Challenges of Claims for Rear-End Motorcycle Crashes

motorcycle rearRear-end crashes between two cars are often viewed as minor collisions. While every situation is different, this may be true for some crashes. However, rear-end motorcycle crashes are often much more dangerous, as there is a significant risk of the motorcyclist being thrown off the bike.

These crashes can cause severe injuries for riders, particularly when the crash occurs at high speed. Victims may be left with large medical bills and other damages that affect various aspects of their lives. Legal claims for these types of crashes could be complicated because the victim may be seeking significant compensation. Insurance companies will always look for a way to deny or at least underpay these claims.

Injured riders should strongly consider legal representation. You not only need a Bloomington motorcycle accident attorney who knows how to determine the full value of a claim and how to negotiate, but you also need an attorney who is prepared to take a case to court. You need full compensation to ensure you can get the medical treatment you need and mitigate other damages you suffered.

Why Do Rear-End Motorcycle Crashes Happen?

Many rear-end motorcycle crashes happen at intersections. For example, when a motorcyclist stops or slows down at an intersection and gets hit by an approaching car. Motorcycle rear-end crashes may also happen in heavy traffic.

Rear-end crashes could also happen around blind curves. The rear driver may not be able to see around the corner to see that a motorcycle is stopped ahead. If the driver is not familiar with the area, he or she may be more likely to get into a crash. Drivers who are more familiar with the area may anticipate stopped traffic around the corner and react accordingly.

There are various reasons why drivers of cars may crash into the rear of a motorcycle. For example, they may have been distracted. They may have been:

  • Texting
  • Engaging in a cellphone conversation
  • Paying attention to a GPS system
  • Talking to passengers
  • Eating
  • Applying makeup

These are all reasons for rear-end crashes between any two vehicles, including motorcycles. However, drivers often do not check for motorcycles. If they are checking for other vehicles, they are looking for cars. People often fail to see things they are not looking for. Motorcycles are much smaller than cars, so it may be easier to miss them, particularly if you are not being attentive to the road and the traffic around you.

Some drivers do not leave enough space between their vehicle and the one in front of them. This can make it more difficult to stop before plowing into the back of the vehicle in front of them. This can be particularly dangerous when the rear driver is distracted, impaired or speeding.

Often, drivers who are following another vehicle too closely are speeding. They are unable to get around the vehicle in front of them and they decide to tailgate this vehicle.

It is important to note that when a motorcyclist downshifts or rolls out the throttle, it slows the bike down but does not cause the brake lights to light up. That is why drivers need to keep their eyes on the road, so they can notice when a vehicle appears to be slowing down.

Impaired driving is another reason for a rear-end motorcycle crash. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or even prescription drugs may have impaired reaction time. They may not react quickly enough to stop before hitting a motorcyclist, particularly if they were not paying attention, which often happens to impaired drivers.

Injuries Riders May Suffer in a Rear-End Crash

When a car rear-ends a motorcycle, the rider could get thrown over the handlebars and onto the ground. The bike can cartwheel and catapult the rider into the air. Sometimes riders fall to the left or right because of the impact.

These crashes can result in serious injuries, including:

  • Spinal cord damage
  • Whiplash
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Disfiguring injuries
  • Crush injuries that require amputation
  • Lacerations
  • Head injuries
  • Soft-tissue damage
  • Herniated discs

Assessing Liability for a Rear-End Motorcycle Crash

Drivers are often liable for crashes with motorcycles. They are often negligent for some reason, such as distracted driving, tailgating, impaired driving or speeding.

Negligence refers to a failure to uphold a duty of care. In other words, negligence is a failure to take reasonable action to prevent an injury. Following traffic laws can be considered reasonable action.

For example, under state law, drivers may not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, considering the speed of other vehicles and traffic conditions.

While drivers are often at fault for rear-end motorcycle crashes, there are times when motorcyclists could be partially at fault. For example, if a motorcyclist cuts off another car while changing lanes, and a rear-end crash results, the motorcyclist may be at least partially at fault.

If the brake light on your bike was not working, and you were rear-ended, it may be possible to argue you are partially to blame because the rear driver was not properly warned you were slowing down.

Preventing a Rear-End Motorcycle Collision

Even though drivers have an obligation to take reasonable care to prevent motorcycle crashes, riders should still take precautions to reduce the risk of a crash.

For example, be aware of cars behind you. As you approach the intersection, you should try to pull over to one side of the lane. Avoid staying in the center of the lane.

Keep an eye on your sideview mirrors and if a vehicle that is approaching does not seem to be slowing down, you may want to move out of the way.

Make sure your brake lights work and try to get away from drivers who are tailgating you.

A large percentage of motorcycle crashes happen in intersections, which is why riders need to take extra precautions to help prevent a crash.

Contact Us for a Free Legal Consultation

TSR Injury Law has been advocating for the injured in Minnesota for decades and we have a proven track record. If you were injured in a motorcycle collision, you could greatly benefit from the help of a licensed attorney.

There are no upfront fees at TSR. Your initial legal consultation is free. If we validate your claim, and you choose to hire our firm, there are no fees before we take your case. There are also no fees while we work to pursue compensation.

Have legal questions? We are ready to answer them. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Assessing Fault for a Red-Light Car Crash in Minnesota

red light over intersectionSome of the worst car crashes happen when one or more drivers completely ignore traffic laws, road signs or traffic signals. For example, red-light car crashes often result in severe injuries and even death.

There are various reasons why these crashes are often so dangerous. We trust other drivers to stop at red lights, so much so we often do not check for traffic to the left or right when going through an intersection on a green light. Think about slowing for every green light to make sure other drivers are stopping for their red lights.  When a crash is unexpected, there is little or no time to slow down or try to maneuver away from danger.

The sides of many vehicles are not built to withstand a collision the way the front and rear are built to withstand collisions. That is why you often hear about T-bone crashes resulting in devastating injuries.

Below, we discuss fault for red-light crashes and why this issue could be complicated. If you were injured by another driver running a red light and have questions about seeking compensation, give us a call today. We have the resources and proven track record to help you determine legal options.

Why do Red-Light Crashes Happen?

Red-light crashes are incredibly dangerous. In 2019 alone, according to statistics collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 846 people died and 143,000 people were injured in red-light crashes.

Red-light crashes involve drivers running red lights and drivers making right turns on red lights. For example, some red-light crashes happen when a driver approaches an intersection with a traffic light and tries to get through a yellow light that is about to turn red. In this common scenario, if the light changes to red before the driver gets through the intersection, and the other traffic gets a green light, the red-light runner could then get hit by an oncoming car.

Drivers who are turning right on red need to be cautious and make sure they have enough time to safely make the turn without obstructing oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, drivers routinely pull out into traffic when it is not safe to do so. This may result in a rear-end collision at high speed, which can cause serious damage to both vehicles and significant injuries to those involved.

There are also red-light crashes that occur when one driver attempts to turn left. This can happen when the driver in the left-turn lane ignores a red arrow or a red light and collides with a vehicle heading in the opposite direction.

Another example of a red-light crash is when a driver slams on the brakes after a light turns yellow. The driver thinks he or she cannot reach the intersection and get through it safely before the light changes so he or she hits the brakes. This results in a rear-end crash because the trailing driver cannot stop in time.

Who is Liable for a Red-Light Collision?

Red-light crashes are usually the result of one or more drivers running a red light and impeding another driver’s right of way. If you violate another driver’s right of way, you are going to be found at fault for the crash.

However, there could be situations when fault is shared between the driver who ran the red light and the other driver or drivers involved in the crash. If another driver also broke traffic laws and this contributed to the crash, that driver may bear partial fault.

For example, if you made a right turn and it looked like traffic was clear, but another driver changed lanes as you were turning and rear-ended you, the other driver should be at least partially to blame. In some situations, that other driver may be 100 percent at fault. It depends on various factors involved in each situation.

Distracted drivers could also be found at fault for crashing into a driver who was turning right. It could be argued the distracted driver would have been able to avoid a collision if he or she was not distracted. However, the driver who was turning right may also be found at fault for violating that driver’s right of way.

Pedestrians and bicyclists could also be found partially liable if they go out into an intersection and drivers do not have enough time to avoid a collision. Pedestrians and bicyclists still need to make sure it is safe to proceed. Under state law, it is illegal to step off a curb and walk into a vehicle’s path. This could happen when a driver is turning right at a red light.

In a rear-end crash approaching an intersection where the light was yellow and the lead driver chose to stop, he or she could be found partially at fault, depending on how far he or she was from the intersection and how much time there was before the light would turn red. However, the trailing driver may have been tailgating, which could make him or her liable for the crash.

Injured in a Collision? Call to Discuss a Claim

For decades, the licensed Minneapolis car crash attorneys at TSR Injury Law have been assisting crash victims with the legal process. We have obtained millions on behalf of our clients who were injured because of the negligence of others.

An initial consultation with one of our attorneys is free and you are not obligated to hire us after this meeting. If you hire our firm, there are no upfront fees to pay, and we also do not collect any fees while working on your case.

Learn more by giving us a call today: (612) TSR-TIME.