Although most motor vehicle accidents in Texas involve two or more vehicles colliding, this is not always the case. A motorcycle may crash without ever coming into contact with another vehicle – yet the driver of the other car may still be to blame. This is what is called a no-contact motorcycle accident. It is often a difficult type of personal injury case to pursue in terms of liability.
How Do No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents Occur?
Like all types of motorcycle accidents, no-contact motorcycle accidents often come down to driver negligence. A driver is negligent if he or she does not use the appropriate level of care behind the wheel, such as failing to pay attention to the road and notice nearby motorcyclists. Drivers can cause no-contact motorcycle accidents in Dallas through many acts of negligence:
- Merging or changing lanes on top of a motorcyclist
- Drifting into the same lane as a motorcyclist
- Driving the wrong way on a one-way street
- Turning in front of an oncoming motorcyclist
- Running a red light at an intersection
- Making an unsafe passing maneuver
- Speeding and/or tailgating a motorcyclist, threatening a rear-end collision
- Other negligent or reckless acts
A no-contact motorcycle accident can cause serious injuries to the motorcyclist, including broken bones and traumatic brain damage. It is critical for an injured motorcyclist to review his or her legal options with a personal injury lawyer after a no-contact motorcycle accident, as a lawyer can help the victim pursue financial recovery for medical costs and other expenses.
Who Is Liable for a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident?
Although you may assume your insurance company will pay for your medical bills and property damage if another driver’s vehicle never came in contact with your motorcycle, this is often not the case. If a driver breaks a traffic law or otherwise drives without using the proper amount of care, and this forced you to react to avoid a collision by jerking the handlebars, running off the road or laying your motorcycle down, the driver of the motor vehicle (the phantom driver) is liable for the wreck, even if the two vehicles never touched.
After a no-contact motorcycle accident, remain at the scene and get the other driver’s information. Do not admit any fault for the accident, even if the other driver tries to blame you since his or her vehicle never actually touched your motorcycle. Remain calm and call the police to obtain an official police report. Go to a hospital in Dallas immediately. Then, call the at-fault driver’s insurance company to file a claim.
What If the Phantom Driver Does Not Stop?
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to hold someone else responsible for a no-contact motorcycle accident in Dallas, as many drivers do not notice when they cause these accidents. If the negligent driver never noticed you in his or her blind spot, for example, the driver might not have seen you react to a dangerous situation and run off the side of the road. The driver may continue driving, leaving no information for you to hold the driver financially responsible.
If the phantom driver fails to stop after you crash, call the police. The police can help you gather any available evidence, such as surveillance footage of the accident from nearby businesses or signed statements from eyewitnesses. The information collected during an investigation may be enough to identify and locate the at-fault driver. If this is possible, that driver’s auto insurance company will be liable for your financial damages.
If, however, the police cannot identify the phantom driver, you may need to rely on your own auto insurance policy for coverage. Your insurance company should pay for your medical bills and motorcycle damage if you have uninsured motorist coverage, as well as collision or comprehensive insurance. It may also be possible to hold a third party liable, such as the government entity that designed the roadway or intersection.
Consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after a no-contact crash for legal assistance with this complicated type of claim.