause significant harm to a motorcyclist without ever coming in contact with another vehicle. A motor vehicle driver could cause a no contact collision by forcing the motorcyclist to react to a dangerous situation.

  • Making an unsafe lane change
  • Drifting over the line
  • Weaving between lanes
  • Making a left turn into an oncoming motorcyclist
  • Coming up too quickly behind a motorcycle
  • Running a red light
  • Riding too close to a motorcycle
  • Driving distracted

Any negligent or reckless road maneuver could endanger a motorcyclist’s life. If the motorcyclist notices the hazard, he or she may swerve to avoid it, drive off the road or lay the motorcycle down. In these cases, the at-fault driver could be liable for the motorcycle accident without ever touching the motorcycle. Since the negligent driver forced the motorcycle to take defensive action, the driver may be responsible for a subsequent no contact crash.

Rear-End No Contact Collisions

In a scenario when a motorcycle is traveling behind a car, a no contact rear-end collision may occur. It can be difficult to understand fault in these types of accidents. The car may slow down or stop, but the motorcyclist does not notice. By the time the motorcyclist sees the slowed or stopped vehicle, he or she may have to jerk the handlebars or lay the bike down to avoid a rear-end collision. The motorcyclist could be liable for his or her injuries since it was the motorcyclist’s responsibility to pay attention to the road.

If the driver negligently failed to prevent the rear-end no contact collision, however, he or she may be liable. A vehicle with broken taillights or brake lights, for example, may point to driver liability. Other actions the front driver could take to cause the accident include brake-checking, cutting a motorcyclist off, making an unsafe lane change or otherwise driving recklessly. In most cases, if a person would be liable in a standard rear-end collision, he or she will be responsible for a similar no contact accident.

Holding Someone Liable for a No Contact Crash

No contact accidents involve unique elements, but they are similar to typical motorcycle accidents in many ways. A negligent driver will bear responsibility for an accident he or she causes, regardless of whether the motorcycle actually touched the driver’s vehicle. Proving liability may take help from a motorcycle accident attorney. A law firm can investigate the crash and gather evidence of the driver’s fault, including eyewitness testimonies and expert analyses of how the accident occurred.

It is important to hold a driver accountable for a no-contact motorcycle crash if it caused significant damages. The motorcyclist may have to pay out of pocket for losses if the driver takes off without exchanging information. Hit-and-run is a common problem in no contact crashes since the driver may assume he or she is not at fault. In a hit-and-run no contact crash, the motorcyclist may be able to pursue damage through his or her insurance provider. Should police catch the at-fault driver, the motorcyclist may then file a lawsuit against him or her for the no contact accident.

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