Many people assume that a motorcyclist must have collided with another vehicle to have a legal claim. Although most motorcycle accidents involve another car, someone else can also be to blame when the motorcycle loses control of their vehicle on their own as well. These crashes are commonly referred to as “no contact” accidents.
On September 30, 2018, a motorcyclist was killed on I-80 when he ran into the connector from U.S. Highway 101 to Interstate Highway 90 in San Francisco. The news story that ran at the time noted that he was ejected from the motorcycle and landed on the freeway. The bike went off the side of the elevated highway, and it took some time to find the vehicle.
This motorcyclist’s accident highlights two crucial takeaways. The first is that it is relatively easy to be thrown from a motorcycle in crashes. The impact can be fatal because there is next to nothing protecting you from the road. The second item to note is that the news story did not appear to involve any other vehicle. It seems that this motorcyclist was alone in his crash. But, does that mean that no one else was to blame? Maybe not.
When a motorcyclist loses control for reasons that have nothing to do with anyone else, a legal claim likely isn’t an option. However, if the loss of control is due to something else, you need to talk to a San Francisco motorcycle accident attorney to determine your options.
A “no contact” accident occurs when a motorcyclist loses control of his or her bike because of the actions (or omissions) of another person. The most common example is that a motorcyclist was maneuvering to avoid a collision with another vehicle. For instance, imagine that another driver does not see the motorcycle and attempts to merge into the lane that the bike is driving in. The cyclist may see this and swerve to avoid an accident with the car and runs into the ditch.
Swerving on a motorcycle is much more dangerous than in a car; the bike loses balance easily, which can result in a crash. In that situation, even though there was no collision with that car, the driver would still be at least partially liable for the damages that the motorcyclist incurred. The same can be said if a motorcyclist intentionally lays their bike down to avoid a collision as well.
Motorcyclists are more prone to accidents when the road has defects as well. Potholes that would only be an annoyance to a car can be very dangerous to a motorcycle. In some situations, poor road maintenance can lead to legal liability.
Another example is where a construction company throws gravel or other debris onto the road. If the motorcyclist cannot see the gravel or does not anticipate it and loses control as a result, legal responsibility may be on the construction company.
The best way to determine your legal rights after a motorcycle accident is to speak with the San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyers at Allegiance Law. We can help you decide what your next steps should be. Give us a call to set up an appointment today.