St. Louis Rear-End Motorcycle Accidents
A rear-end motorcycle accident typically occurs when a motorist collides with a motorcyclist that stops or slows down. In this instance, the motorist cannot bring their vehicle to a complete stop or fails to see the motorcycle in front of them before impacting it.
Rear-end motorcycle accidents can cause serious harm. A rider can suffer injuries during a motorcycle accident, even if they wear a helmet and other safety gear. In addition, the accident can result in significant financial damages. Victims might need to miss work due to their injuries and recovery, and they might face the burden of hefty medical bills.
The St. Louis personal injury lawyers at NST Law can help rear-end motorcycle accident victims pursue financial compensation from the party responsible for their accident.
How dangerous are rear-end motorcycle crashes?
A rear-end motorcycle crash is especially dangerous to the rider due to the difference in size and weight between a motorcycle and a car. On average, a motorcycle weighs about 400 lbs, while the average passenger vehicle weighs up to 3,200 lbs. Thus, in a rear-end motorcycle crash, the rider can suffer injuries or death due to the force of the impact and lack of necessary reaction time.
Other potential problems increasing the risk of harm to the motorcyclist and others on the road during rear-end motorcycle crashes include:
- The rear wheel can lift up.
- The motorcycle can flip.
- The rider can be thrown from their bike.
- The motorcycle can slam into the vehicle in front of it.
- The rider can get crushed in between two vehicles.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol recorded 173 motorcycle crashes across the state in 2020. These crashes resulted in injuries to 157 people and 11 fatalities.
Comparatively, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 5,014 motorcyclists died in crashes nationally in 2019. The NHTSA also indicated that motorcyclists were nearly 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash.
Why do rear-end motorcycle accidents happen?
Common causes of rear-end motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving: A motorist may use their smartphone while driving or encounter other distractions that lead to an accident.
- Drunk driving: An intoxicated motorist endangers motorcyclists, along with pedestrians and other motorists.
- Drowsy driving: A motorist who feels unrested or fatigued is more susceptible than others to accidents.
- Aggressive driving (road rage, tailgating, traffic jams, etc.): An aggressive motorist can lose control of their emotions, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Failure to follow traffic laws or signals: Failure to follow the rules of the road puts a motorist and others in danger.
- Blind curves: A motorist may not see a motorcyclist when driving around a blind curve, resulting in an accident.
- Poor road conditions: A motorist may struggle to fully stop their vehicle when traveling on ice, gravel, or other inclement road conditions.
- Improper or unsafe lane changes: A motorist who quickly changes lanes or does so without looking can cause an accident.
Many rear-end motorcycle accidents are preventable. However, even motorcyclists who prioritize safety can be involved in rear-end accidents. If a motorcyclist suffers injuries during a rear-end accident due to no fault of their own, this individual may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists to Avoid Rear-End and Other Collisions
Motorcyclists can take several safety measures to protect themselves from other motorists on the road. Here are tips to help motorcyclists avoid rear-end accidents and other types of collisions:
- Wear bright, reflective apparel and accessories.
- Wear a helmet, gloves, and other safety gear.
- Avoid traveling in rain, snow, and other inclement weather conditions.
- Do not text and drive.
- Stay alert.
Motorcyclists shouldn’t leave anything to chance. Instead, they should travel cautiously and do what’s necessary to protect themselves and others at all times.
Proving Liability for Rear-End Accidents in St. Louis
Missouri drivers must remain in full control of their vehicles. The “rear-end collision doctrine” applies to rear-end motorcycle accidents in St. Louis. This doctrine removes the legal burden of showing a driver failed to use a high degree of care in a rear-end accident. Therefore, if a driver strikes a motorcyclist in the rear, the driver is responsible. There are few exceptions to this rule, but the burden would shift to the driver to prove that the motorcyclist acted negligently in some way, leading to the rear-end accident.
Missouri is a pure comparative fault state. In a rear-end motorcycle accident case, a judge or jury determines each party’s percentage of fault. So, if a motorcyclist is partially responsible for the accident, this law would apply.
For example, a motorcyclist may file a lawsuit requesting $100,000 in damages following a rear-end accident. The judge or jury may decide the plaintiff is 80% responsible for the accident if they were weaving in and out of traffic or didn’t signal properly when turning. If this happens, the court can reduce the plaintiff’s award by $80,000, and the motorcyclist would only receive $20,000 in damages. Additionally, the defendant would be eligible to collect 80% of their damages with a reduction of 20% for their apportionment of fault.
A motorcycle accident attorney with experience handling personal injury claims, determining liability, and calculating case values can best advise you on shared responsibility and how it might affect your case.
Statute of Limitations to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Missouri
There is a five-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident. For instance, a rider may experience an injury from a rear-end motorcycle accident. The rider then has five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit requesting compensation. Otherwise, the rider risks missing out on an opportunity to secure payment for their losses from the at-fault party.
Sometimes, motorcycle accidents can lead to the death of a loved one. The victim’s family can file a lawsuit for damages if this happens. This type of lawsuit would fall under state laws regarding wrongful deaths. The eligible family member must initiate their lawsuit within just three years of the date of death, which might be different from the date of the accident.
These limits are outside the time restrictions to file an insurance claim. Deadlines to make a claim or demand for compensation from an insurance company can vary based on policies and individual company requirements. Additionally, you need time to gather evidence, contact witnesses, and negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement before pursuing court remedies if settlement discussions are unsuccessful.
There are few exceptions to the statute of limitations, so it’s important to get started early. Therefore, it’s best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible following a motorcycle crash to determine all relevant deadlines pertaining to your circumstance.
How affordable is a personal injury lawyer in St. Louis?
The cost to hire a personal injury lawyer in St. Louis varies. Some attorneys require an upfront retainer for their services. They use this retainer to initiate the legal process. Once the money runs out, an attorney may bill their client for any legal services provided on an hourly basis.
Fortunately, at NST Law, we don’t require our clients to pay an upfront fee for our personal injury lawyers’ services. Instead, we work for you on a contingency fee arrangement, giving injured persons the ability to move forward with their cases quickly, getting the compensation they need to aid in their healing rather than exacerbating their current financial predicament.
Under a contingency fee agreement, a personal injury lawyer only gets paid after successfully securing a settlement or verdict for their client. The percentage taken from the client’s acquired compensation is agreed upon before the client hires the attorney and the attorney begins working on the case. There are no hidden fees, but only what’s outlined in the contract. If your claim is unsuccessful, the attorney receives nothing.
To ensure success, since the attorney takes a hit if they lose, the personal injury lawyer will review a potential client’s case in detail and decide whether it’s a valid claim that’s likely to hold up under examination in court. Ideally, if an attorney accepts your case on a contingency fee basis, they’re confident in their ability to obtain compensation for you, whether via a settlement or judge or jury award.
It’s beneficial to meet with a personal injury attorney for a consultation before deciding to hire them to find out how the firm bills its clients. That way, you know what to expect regarding the lawyer’s costs. At NST Law, we value honesty and transparency, helping you make an informed decision about whether to move forward with our services.
Why should I hire NST Law to handle my rear-end motorcycle accident case?
NST Law has been providing legal services to personal injury victims for 30+ years. If you’re looking for a St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer, there are many reasons to partner with us, including:
We can help you achieve a satisfactory outcome.
A rear-end motorcycle accident can leave a victim in peril, dealing with costly medical bills, emotional distress, and other pain and suffering. There can be times when rear-end motorcycle accident victims’ families are also forced to cope with the aftermath of the devastating ordeal.
At NST Law, compassionate care is part of our DNA. We do everything in our power to assist accident victims and their families, pursuing the best possible course of action and optimal outcomes. Our attorneys devote the time, energy, and resources to learn about our victims and take the guesswork out of the legal process. We also make it a priority to be accessible to our clients and to respond to legal concerns and questions promptly.
We deliver proven results.
We have handled many personal injury claims over the past three-plus decades. Regardless of the case, we use a tried-and-true approach to deliver outstanding results. While your case will receive one-on-one attention and a varied process, we will also strive to give your case the same level of care and expertise that has proven successful in the past.
Our team has helped clients recover over $1.5 billion in damages to date. We remain committed to our clientele. Let us know how we can help following a rear-end motorcycle accident. We can then explore ways to secure the maximum compensation amount from any at-fault parties.
We are client-approved.
Our clients are the lifeblood of our law firm, and it speaks volumes that they frequently rave about our team and legal services. We appreciate and are honored to receive positive reviews from our clients. Yet, we continue to seek out ways to raise the bar for our firm. Our clients are encouraged to come forward and tell us how we can support them best, including informing us of any areas in which we might need improvement. We are happy to accommodate when resources and circumstances allow if there’s anything we can do to meet or surpass our clients’ expectations.
We provide support to our communities in and out of the courtroom.
Our team is passionate about supporting those in need in and out of the courtroom. We want to help lift the burdens of those who are struggling so that they have an opportunity to succeed. We believe that we’re better together, and that means we need to lift those in need of a hand from time to time.
We want our clients to feel comfortable working with us. We ask questions to provide you with the best possible legal advice and encourage our clients to do the same. This open-ended communication enables us to provide our clients with the legal services and support they deserve, and it helps our clients get the help they need at a time when help is needed most.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or death after a rear-end motorcycle accident in St. Louis, contact our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at NST Law today for a free consultation.