Rear-end collisions are some of the most common types of traffic accidents seen in America, and rear-end crashes involving motorcycles tend to result in severe injuries and extensive damages. All Houston motorcyclists should know what to do after sustaining injuries in a rear-end collision while on a bike.
A “rear-end collision” is a straightforward term for one vehicle striking another from behind. These accidents can happen when one vehicle brakes too quickly for the vehicle behind to react. They can also happen due to speeding, such as a driver speeding and then merging into a lane with slower-moving traffic. Faulty taillights and brake lights may also make it difficult for drivers behind to notice a driver in front slowing or stopping.
Many drivers assume that a driver who strikes another from behind is automatically at fault, and in most cases they are correct; drivers have a legal duty to avoid striking vehicles in front of them whenever possible. However, in some cases, the driver in front may share some blame.
Were you recently rear-ended by a distracted driver? Speak to a Houston motorcycle collision lawyer to find out what your legal options are.
Rear-End Collisions With Motorcycles: Who is at Fault?
Motorcycles are smaller and harder to notice than larger vehicles, and this makes motorcyclists highly susceptible to rear-end crashes. However, motorcycles have the same rights and obligations as all other drivers. Motorcyclists can potentially cause rear-end collisions from inattention, speeding, or failing to stop in time to avoid a crash. In most cases, the resulting damages are much worse for the motorcyclist than the other driver.
If a driver suddenly brakes without a good reason and the motorcycle behind cannot stop in time, it’s likely that the driver in front will at least absorb partial liability for the resulting damages. However, since the burden to avoid accidents is on the driver in the rear, if the motorcyclist was traveling too fast or too close to the vehicle in front, he or she may absorb the bulk of the liability for the wreck. Since fault is a very important factor in any personal injury lawsuit in Texas, the first steps after an accident are extremely important.
The First Steps to Take After A Crash
Regardless of whether you were in a car or on a motorcycle or your position in the crash, it’s important to seek legal counsel as soon as you are well enough to do so. Your Houston personal injury attorney can help you determine your level of fault for the crash and the viability of your case. Texas follows a comparative negligence law, so a plaintiff loses a portion of his or her case award if he or she contributed to the crash in any way. In some cases, the plaintiff’s degree of fault may mean pursuing a lawsuit simply isn’t worth it; the resulting settlement or case award may not even eclipse the cost of legal fees for handling the case.
Try to secure as much evidence as possible after your accident. This can be very difficult for highway accidents which the authorities will want to clear as soon as possible. It’s also harder to identify witnesses in highway crashes as the drivers closest to the accident will likely move past the area as soon as possible. If anyone stops for your accident, be sure to obtain his or her contact information so your attorney can make contact later if necessary.
Other types of evidence that could come into play may include vehicle crash data from your vehicle’s computer, traffic camera recordings, dash cam footage, and GPS records. These types of evidence can help establish fault for a rear-end collision. A reliable personal injury attorney can assess the evidence to determine the strength of a client’s claim and the likelihood of securing compensation in a lawsuit. A rear-end collision does not always automatically mean the rear driver is at fault, so finding the right legal representation as soon as possible after a rear-end collision is crucial.