When a rear-end accident involves two cars, the collision is not usually severe because passengers in the front car are buffered by a bumper and trunk that take the hit. This is not the case in rear-end motorcycle accidents, which can result in severe injuries even at relatively low speeds.
Types of Injuries That May Occur
Common types of injuries seen in rear-end motorcycle accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal injuries, including internal bleeding and organ damage
- Broken bones
- Dental injuries
- Road rash
- Mental health concerns such as depression and PTSD from the incident
While wearing a helmet and proper protective gear can reduce the severity of some of these injuries, it's possible to be permanently disabled despite taking all necessary safety precautions.
Fault for Rear-End Motorcycle Accidents
It is estimated that more than 25% of motorcycle accidents are rear-end collisions. Drivers often fail to account for the fact that motorcycles are able to stop more quickly than cars or trucks due to their lighter weight.
Typically, liability for a rear-end motorcycle accident lies with the driver of the vehicle that hits the motorcycle. Specific actions that can result in this type of accident include:
- Improper lane change
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
Rear-end accidents may be more common in poor weather or low visibility conditions, but the driver who strikes a motorcycle is still liable for the accident.
Helmet Laws and Liability for Injuries
Louisiana, like the majority of states, has a law requiring motorcyclists to wear an approved helmet. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, you will be found partially at fault unless you did not suffer a head injury that could have been prevented by helmet use.
You are still entitled to compensation if you are partially at fault for the accident. However, your settlement will be proportionately reduced by your assigned percentage of fault to reflect your financial responsibility for your injuries.
Damages in a Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim for a motorcycle accident includes several different types of compensation:
- Cost of medical care already received
- Cost of anticipated future medical needs from an accident-related disability
- Lost wages
- Anticipated loss of future earning potential due to accident-related disability
- Pain and suffering, including both physical pain and emotional trauma
Careful documentation of expenses is vital in maximizing the size of a personal injury settlement. For anticipated future costs, expert testimony will be necessary. Pain and suffering damages are typically calculated by multiplying your economic damages by a number that varies according to the severity of the crash.
Elements of a Successful Personal Injury Claim
There are four key elements of a successful personal injury claim:
The driver had a duty to act in a manner that minimizes the risk of injury to others.
Breach of Duty
The driver's actions breached this duty.
You suffered specific compensable damages such as medical bills related to the motorcycle accident.
Your injures are the result of the defendant's breach of duty and not attributed to some other cause.
Law enforcement reports, witness testimony, medical records, accident reconstructions, video footage, and expert testimony are just some of the different types of evidence that may be used to build a successful motorcycle accident personal injury claim.
Louisiana law typically only allows injured bikers one year to file their claim due to statute of limitations laws. Retaining the services of an experienced attorney is the best way to protect your right to a fair settlement. Since personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, there is no upfront cost for obtaining high quality legal representation.
Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a family member has been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.