A rear-end accident involving a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle can be far different than one involving two passenger vehicles. When one passenger vehicle collides with another in a rear-end collision, the impact is usually at a lower speed, and the damage is minor. When a motorcycle is rear-ended by a passenger vehicle at what might be described as a relatively low speed, severe injuries or even death can result.
How the crashes happen
A large cruising motorcycle like a Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special can weigh 900 pounds without a rider. A Toyota Prius with a full tank of gas and a driver sitting in it is just over 3,000 pounds. Given its weight, that motorcycle is going to use much less road to come to a complete stop than the Toyota. What comes to issue is that when that Toyota is behind the Harley, the Toyota driver needs to allow extra interval space in the event that the Harley is going to brake and slow down or stop for any reason. Not realizing that, many motorists do quite the opposite. They’ll follow the Harley more closely than they would if another passenger car was in front of them. Imagine the force and violence of a collision if the vehicle behind that Harley is a Toyota Land Cruiser weighing in at 5,180 pounds without a driver or a drop of gas in it.
When the motorcycle is rear-ended
It doesn’t take a high speed impact for a vehicle to rear-end a motorcycle and propel the motorcyclist over the bike’s handlebars and onto the pavement. When the impact does occur at a high rate of speed, the vehicle that hit the bike can run over the motorcyclist. If the motorist is thrown into the opposite lane of traffic, he or she can be run over by an oncoming vehicle.
Some causes of rear-end crashes with motorcycles
Motorcyclists can’t be held liable for their injuries when they’re lawfully stopped in traffic and rear ended. Distracted driving, drunk driving or simple day dreaming are often the causes of rear-end accidents. There are many times when the driver who rear-ended the motorcycle either didn’t see the motorcycle or didn’t see it until it was too late. Some serious injuries suffered by motorcyclists in rear-end accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries causing cognitive dysfunction
- Traumatic spinal cord injuries resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Multiple severe fractures requiring surgery
- Damage to internal organs requiring surgery
- Road rash and infection
- Leg amputation below the knee
Many of these injuries can be catastrophic. They leave the motorcyclist suffering from lifelong disfigurement and disabilities.
Contact a Louisville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When you’ve been seriously injured in a rear-end motorcycle crash, or a family member died in such a crash, your family will struggle both emotionally and financially. That’s when the opposing insurance company has you right where it wants you. Without a quality law firm advocating for you, that insurer will want to intimidate you and pay you as little as possible.
Your first priority should be on healing, but you’ll need an experienced and aggressive motorcycle accident attorney to represent your best interests in confronting the legal and compensatory issues that you’re facing. If you were seriously injured in Louisville or anywhere else, or if a family member died in a motorcycle crash, contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation and case assessment. You don’t need to pay us any money to retain us, and we’re not even paid any legal fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Our goal is to maximize any compensation that you receive.