Who Is Responsible In A No-Contact Motorcycle Accident

Who Is Responsible In A No-Contact Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accidents are increasingly becoming common in California. Although many of these accidents involve a collision with other motor vehicles, sometimes the accidents can occur even when there is no collision between the two. In simpler terms, a no-contact motorcycle accident is deemed to have occurred when no actual collision happens between the other vehicle and the motorcycle in an accident.

One of the many questions that most victims of no-contact motorcycle injury grapple with is whether they can pursue compensation for such injuries, and whether the at-fault party can be held responsible for the injury. Fortunately, an experienced attorney at LA Century Law has the right skills to handle such a claim and ensure you obtain the amount of compensation you deserve.

Here’s what you need to know about no-contact motorcycle accidents in California and how you can obtain compensation for your injuries.

What Causes No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents in California?

No-contact motorcycle accidents may occur due to multiple reasons. However, one of the common causes of no-contact accidents is when a vehicle ahead of a motorcycle switches lanes without using its turn signals, which prompts the motorcyclist behind to swerve in order to avoid a collision. 

Another cause of no-contact accidents occurs when a vehicle in front of a motorcycle suddenly stops, surprising the motorcycle behind and giving them little time to stop normally. As such, the swerving motorcycle rider ends up injured despite there being no collision with the other vehicle.

Common Injuries Sustained in No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents

A no-contact accident can lead to serious injuries. Some of the common injuries that a rider may sustain following such an accident include:

  • Paralysis
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Head, neck and spine injuries
  • Amputation
  • Traumatic brain injury

Who is Liable in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident in California?

The phantom driver is legally responsible for a no-contact motorcycle accident in California, whether or not they realize they caused an accident. For example, the phantom driver may have been distracted and drove off without noticing the accident. Regardless, a claim for compensation should be brought against them following an accident that leads to a serious injury.

For this reason, the motorcycle rider must notify the phantom driver immediately after the incident occurs. The rider can talk to eyewitnesses and try to obtain a description of the vehicle.

Identifying the phantom driver and holding the at-fault driver responsible are key steps to ensuring that you obtain compensation. 

How Is Liability Proven in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident in California?

In order to obtain compensation, you need to demonstrate that the driver of the other vehicle is responsible for the accident. This could be challenging, especially if there is no direct contact between the vehicle and the motorcycle. However, a competent and qualified attorney at LA Century Law can help you establish liability in such a claim.

To prove liability, your attorney will first need to prove negligence. Negligence is established when it is demonstrated that the driver failed to act in a manner consistent with what a reasonable person would have done under similar circumstances. For instance, if the driver swerved in front of your motorcycle while switching lanes and failed to use turn signals, you may be able to prove that they were negligent. 

However, to establish negligence fully, you will need to prove that:

  • The driver owed you a duty of care
  • The driver breached the duty
  • The driver’s actions was a substantial factor in causing the accident
  • You suffered or sustained an injury

That said, key witnesses and evidence such as police reports are important when establishing liability. As such, you will need all the help from an attorney who will gather sufficient evidence and apply the law, potentially establishing that the driver was negligent and thus liable for the accident. 

How Do Insurance Companies Handle No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents in California?

Insurance companies tend to be involved in almost all claims involving automobile accidents. Unfortunately, their involvement doesn’t guarantee you a positive outcome. 

Remember the insurance company sets out to safeguard their interests in claims. To achieve this, they will look for loopholes in your claim that ensure that the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive is lowered significantly, and in extreme cases, they may dispute your claim.

Motorcycle bias is one of the primary concerns when dealing with insurance companies. There is some debate whether insurance companies are prejudiced towards motorcycle riders who are pursuing a claim. This motorcycle bias may affect their rights and interests in the claim process. 

For this reason, it is imperative to have a personal injury attorney by your side who will safeguard your rights and interests throughout the claim process. 

Recovering Damages in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident in California

Following a no-contact accident in California, it is within your right to file a claim for compensation. However, you should speak to an attorney who will help file the claim on your behalf. However, if an amicable settlement isn’t arrived at, you can proceed to file a lawsuit in order to receive adequate compensation for your injuries.

In the event of a successful claim or suit, you be entitled to the following compensation:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost of time and work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Rehabilitation
  • Future projected medical costs

Injured in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident in California? Contact Our Attorneys 

If you or your loved one sustained an injury in a no-contact motorcycle accident in California, you might be entitled to receive compensation. However, to achieve this, you need to establish the at-fault party and hold them responsible. An attorney at LA Century Law has experience handling such claims in California and will work hard to protect your rights and interests throughout the claim process.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in California

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in California

California has universal helmet laws. That means all riders must wear helmets all the time. 

Here’s what you need to know about motorcycle helmet laws in California.

What is the California motorcycle helmet law?

California Vehicle Code § 27803 prohibits operating or riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. All operators and passengers must wear approved helmets. This does not mean that if you are involved in an accident and are not wearing a helmet that you cannot make a claim. You are still entitled to compensation if you have been harmed by another driver’s reckless or careless driving.

Is California a universal helmet law state?

Yes. California is a universal helmet state. All drivers are required to wear a helmet regardless of their age or experience as a rider. 

The opposite of a universal helmet state is a partial helmet law state, where only young or inexperienced riders must wear a helmet.

What helmets are required for California motorcyclists?

Motorcycle helmets in California must meet U.S. safety standards. This generally means the following:

  • A thick inner liner made of approved foam
  • Riveted chin straps that are attached to the shell of the helmet
  • Minimum weight
  • Nothing protruding more than .2 inches from the shell of the helmet

Notes:

The courts have upheld the authority of the highway patrol to determine which helmets are approved under § 27802. Biano v. California Highway Patrol, 24 Cal.App.4th 116 (1994). 

In Taggart v. Super Seer Corp., 33 Cal.App.4th (1995), the parties litigated damages where the victim’s helmet contained a foam lining that was not approved and, as a result, likely less protective.

Can you wear a motorcycle helmet on another part of your body?

You may have thought of a fun and easy way to get around California’s motorcycle helmet laws. You’ll wear the helmet – on your back, your shoulder, or your hand. But lawmakers already thought of that! They put it in the law that you must wear a helmet on your head. Chin straps must be attached, and the helmet must be secure enough not to allow too much movement of the head. (§ 27803(e).)

What’s the penalty for failing to wear a motorcycle helmet in California?

You may receive a ticket for failing to wear a motorcycle helmet in California. There are no points assessed to the driver’s license.

If you receive a citation and do not address it, you may be cited for failing to appear in court.

What are the defenses to failing to wear a motorcycle helmet?

Defenses to allegations of failing to wear a motorcycle helmet are:

  • The driver wasn’t operating or riding a motorcycle
  • An emergency prevented the person from wearing a helmet
  • The helmet met safety standards when law enforcement thought it did not
  • Law enforcement was mistaken; the person was wearing a helmet

What is the purpose of the motorcycle helmet law in California?

The California motorcycle helmet law aims to provide all motorcyclists with an additional safety benefit. (§ 27803(g).)

Helmets in Motorcycle Accidents in California

Can you get compensation if you’re not wearing a helmet in a California motorcycle accident?

What happens when a rider isn’t wearing a helmet and they’re in an accident? Can they get compensation? Do they get less compensation?

In California, a motorcycle accident victim can still receive compensation if they were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The amount that they receive may be reduced.

As of this writing, there has yet to be a legal case in California that clearly outlines how to handle accident claims where a motorcyclist victim wasn’t wearing a helmet. However, we still have a pretty good idea of how these cases will be handled by the court and what the victim can expect.

First, the victim may still receive some compensation. California is a pure comparative fault state. A victim is never completely barred from receiving compensation, even if they are 99% at fault. The victim may still bring a claim and expect to recover for damages to the extent that the other party is at fault.

Second, the victim’s compensation is likely to be reduced for not wearing a helmet. Failing to wear a helmet is likely to be seen as either acting negligently or failing to take measures that would have reduced the severity of injuries. How the courts handle failing to wear a seatbelt can give us some insight – failing to wear a seat belt is not automatically negligence (negligence per se), but the court may give the jury an instruction that they may consider whether damages could have been avoided or less severe if the victim had used the seat belt. The court may present the seat belt law to the jury.

It’s likely that the courts will handle failing to wear a motorcycle helmet similarly. It will be taken into account to reduce compensation, but it will not completely bar a claim. An important task in your claim is gathering the medical evidence to explain how the helmet may have – or may not have – prevented the injuries you sustained.

In a case where the injuries have nothing to do with helmet use, like a broken arm, it’s unlikely that failing to wear a helmet will reduce damages. The purpose of reducing compensation is to fairly apportion fault – not to punish the victim for failing to comply with the helmet law.

If the motorcyclist is at fault for the crash, failing to wear a helmet shouldn’t change the amount they pay in damages. It’s unlikely that the victim suffered more serious injuries because the motorcyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet. The legal liability of the motorcyclist in an at-fault accident shouldn’t change based on their failure to wear a helmet. 

Lawyers for Accidents Involving Motorcycles

California passed its motorcycle helmet law in 1992. Despite legal challenges, the law has been upheld as a valid exercise of police power.

If you have been in an accident, our motorcycle accident lawyers are here to help you. Whether or not you were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, you may receive financial compensation.

Get help now with your motorcycle accident case. LA Century Law attorneys are committed to your recovery. Call or send us a message to begin with a free consultation.

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