Motorcycle riders are at high risk for no-contact accidents. These accidents occur when a rider must maneuver to avoid crashing with another vehicle, but the driver that caused the rider to maneuver is still liable for the accident itself. A driver can be held liable in the state of Florida for a motorcycle rider’s injuries and property damage in no contact accidents - as long as the rider can prove the other driver was at fault.
The basis of a no contact claim is negligence and the plaintiff will rely heavily on proving negligence to establish their claim. Negligence means that the other driver did not exercise reasonable care or follow reasonable standards that other drivers would have applied in similar situations. A reasonable person will react properly in these types of situations and not take any action that would cause an accident. For example, if the driver of the vehicle was talking on their cellphone and started to merge into another lane - without realizing a motorcycle was in that lane - and the rider was run off the road, that driver was acting negligently.
Drivers are required to obey the rules of the road and obey all traffic laws. They must also be aware of what is going on around them and look for obstacles on the road - including motorcycles (see: Bike Week accidents). If the driver fails to see or notice a motorcycle and causes an accident, they are most likely going to be found negligent in that case.
There are several ways a car can cause a no contact accident with a motorcycle, including:
In no contact motorcycle accidents, holding the at-fault driver responsible can be more difficult. That is because often these drivers do not stop. It is not because they are fleeing the accident scene; instead, it is because they often have no idea they caused an accident. For example, a driver who is very distracted that accidentally forces a motorcycle off the road may continue to drive on not realizing that they caused the accident. Unless the motorcycle rider has the chance to catch the driver’s license plate or even a description of the vehicle, it may be hard to locate the driver at-fault. Police will treat the case similar to a hit and run and they will work to find the driver, but that could take weeks or even months - leaving the motorcyclist without compensation. In these instances, the rider would rely on their own insurance to help cover the costs of property damage and medical payments. If the driver is found, the motorcycle rider could then file their lawsuit against that driver.
Whether your no-contact accident was on a motorcycle or in a car, you still have options. Contact the Daytona personal injury attorneys at Vasilaros Wagner to explore those options and learn more about the compensation you may be entitled to. Call us at 386-777-7777 to schedule a consultation or fill out an online contact form with your questions.