Were you injured in a rear-end motorcycle accident in Huntsville? All motorists must obey the rules of the road, but drivers often overlook motorcyclists or drive recklessly around them. Even the most cautious motorcyclists are susceptible to motorists who follow too closely or tailgate.
If you suffered injuries in a rear-end motorcycle accident caused by another driver, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses. Since 1966, the experienced Huntsville rear-end accident attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., have fought for the rights of injured people in Alabama. Our compassionate team is ready to aggressively pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and other crash-related losses.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options after a rear-end motorcycle accident in Huntsville.
Why Are Rear-End Collisions Involving Motorcycles So Severe?
Rear-end motorcycle crashes can result in life-changing and even fatal injuries. One of the primary reasons these crashes are so severe is that passenger vehicles are considerably larger than motorcycles, which offer almost no protection to vulnerable riders.
When a multi-ton car or truck crashes into the back of a motorcycle, the rider can be violently thrown into the air and land on the road or strike another solid object. Sometimes, a motorcyclist will end up underneath the negligent driver’s vehicle. Such situations can be fatal to the motorcycle rider.
Another reason these collisions are so dangerous is motorcyclists have little opportunity to react to potential hazards when they come from behind them. As such, they may not have time to swerve out of the way or take evasive maneuvers.
Common Causes of Rear-End Motorcycle Accidents in Huntsville
Rear-end crashes involving motorcycles can occur for many reasons, including the following examples:
- Distracted driving – As with most motor vehicle accidents, rear-end motorcycle crashes often result from driver distraction. A motorist looking at their phone, adjusting their GPS, eating, drinking, or looking away from the road puts vulnerable motorcyclists in unnecessary danger.
- Tailgating – Drivers often follow motorcycles and other vehicles too closely due to aggression, inattention, or overconfidence. Drivers who tailgate motorcycles are more likely to collide with them, particularly when traffic slows down or suddenly stops.
- Speeding – Exceeding the legal speed limit or driving too fast for conditions reduces a driver’s reaction time, increasing the chances that they will cause a rear-end accident.
- Impaired driving – Motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs put the lives of other road users at risk. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to impaired drivers with slowed reaction times, poor judgment, and dulled reflexes.
- Hazardous road conditions and weather factors – While drivers cannot control the weather and road conditions, all motorists must take extra precautions in adverse conditions. Drivers who fail to slow down due to slick roads, low visibility, or high winds put other road users at risk.
Injuries from Rear-End Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are susceptible to severe and even life-altering injuries because they lack the protection other motor vehicles provide, such as steel frames, seatbelts, and airbags. A few examples of the most common severe injuries from rear-end motorcycle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – Riders can suffer severe head injuries in rear-end accidents if thrown from motorcycles – even if they wear a helmet as required by law. Individuals who survive these injuries may require extensive medical treatment and lengthy rehabilitation regimens.
- Spinal cord injuries – Riders can suffer spinal cord injuries due to the force of rear-end collisions or hitting the ground. These injuries can also occur if motorcyclists become trapped under their bikes during collisions. Spinal cord injuries often result in full or partial paralysis.
- Broken bones and fractures – Skeletal injuries are common in motorcycle accidents due to other vehicles or ground impacts. Rear-end crashes can cause fractures to the legs, pelvis, shoulders, arms, and hands.
- Back and neck injuries – Even at relatively low speeds, rear-end motorcycle crashes can cause debilitating whiplash and injuries to the muscles in the back.
- Road rash and abrasions – If a rear-end collision throws a motorcycle rider off their motorcycle and onto the road, they may suffer severe scraping of the skin that can require extensive grafting.
Determining Fault and Liability for Rear-End Motorcycle Accidents
Liability in rear-end collisions is often straightforward. Typically, the driver who crashes into the back of another vehicle is at fault for the collision. However, various factors can affect who is liable for injuries from a crash.
Alabama operates under the principle of contributory negligence, meaning that a motorist partly to blame for the accident that caused their injuries is barred from recovering any compensation – even if they were just 1 percent at fault. Thus, hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is crucial to preserving your right to compensation. A lawyer can gather evidence to build a convincing case that the other motorist was 100 percent at fault for the rear-end motorcycle accident.
Potential Compensation After a Rear-End Motorcycle Crash in Huntsville
While compensation amounts vary from case to case depending on the specifics, you can pursue compensation for the following types of losses from a rear-end motorcycle crash:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Reduced future earning capacity due to disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
Preventive Measures and Motorcycle Safety Tips
If you ride a motorcycle in Huntsville, there are steps you can take to protect yourself on the road. Always wear highly visible protective gear, and practice defensive riding techniques like those recommended by Alabama’s Motorcycle Safety Program. While you cannot control the behavior of other motorists, you can set a positive example by maintaining a safe following distance behind other vehicles, obeying traffic laws, and driving carefully around other road users.
Get Help from Our Experienced Huntsville Motorcycle Crash Attorneys
If you suffered harm in a rear-end motorcycle accident in Huntsville, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. The compassionate and experienced lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., want to help you pursue financial relief and accountability from those responsible for the crash.
Contact our office today for a free no-obligation consultation with our experienced Huntsville motorcycle crash attorneys.