A rear-end motorcycle collision occurs when one vehicle strikes the back of a motorcycle, or a motorcycle crash behind a car. However, in most accidents, motorcycles are rear-ended. This type of collision can occur for various reasons, including distracted driving by the vehicle driver, following too closely, or failure to yield the right of way.
These accidents result in severe injuries. You must seek medical attention immediately if you are involved in a rear-end motorcycle collision, even if you do not think you are seriously injured. Additionally, you can pursue legal action to recover the costs incurred to seek treatment, property damage, or emotional pain and to suffer occasioned by the crash. Contact Dallas Horton & Associates if you are involved in a crash in Las Vegas.
Injuries You Can Sustain in a Motorcycle Rear-End Accident
Motorcycle accidents, especially rear-end collisions, can result in severe injuries. Some of the most common injuries that a person can sustain in a motorcycle rear-end accident include the following:
Head injuries are one of the most common and severe injuries resulting from a motorcycle rear-end accident. Motorcyclists are at a higher risk of head injuries because they do not have the same level of protection as drivers and passengers in cars.
Some of the most common types of head injuries that can result from a motorcycle accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) — TBIs can range from mild (concussions) to severe and can result in long-term or permanent brain damage. TBIs can cause many symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, memory loss, confusion, and difficulty concentrating.
- Skull fractures — Skull fractures can range from simple linear fractures to more complex fractures like depressed fractures, which can cause brain injury.
- Intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding inside the skull, which can cause brain damage and be life-threatening.
- Facial fractures can include a broken nose, cheekbones, and jaw and cause significant disfigurement and cosmetic issues.
- Cervical spine injuries affect the neck, damaging the spinal cord and causing quadriplegia or paraplegia.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are grave. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves running from the brain through the neck and down the back. It is responsible for sending signals to and from the brain and the rest of the body, controlling movement and sensation.
When the spinal cord is damaged, it can result in a loss of function and sensation in the affected area. The severity of a spinal cord injury depends on the location and extent of the damage.
Some common types of spinal cord injuries that result from motorcycle accidents include:
- Cervical spinal cord injuries — These injuries occur in the neck area and can result in quadriplegia, which is the loss of movement and sensation in all four limbs.
- Thoracic spinal cord injuries — These injuries occur in the upper back area and can result in paraplegia, which is the loss of movement and sensation in the legs.
- Lumbar spinal cord injuries — These injuries occur in the lower back area and can result in partial or complete paralysis of the legs. Additionally, it can result in the loss of sensation, bowel and bladder control, and sexual function.
- Sacral spinal cord injuries — These injuries occur in the lower back area and can result in paralysis of the legs, bowel and bladder control, and sexual function.
Broken bones, also known as fractures, are common injuries resulting from a motorcycle rear-end accident. The force of the collision can cause bones in the body to break or fracture. The bones that could be broken in a motorcycle accident can vary depending on the crash type and the rider's position at the time of impact.
Some common types of fractures that can result from a motorcycle accident include:
- Clavicle or collarbone fractures.
- Scapula or shoulder blade fractures.
- Humerus or upper arm fractures.
- Radius and Ulna or forearm fractures.
- Hand and finger fractures.
- Pelvic fractures affect the pelvis.
- Femur or thigh fractures affect the thigh.
- Tibia and Fibula or lower leg fractures affect the lower leg.
- Ankle fractures.
- Foot fractures.
Internal injuries occur when the force of the collision causes damage to the internal organs, like the lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys. Internal injuries can be challenging to diagnose because they do not always cause visible symptoms. Some common signs of internal injuries include:
- Abdominal pain or swelling.
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest pain.
- Bruising or discoloration of the skin.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Dizziness or fainting.
Internal injuries can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Treatment for internal injuries typically requires hospitalization and may include surgery, medication, and rehabilitation.
Road rash will occur when a person's skin comes into contact with the pavement or another rough surface, causing scrapes and abrasions. In some cases, road rashes result in deep cuts or puncture wounds.
Road rash is typical in motorcycle accidents because motorcyclists lack adequate protection, as is the case for car drivers and passengers. The force of the collision can cause the rider to be thrown from the motorcycle, leading to violent contact with the pavement.
Road rash can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the injury. Mild road rash could cause superficial scrapes and bruises, while severe road rash can cause deep lacerations, muscle and tissue damage, and even bone fractures.
Road rash can be excruciating and does, in most cases, lead to scarring and disfigurement. It can also cause infection if not treated properly. It is essential to clean the wound, cover it with a sterile bandage, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Psychological injuries, also known as emotional or mental trauma, are a type of injury that is common in motorcycle rear-end accidents. These injuries include depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Psychological injuries result from physical injuries, stress, fear, and the shock of the accident. They can impact the victim’s ability to function normally in daily life.
Symptoms of psychological injuries can include:
- Nightmares or flashbacks about the accident.
- Avoiding activities or places that remind you of the accident.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Irritability, anger, or mood swings.
- Feeling anxious or depressed.
- Difficulty trusting others.
Psychological injuries can be as debilitating as physical injuries and can have long-term effects on a person's emotional and cognitive well-being. Seeking the help of a therapist or a counselor who can provide support and treatment for psychological injuries is advisable.
Seeking Legal Redress After a Motorcycle Rear End Accident
Personal injury cases, especially those involving motorcycle accidents, can be complex and require a significant amount of knowledge and experience to navigate the legal system and build a strong case.
An attorney specializing in personal injury law will have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you understand your legal rights and options and build a case that will maximize your chances of recovering damages. They will also have the negotiation skills to get a fair settlement from the insurance company or take your case to trial if necessary.
Additionally, an attorney can help you deal with insurance companies, as they are on your side and will try to minimize the amount of money insurance companies have to pay. They can also help you deal with medical providers to ensure that you get the proper treatment and that the companies handle your medical bills correctly.
Furthermore, an experienced attorney is familiar with the modified comparative fault rule and Nevada’s laws and knows how to prove fault and seek compensation for damages.
While it is possible to sue for a motorcycle accident in Nevada without an attorney, it is not advisable. It puts you at a disadvantage and increases the risk of not getting the compensation you deserve.
Parties at Fault in a Rear-End Motorcycle Collision in Las Vegas
In a rear-end motorcycle collision, the driver of the vehicle that strikes the back of the motorcycle is the at-fault party. This is because the driver has a legal duty to maintain a safe following distance and to pay attention to the road and the vehicles in front of them.
However, determining fault in a collision can be complex, and other factors contribute to the accident, including road conditions, weather, or mechanical failure.
If the jury holds the driver responsible for the crash, they will award damages, which the driver must pay. These include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Modified Comparative Fault Rule
Nevada is a modified comparative fault state. The modified comparative fault rule is a legal principle used to determine liability in personal injury cases. Under this rule, if an individual is found to be partially at fault for an accident, they can still recover damages if their fault is less than 51%.
In other words, even if a plaintiff is found to be 49% at fault for an accident, the plaintiff can still recover 51% of the damages. But, if the courts find the individual to be more than 50% at fault for an accident, the plaintiff cannot recover any damages.
Nevada courts apply this rule to determine liability in personal injury cases. It is important to note that some states have adopted the pure comparative fault doctrine. This system allows an individual to recover damages regardless of the percentage of fault.
In the case of a motorcycle accident, the modified comparative fault rule would apply, and the court would assess the percentage of fault of each party involved and adjust the damages accordingly.
Damages You Can Recover in a Motorcycle Rear-End Accident
If you have been involved in a motorcycle rear-end accident, you could recover damages for your injuries and other losses. Damages compensate the injured party for the harm caused by the accident. Some of the most common types of damages you can recover in a motorcycle rear-end accident include the following:
Medical expenses are one of the most common damages you can recover in a motorcycle rear-end accident. They can include the cost of hospitalization, surgeries, doctor's visits, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. These expenses can be significant, especially if the injuries are severe, and they could continue long after the accident, requiring ongoing treatment and care.
You must retain all receipts, invoices, and bills related to your medical expenses and any documentation of the treatment received and the treatment date. Doing so will help you prove the extent of your medical costs and calculate the total damages you are entitled to receive.
Additionally, some medical expenses could not be immediately apparent after the accident. You must seek medical attention as soon as possible to rule out hidden injuries and document all the costs.
Lost wages are another type of damage recoverable in a motorcycle rear-end accident. If you cannot work because of your injuries, you could recover the wages you lost due to the accident. This can include the time you missed work to seek medical treatments and any time you skipped going to work because you were unable to work.
To recover lost wages, you must provide evidence of your income, including pay stubs, W-2 forms, or tax returns. You will also need to provide documentation of the time you missed work. The evidence for this includes a note from your doctor or a letter from your employer.
Lost wages can also include the loss of future earning capacity if the injuries sustained in the accident prevent you from returning to your previous job or limit your ability to work in the future.
Property damage includes the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
To recover property damage, you must provide evidence of the damage, like photographs or repair estimates. You should also keep receipts or invoices for any repairs or replacements.
If your motorcycle is considered a total loss, meaning that the cost of repairs would be more than the motorcycle's value, you could be entitled to recover the fair market value of your motorcycle before the accident.
Pain and Suffering
Awards for pain and suffering are intended to compensate the injured person for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident. This can include the pain associated with injuries and any emotional distress or mental anguish resulting from the accident.
Pain and suffering are subjective and can be challenging to quantify. The value of damages for pain and suffering will depend on the case's specific facts. Juries consider the extent and nature of the injuries and the impact the accident has had on the person's life.
It is essential to seek the help of a personal injury attorney, who can help you understand your legal rights and options and help you seek compensation for your pain and suffering. They can also help you with the insurance company, ensuring you get proper compensation for your pain and suffering.
Also, keep a journal of your symptoms and how your injuries have affected your daily life. This approach will help you and your attorney build a strong case and prove the extent of your pain and suffering.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium compensates the spouse or partner of the injured person for the loss of companionship, support, and intimacy that results from the accident. Loss of consortium damages can be divided into two categories:
- Loss of companionship — The emotional and social support that the injured person provides to their spouse or partner.
- Loss of sexual relationship — The physical and intimate aspects of the relationship.
Domestic partners, whether married or unmarried, can seek loss of consortium damages. Per Nevada Law 122A. 200, domestic partners are individuals in a legal union. Therefore, you can seek a loss of consortium if you are unmarried and in a domestic partnership, per Nevada Law 122A. 200.
Punitive damages are recoverable in a motorcycle rear-end accident. They are intended to punish the defendant if they acted with malice or gross negligence and to deter similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages differ from compensatory damages like medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, which intend to compensate the injured person for their actual losses.
Punitive damages are typically awarded in cases where the defendant's conduct is particularly reprehensible. Punitive damages are not available in all cases. Therefore, consult with your attorney to see if your case qualifies.
You must prove that the defendant's conduct was reprehensible to recover punitive damages. You can provide evidence demonstrating that the driver who hit your motorcycle was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or that he/she engaged in reckless or negligent behavior.
It is important to note that the specific damages available to you will depend on the facts of your case. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. They can also help you prove the extent of your injuries and other damages, negotiate with the insurance company, or take your case to trial if necessary.
Wrongful death is a legal cause of action that can be brought in the event of a fatal motorcycle rear-end accident. It is a claim that can be made by the surviving family members of the person who died due to the rear-end accident.
A wrongful death claim can be brought against the person or entity responsible for the accident. The claim is intended to compensate the surviving family members for their losses, including loss of companionship, emotional distress, and financial losses, for example, loss of income and medical expenses.
It must be shown that the victim’s death was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of the defendant to prove a wrongful death claim. This can include proving aspects like reckless driving, driving under the influence, or failure to maintain the vehicle.
Also, the loss of a loved one can be devastating, and the legal process can be complicated. However, with the support and guidance of an attorney, you can navigate the legal process. He/she will also ensure you are treated fairly and compensated for your losses.
Statute of Limitations in Nevada for Personal Injury Cases
In Nevada, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. You can only seek legal action against the at-fault driver within two years after the crash.
A few exceptions to the statute of limitations could extend the time frame to file the lawsuit.
For example, if you were under 18 at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations in Nevada is extended to two years after your 18th birthday. This means that you have until your 20th birthday to file a lawsuit.
In Nevada, a person who wishes to sue a government entity must provide written notice of the claim within 180 days of the accident. This is known as a "notice of claim," a requirement before filing a lawsuit against a government entity. After notice of claim is given, the person has one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Note: These time limits vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the type of government entity involved.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
If you were involved in a motorcycle rear-end accident in Nevada and are seeking legal assistance, it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in motorcycle accidents. They will be able to evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action. They will also be able to help you navigate the legal system, communicate with insurance companies, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
If you are involved in a motorcycle rear-end accident in Las Vegas, contact Dallas Horton & Associates. Our experience and track record of successful awards in personal injury lawsuits puts us in the best position to help you seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Call us at 702-380-3100, and let us help you seek compensation for your losses.