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Does a Motorcycle Accident Claim Require a Collision?

Recovering Damages When There’s No Contact with Another Motor Vehicle

Does a Motorcycle Accident Claim Require a Collision?Even with national awareness programs, it’s still common for motorists to ignore or fail to see motorcycles on the roads. As a motorcyclist myself, I see how often the driver of a passenger vehicle will unexpectedly veer into the path of a motorcycle, causing driver to lay down their bike or lose control in an attempt to avert impact. If you avoid a crash in such circumstances, but still suffer personal injury or damage to your bike, can you pursue compensation for your losses? Does there have to be contact with another vehicle for you to have a valid claim?

Your Claim is Based on Negligence, Not Contact

There’s no requirement that you collide with another vehicle in order to seek damages after a motorcycle accident. In most instances, such lawsuitsare based on the legal theory of negligence. Under this concept, it is assumed that all individuals in society have a duty to exercise reasonable care at all times, including when operating a motor vehicle, manufacturing a product, or maintaining property that could possible harm others. To be entitled to compensation after a motorcycle wreck, you must convince the jury of the following:

  • The defendant (the party you want to pay for your losses) did not act reasonably under the circumstances—In other words, the driver of the passenger car “breached” the duty of care.
  • The failure to act reasonably caused an accident—You must prove that you would not have crashed had the defendant not been careless, and you must show that the injuries you sustained were “reasonably foreseeable” as a consequence of the defendant’s carelessness.
  • You suffered actual losses as a result of the accident—Any losses reimbursed by an insurance company cannot be recovered a second time against the defendant (though the insurance company may seek reimbursement from the defendant for payments made to you). In addition, if you had property damage, but the property had no meaningful value, there’s no right to recovery.

In a no-contact motorcycle accident, then, the court will simply apply the negligence standard set forth above. There is no requirement of impact for recovery.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

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