Can You Recover Damages If There’s No Collision?
It’s an all too common occurrence—you’re out on the road on your motorcycle and a distracted or careless motorist turns into your path. To avoid a collision, you lay the bike down or veer and lose control. You suffer injuries when you hit the pavement, and your bike is damaged, but there was no contact with the motor vehicle. Can you still pursue compensation for your injuries and losses? The answer is generally yes.
The Legal Basis for a Personal Injury Claim
There’s no requirement that there be impact between your bike and another vehicle for you to have a valid claim for damages. Most personal injury claims are based on the legal principle of negligence. Under this rule, everyone in society is deemed to have a duty to act reasonably at all times, including while operating a motor vehicle.
To establish liability for negligence, you must prove three things in court:
- That the defendant (the person from whom you are seeking compensation) failed to meet the standard of care reasonably expected—Another way of saying this is that the defendant “breached the duty of care.”
- That the breach of duty caused an accident—You must show that the accident would not have happened if the defendant had acted reasonably and also that your injuries or losses were reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of the breach of duty
- That you suffered actual losses as a result of the accident—If your losses are covered by insurance, you cannot recover them from the defendant. In addition, if you have property loss, but the property has no value, you cannot recover damages for it.
In a no-contact accident, then, the court will look at the facts of the case and apply these standards. Did the motorist carelessly turn into your path or cause you to take evasive action? Did that carelessness cause you to lay down the bike or lose control? Did you suffer actual losses as a result?
Contact Our Offices
At Weber & Nierenberg, we have protected the rights of personal injury victims throughout California for more than 30 years, including victims of motorcycle accidents. Contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation.