December 23, 2022 Posted In Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents do not always have to involve contact with another vehicle. In a no-contact accident, another motorist’s negligence forces a motorcyclist off the road or into another object. Proving fault in these cases can be highly complex; however, the motorist who caused the collision is liable even if there was no contact.
In California, any party who causes an accident due to their negligence or careless actions can be liable for resulting damages. Therefore, if a motorcyclist can locate or identify the at-fault driver, they can file a claim against their insurer or sue the driver personally for their losses. Even if they only get a partial license plate, it can be reported to law enforcement, and they may be able to use that information to find the driver.
However, if the at-fault party flees the scene or does not notice that their behavior leads to a motorcycle accident, so they do not stop, it can be challenging to hold them accountable. This is what is known as a phantom driver, and although law enforcement will treat it as a hit and run, there is a possibility that they will not find the at-fault party. In these situations, motorcyclists often have to rely on their own insurance policy to cover their injuries and losses or must pay out-of-pocket unless the at-fault driver is found.
Depending on the types of insurance coverage a motorcyclist carries, they may be able to file an accident claim with their own insurance company. For example, collision coverage will pay for property damage and accident-related losses regardless of who was at fault.
Common causes of no-contact motorcycle accidents include:
This is not an exhaustive list, but most no-contact accidents happen due to driver error.
If you can locate the at-fault driver, you have the right to hold them accountable for the following types of compensation:
If there is evidence that the at-fault acted intentionally or with an extreme disregard for the safety of others, the court may award punitive damages. If you or a someone you love was involved in an accident, contact our motorcycle accident attorneys in Riverside for qualified legal representation.