Motorcycle rear-end accidents happen each year, and a large majority of those incidents result in severe injuries. In fact, in 2020 alone, over 82,000 motorcyclists suffered injuries from rear-end accidents in America. Unlike most of the population, motorcyclists are more at risk of severe injuries because they lack the steel cocoon that all other drivers have.
If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries from a rear-end motorcycle accident and you want to know who will take responsibility for the incident and what type of damages you may be able to claim, please continue reading below. In this brief rear-end accident article, we will cover all you need to know about motorcycle rear-end accidents and who you can reach out to for more information.
What Are Motorcycle Rear End Accidents?
As the name states, motorcycle rear-end accidents happen when a vehicle hits the rear of a motorcycle. In most cases, the car behind the bike is at fault for the incident.
Compared to other types of accidents, motorcycle accidents result in severe injuries and damage to the rider. This is due to the driver being exposed to the road compared to a passenger vehicle.
When a motorcycle gets rear-ended, there is a chance that the bike could flip, the biker could get thrown off, or they both can go crashing into the vehicle ahead of them. In extreme cases, the bike could get crushed in between two cars.
Common Reasons Motorcycle Accidents Happen
As mentioned above, rear-end accidents typically happen when the vehicle behind fails to stop promptly, hitting the car in front of them. When it comes to motorcycle accidents, there are several reasons why these types of rear-end accidents happen.
Following Too Closely
Unfortunately, there are several drivers on the road who tailgate motorcycle drivers. When they follow too closely, and traffic comes to a sudden halt, a rear-end accident happens. Following too closely is the leading cause of rear-end accidents.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can significantly impair a driver’s judgment. Not only do drivers under the influence have a hard time driving their vehicles, but they also have a hard time seeing the motorcyclist. Their reaction time is also must slower than the average driver, so if they see a motorcycle in front of them when it’s too late, they could hit them, causing severe injuries and damage.
Did you know that you travel the distance of a football field when you look down at your phone just for five seconds? Most people think they only travel feet or two when they look down to answer an email or a text, but they travel quite the distance.
In that amount of time, a motorcycle could change lanes in front of you, or you may not even notice that a motorcycle was in front of you the entire time. Inattentive driving is another leading cause of rear-end accidents.
Common Injuries From a Rear-End Motorcycle Accident
Because a motorcycle lacks the exterior protection of a car, airbags, and seatbelts, injuries from a rear-end motorcycle accident can be severe. One of the most common injuries associated with these accidents is road rash. Because the driver is exposed to the elements, if they get knocked down or off their bike, they can experience road rash.
Despite the driver wearing a helmet, they can still suffer from severe brain trauma. This trauma can come from flipping or falling off the bike.
Internal Organ Damage
The lack of protection a motorcyclist has leaves them exposed to absorbing all of the impacts. Even if the rider seems ok and can walk after impact, they may have internal bleeding.
Statute of Limitations
If you were involved in an accident where the other driver rear-ended your motorcycle, you have the right to pursue legal action against them. However, a statute of limitations limits when you can make a claim.
For example, in Arizona, you have up until two years after the accident to claim any injuries. To ensure that you stay compliant with these statutes, make sure you reach out to a motorcycle accident attorney to help you with your case.
Claiming Compensation From the Auto Insurer
If you’ve made a claim with the other driver’s auto insurance company and they’ve accepted fault for the accident, make sure you reach out to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible. This is because when you work directly with the auto insurance company, they most likely will compensate you with an amount less than you deserve.
Once you accept their settlement offer, they will require you to sign a document waiving your right to sue them. If you sign this document and take the settlement, you can no longer go after them for additional compensation.
Motorcycle Accident Compensation
If you or someone you love sustained injuries from a motorcycle accident, there are several damages you can claim from the loss. For example, you can claim medical bills. The total cost of the medical bills and expenses vary because every motorcycle accident claim differs. Still, in general, you can claim any emergency medical bills and follow-up doctor care.
Other medical expenses you can claim:
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medication
- Medical devices
If the accident was severe enough to require you or your loved one to need in-home care, you could also claim that. Calculating your medical bills, both present, and future can be a complicated task, especially if you aren’t sure how long it will take to recover. To help with this, you can reach out to a reputable attorney for more information.
Property Damage Expenses
In addition to claiming any medical expenses, you can also claim property damage. This can include the cost of repairing or the actual cash value of the bike and any other items damaged when the accident happened. You have the right to claim any jewelry, cell phone, or other items you had on you at the time of the loss.
If you aren’t able to return to work due to the accident, you can recover compensation for those lost wages. To determine how much money to compensate you for the loss, the insurance company will need to consider your time away from work and your weekly wage before the accident. If the accident caused you to be partially or permanently disabled, leaving you unable to continue your job, you could seek compensation for permanent lost wage replacement.
Non-economic losses, also known as general damages, are damages that are a bit harder to calculate. This is because these “damages” revolve around your emotional and physical pain and suffering. Those types of things are complex to put a price tag on when compared to medical bills.
Other non-economic losses:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
Each case has its own assigned non-economic damages, so your claim may look different than another motorcyclist. For example, you may enjoy driving to work or cooking dinner, but because of your accident, you may not be able to enjoy doing those things.
Determining Liability in Rear End Accidents
In general, the insurer of the vehicle that rear-ended your motorcycle determines liability for the accident. As mentioned earlier, if you were rear-ended, there is a high chance that the insurer of the driver who hit you will take responsibility for the accident.
If there is any question of liability, the auto insurance company will let you know. To make sure you build the best care possible, make sure you gather as much evidence as you can. This includes gathering witness statements, getting a copy of the police report, and providing photos to the insurance company.
How To Seek Compensation
As mentioned earlier, you can seek compensation by working directly with the auto insurance company. If the auto insurance company fails to take responsibility for the accident, you can reach out to a reputable attorney to handle the case on your behalf.
It is recommended that you reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident so they can handle the entire claims process on your behalf. The auto insurance company will want a statement from you that they can use against you if you say anything that puts any blame on you. You can reach out to an attorney for a free no-obligation consultation to get the best result possible.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
You don’t need to hire an attorney to deal with the other driver’s insurance company, but it may be best to at least reach out to one for a free consultation. They can at least review your claim to tell you if they can take on your case.
Why Hire an Attorney
Several benefits come with hiring an attorney to handle motorcycle rear-end accidents. For example, they have experience handling claims similar to yours and know what type of compensation to seek for you.
Provides Access to the Best Medical Care
Motorcycle accident attorneys have a vast network of people they work with, including doctors. They’ve worked with clients with similar cases, so they know what specialists to recommend you to. As your attorney, they want to ensure that you get the best care possible so you can get back on your feet as soon as possible.
When you’re hurt and trying to make sense of how to pick up the pieces after an accident, the last thing you want to do is deal with the auto insurance company. Unfortunately, auto insurance adjusters know this, and they prey upon it. They know you want to get the claim closed out, so they provide you with settlement offers that may sound good.
Fortunately, personal injury attorneys don’t have the same feelings attached to the case as you do. This allows them to properly navigate the facts of your claim and create the strongest case possible.
Most personal injury claims made against auto insurance companies don’t make it to court. Instead, a settlement agreement is made through negotiations between you and the insurer. When approaching these negotiations, it is best to leave the negotiating to a professional.
As mentioned earlier, you are most likely hurt and want to get the claim over with. Instead of you taking a lowball offer from the insurer, allow an attorney to take care of that burden for you. They know what to fight for and what types of damages to claim on your behalf.
Expedites the Claim
In most cases, the personal injury claim process can take months, if not years, to complete. This is due to the insurer needing to gather witness statements, medical documents, and legal paperwork.
When you’re trying to recover, you don’t have time to wait months or years to receive your payout. Instead, you can depend on your attorney to handle all the paperwork and negotiate, expediting the process.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you recently sustained injuries after a motorcycle rear-ends accident, you have the right to seek compensation. Most rear-end accidents blamed the driver trailing behind you.
If there are any questions about liability, you can work with a reputable motorcycle accident attorney to help build your case. Contact us to learn more about how much compensation you can receive for your motorcycle accident. We offer free, no-obligation case reviews, and we can answer any questions or concerns you may have about the claims process.