Rear-end motorcycle accidents are frequent collisions in California, and they cause severe injuries to motorcyclists every year. In a motorcycle rear-end accident, the vehicle lifts the motorcycle’s rear wheel, flipping the motorcycle, and the motorcyclist forward. The motorcycle may cartwheel, end over end, causing fatal injuries to the rider. The driver driving behind a motorcyclist should leave enough space between a motorcycle and a vehicle. This precaution is necessary, should a motorcyclist brake abruptly for any reason. Most vehicle drivers do the opposite. They follow the motorcyclist closely behind. If you are a motorcyclist seriously injured in a rear-end motorcycle accident, contact The LA Personal Injury Law Firm for legal consultation.
Other Rear-End Accident Scenarios
Instant braking from a vehicle driver poses a danger to motorcyclists. Drivers who brake abruptly to make a turn or after missing an exit could cause a rear-end motorcycle accident. This can cause the motorcyclist to hit the vehicle at the back, throwing the rider onto the roadway, into the air, into another car, or throw the rider off the bike. Your attorney will pursue your legal rights and seek compensation for your injuries. Legal experts stand ready to assist victims with their cases. Legal professionals acknowledge the impact a fatal accident can have on your livelihood, and health.
Why Rear-end Collisions are Riskier for Motorcyclists
Rear-end motorcycle accidents can be fatal. They may cause death, brain injuries, or head injuries. Statistics reveal that most rear-end motorcycle accidents are caused by vehicle drivers, who hit a motorcycle and throw it to the ground. The majority of California motorcyclists do not wear helmets to protect them against head injuries in case of a crash. This increases the risk of serious injuries. The motorcyclists are at more risk in the rear-end collisions for the following reasons:
A Motorcyclist May Fly on to the Vehicle or Fall from the Bike
If you are on a motorcycle, it is easy to fly off, or fall should you be involved in an accident. If the vehicle driver hits a motorcyclist from behind, the motorcyclist could be thrown up before falling. A similar case could happen if, as a motorcyclist, you hit a vehicle from behind, you could fly from your bike onto the car. In situations like this, you will not have time to think of where the bike or you will land. You will get serious injuries when you hit the ground with a significant impact. It could also cause you severe injuries if the motorbike falls on you.
Motorcyclists are Exposed
In case of a rear-end motorcycle accident, motorcyclists often suffer severe injuries than the driver of the vehicle involved. The frame of the car usually protects the car driver. The car protects the driver from all harmful debris. Also, most cars have seat belts and airbags as safety guards. These features are absent on a motorcycle. Therefore, a motorcyclist faces much more risk of getting severe injuries.
After a Rear-end Motorcycle Accident
The steps you take after a rear-end motorcycle accident could go a long way in supporting your injury claim. You should follow specific steps after a rear-end motorcycle accident. These steps will have a significant impact on your legal actions and rights. The crucial steps to follow after a rear-end motorcycle accident are:
Inform the Police
It is crucial to call the police after sustaining injuries in a rear-end motorcycle accident. The police will investigate the accident scene and come with a report detailing the cause of the accident. The facts of the report will act as proof of the injuries you suffered, including your motorcycle damage, your medical costs, and your clothing damage. It is also essential for you to note down the police officers’ names and the badge numbers. These details will make it easy for your attorney to collect the necessary information from the police, and follow up on your case.
Talk to Witnesses
In any legal issue, the eyewitnesses of an accident are essential in supporting a case. You should talk to the people who might have gathered at the scene after a rear-end motorcycle accident. Ensure that you take the witnesses' contact information. When the witnesses leave the scene, you may not be able to reach them in the future.
Avoid Discussing Your Injuries
After a rear-end motorcycle accident, the car driver could try to get close to you and ask about the extent of your injuries. It is wise to avoid discussing your injuries with the car driver or his/her insurance company. After a rear-end motorcycle accident, you will have a rush of adrenaline, and your body will become numb. You may realize the extent of your injuries when the numbness clears off.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have sustained fatal injuries after a rear-end motorcycle accident, it is good to immediately seek medical attention. You could ask the people at the scene of the accident to get an ambulance for you. Ensure that you leave behind your contact information before you leave the scene of the accident. You should also ensure that you take the contact information of all the other people involved in the accident.
If you have suffered fatal injuries in a rear-end motorcycle accident, it might be hard for you to document the scene of injuries. However, you could try to note important information regarding the accident. You could request another person to take pictures for you, or if you are able, take the photos of the accident scene by yourself. Take a picture of your motorcycle wreckage and the vehicle involved. If possible, you could also take photos of your injuries and bruises. Ensure that you write down the registration number of the car involved in the accident.
Do Not Admit Fault
You should not admit the mistake even if you feel that you are partly at fault in a rear-end motorcycle accident. You should not apologize whatsoever to the vehicle driver involved. The vehicle driver could interpret your apology as a way of admitting the mistake in a rear-end motorcycle crash. The appropriate way to take is to talk to your attorney. Your attorney will be able to deal with the insurance company and with the defendant.
Move to a Safe Place
If a vehicle hits you while on a motorcycle, you and the motorcycle are bound to roll on the road, this could cause you to collide with other cars in front, which could increase your injuries. If you can move, it is good that you move to a safe place, especially on the roadside. Do not move the wreckage of your motorcycle because it will act as evidence when the police come.
Common Rear-end Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Some of the injuries that you are likely to suffer in a rear-end motorcycle accident are:
When a rear-end motorcycle accident occurs, a motorcyclist may shield herself or himself with the arm. This reflex always leads to injuries on the arm, commonly referred to as a biker's arm. A biker’s arm may involve many injuries on the arm, such as broken bones, tendon injuries, bruises, and muscle injuries. The arm always suffers from the impact of breaking a fall. The human inclination is always to put down the arms to break a fall. This is the reason behind the injuries sustained from the biker's arm.
The human body has over 600 muscles. Any of these muscles could get damaged in a rear-end motorcycle accident. If you suffer muscle injuries at an old age, you are likely to take longer to recover. If you suffer muscle injuries while still young, you are likely to recover quickly. Muscle injuries from a rear-end motorcycle accident range from large muscle tears to simple sprains. In case of a rear-end motorcycle accident, hard riders are more likely to suffer catastrophic muscle damage.
In case of a rear-end motorcycle accident, the feet are the first to touch the ground. Most motorcyclists suffer lower limb injuries when a rear-end motorcycle accident occurs. Other injuries could be muscle injuries, cuts, bruises, or sprains. Feet injuries have a long-lasting effect, such as permanent disability. Motorcyclists could get injuries like fractured knees, and shattered bones in the legs. Wearing knee pads and leather clothing could reduce the extent of feet injuries in case of a rear-end motorcycle accident.
Wearing a helmet could prevent you from getting face injuries, even if it is designed to protect the top of your head. However, it may not protect some other parts of the face and your jaws. You could still receive cuts on your face and some bruises, even if you wear a helmet. A good number of motorcyclists sustain injuries in the face in a rear-end motorcycle accident.
A motorcyclist could slide sideways on the pavement or fly over the handlebars after a crash between a vehicle and motorcycle. The effect of sliding on the surface of the road or sliding on the pavement could lead to a road rash. A road rash occurs when a motorcyclists' bare skin rubs on the pavement at high speed. The pavement could tear off the motorcyclist clothes and expose the skin, in the event the motorcyclist has worn thin clothes.
You should never dismiss a road rash as a minor bruise, cut, or scrape. A road rash could cause severe complications like nerve damage, infections, or skin irritations. Seek treatment from a medical expert to avoid infection, in case you suffer a road rash from a rear-end motorcycle accident.
If protective clothing covers your skin, you are likely to suffer minor road rash injuries, especially leather or denim. It is also crucial for a rider to wear high shoes, especially knee-high boots. Proper gloves not only offer a good grip while riding, but it will also help you avoid getting injuries on the palm of your hand in case of a rear-end motorcycle accident.
You could suffer internal injuries in a rear-end motorcycle accident. Blunt-force trauma could lead to damage to internal organs and internal bleeding. A blunt-force trauma means a trauma that results from a blow on something that does not break the skin. Internal injuries could also result from penetration trauma, which occurs when sharp objects like broken glass penetrate the motorcyclist skin in a rear-end motorcycle accident.
Even if the rear-end motorcycle accident happens at a low speed, it could cause fatal back injuries on a motorcyclist. The force of the crash could cause compression on the discs in the lower spinal column or the spine. The force of the impact could also put pressure on the vertebrae. This might cause lower back pains or soreness on the victim.
Spinal cord Paralysis
If the spinal cord or the brain is seriously injured in a rear-end motorcycle accident, it could cause partial paralysis or complete paralysis on the motorcyclist. The paralysis level could depend on the parts affected on the spinal cord and how serious the injuries are. There are higher chances of a victim being paralyzed if the spinal cord or specific parts of the brain are seriously injured. Fatal spine injuries occur when a motorcyclist lands on a fixed, and large object after a rear-end motorcycle accident.
Head and Brain Injuries
Injuries sustained on the head are always severe in a rear-end motorcycle collision, whether the speed was high or low. This may cause swelling, unconsciousness, bruises, cuts, and much more. Statistics also show that 70% of the motorcyclists sustain traumatic brain injuries in rear-end motorcycle accidents in California, and the majority lost their lives. The signs of traumatic brain injuries do not manifest immediately. They could take weeks or days to manifest fully. The signs of traumatic brain injuries in a victim could include chronic fatigue, impaired speech dizziness, and abnormal behavior changes.
Who to Blame in a Rear-end Motorcycle Accident
After suffering injuries in a rear-end motorcycle accident, you must consult a personal injury attorney. An attorney will conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine the person at fault. When pursuing a claim for compensation, one of the most important things to do is specify the liable person. Several people could be at fault in a rear-end motorcycle accident:
- The manufacturer of the motorcycle components could be liable for an accident.
- If the accident occurs due to poor roadways, the people responsible for the maintenance of roadways could be to blame for the accident.
- The repair shop or the company responsible for maintaining the motorcycle could also be liable.
- A vehicle driver if the motorcycle accident involves a vehicle.
- If a rear-end motorcycle accident occurs due to a defective motorcycle, the motorcycle manufacturer could be liable for the accident.
Before you receive financial compensation by the court for your injuries, the juries must first determine who is to blame for the accident. If more than one person is responsible for the accident, each person will be liable depending on the degree of the fault. The judge will determine each person’s degree of the fault and multiply it with the total damages the victim suffers.
Sometimes, you could be partly liable for the rear-end motorcycle accident. Any degree of negligence will cause a decrease in the compensation you will receive for your injuries. If the court realizes that you are 15% at fault, your payment will reduce by 15%. In a rear-end motorcycle accident involving reckless driving, you will have to show that the car driver was negligent and that the negligence led to the accident. There are four elements of negligence. First, it should be apparent that the vehicle driver owed you a duty of care. Every vehicle driver should be keen while driving and prevent accidents from happening. When determining if the car driver was negligent, the court will consider how a reasonable person would have acted under similar situations.
You should also provide proof that the car driver breached his/her duty of care. A car driver could breach his/her duty of care by engaging in reckless driving. A driver could also breach the duty by failing to follow traffic rules, or by over speeding. Causation should also be evident. This implies that the car driver's breach of duty of care should have caused or significantly led to the rear-end motorcycle accident. There are several ways of showing the damages, such as presenting medical bills and other relevant information.
Determining the Amount of Compensation
When a rear-end motorcycle accident occurs, the blame is often on the motorcyclist. Most people consider motorcyclists to be reckless. However, accidents are not always the mistake of the motorcyclist. When you suffer injuries in a rear-end motorcycle accident, you have every right to seek compensation. The right way to seek compensation is through a personal injury attorney. The factors that would determine the amount you receive include:
Defendant’s Insurance Cover
When receiving compensation for the damages in a rear-end motorcycle accident, the damages cannot exceed the insurance limits of the defendant's insurance. The amount of payment you get will depend on the defendant's insurance coverage. If the defendant does not have other assets that could help make a settlement, this fact will apply. Once your attorney presents your personal injury case in court, the judge might award you the compensation that exceeds the insurance coverage of the defendant.
Your Injury Level
Your compensation will depend on the extent, or the level of your injuries. You are likely to receive higher compensation if you suffer extensive damage, which could have a far-reaching impact. Some of the factors that could influence the compensation amount include rehabilitation costs and medical bills you pay to meet the cost of treatment.
Your Ability to Prove Fault
The critical aspect of a rear-end motorcycle accident involving a reckless driver is to prove that the driver is at fault. Traffic citations could come in handy in proving the driver's fault. When an accident occurs, the law enforcement officers issue a traffic citation to the liable driver. This proof of negligence will play a significant role in determining the extent of compensation.
Causes of Rear-end Motorcycle Accidents
The majority of rear-end motorcycle accidents involve vehicles, and they occur because of reckless riding or driving. In California, the leading causes of rear-end motorcycle accidents are:
When a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he/she is not likely to exercise the due duty of care on the road. An intoxicated driver is more likely to cause an accident than a sober driver. In California, it is illegal for a driver to operate a vehicle if his/her blood alcohol content exceeds 0.08%.
Rear-end motorcycle accidents could occur if vehicles make abrupt stops without warning the motorcyclists behind them. Sudden stops often lead to rear-end collisions involving motorcyclists smashing the back of cars. This form of impact could lead to severe injuries or even death of a motorcyclist.
Rear-end motorcycle accidents could occur when a vehicle driver engages in distracted driving. If a driver eats or texts on the phone while driving, he/she might not be able to pay attention to the road. This could lead him/her to hit the motorcyclist from behind and cause the death of the victim or fatal injuries.
Driving at a very high speed is a form of reckless driving and is the leading cause of rear-end motorcycle accidents. When a vehicle driver is over speeding, he/she is not likely to see a motorcyclist ahead. In case of an emergency, the driver might fail to react promptly and hit the motorcyclist from behind. While driving at a slow speed, a driver is more able to control the vehicle and is not likely to cause a rear-end motorcycle accident.
Find a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Through a personal injury attorney, you are more likely to receive the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered injuries in a rear-end motorcycle accident, The LA Personal Injury Law Firm can help to evaluate your case. Our attorneys will also help you to file a compensation claim. Reach out to us at 310-935-0089 and talk to an experienced attorney.