Motorcycle Hit Car From Behind: Who's at Fault?

Motorcycle Hit Car From Behind: Who’s at Fault?

motorcycle hit car from behind

Getting hit by a motorcycle is surprising and scary for both drivers. The motorcyclist is at an especially high risk of severe injuries.

motorcycle accidents in maryland

Approximately 1,300 motorcycle accidents happen each year in Maryland and 75% involve severe injuries or death. Motorcycle accidents account for about 14% of all Maryland crash-related deaths.

Are you wondering what to do if you hit a car from behind on your motorcycle? Or are you curious about what will happen after a motorcyclist hits you?

This article covers what happens after a motorcyclist vs. car accident, including who may be at fault and how you can start an accident compensation claim.

What Happens When a Motorcycle Hits a Car?

Car accidents happen in many ways. Sometimes one driver negligently hits an innocent driver in traffic. Sometimes both vehicles collide simultaneously. In some of the most severe accidents, multiple vehicles are involved in chain-reaction crashes.

motorcycle accident injuries

Motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe than almost all other accidents except for large semi-truck crashes. Why is this true?

Traffic safety statistics show motorcycle-involved accidents often include factors like:

  • Excessive speeds
  • Blind curves and turns
  • Passing and lane changes
  • Aggressive driving and road rage
  • Drunk driving
  • Unlicensed drivers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are more likely than other drivers to exhibit risky behaviors like driving drunk, being unlicensed, or maneuvering aggressively. More than one-fourth (27%) of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol and 36% have unlicensed or improperly licensed drivers.

This doesn’t mean motorcyclists cause all crashes. They’re more likely to be in severe crashes because they’re driving smaller, less stable vehicles, and other drivers might not see them. The National Safety Council calls this “inattentional blindness,” where drivers tend to overlook bicycles and motorcycles due to distraction and not expecting to see small-size vehicles.

Motorcyclists also lack the protective shell of a steel-framed vehicle around them. A motorcycle rider is more likely than another driver to suffer severe injuries in a crash, not to mention the destruction of their bike.

Who’s at Fault for Getting Hit By a Motorcycle?

Motorcyclists are not automatically assigned all fault or liability for traffic accidents. Other drivers may assume that a motorcyclist rides more recklessly than others on the road, but this isn’t necessarily true.

The fault for a Maryland vehicle accident is based on the circumstances of the crash and who contributed to the accident. Maryland has a pure contributory negligence system, meaning when you hold just 1% fault for the accident, you cannot recover any compensation for your property damage or personal injuries.

If a motorcycle hit a car from behind, it may be difficult to prove that you aren’t at fault for the accident. You’ll need to show that something else caused the accident like another driver rear-ending you or forcing you to swerve into another vehicle.

To prove you hold no fault, you’ll need to locate evidence like:

  • An accident or police report
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Reconstruction expert testimony
  • Surveillance footage from nearby buildings
  • Witness statements

Certain types of evidence are more challenging for the average person to obtain, so having legal representation becomes more important. A car accident lawyer can help you obtain a subpoena for vital evidence and build a stronger case that’s more likely to result in accident compensation.

Contact Zirkin & Schmerling Law – Maryland Car Accident Lawyers

After a car accident involving a motorcycle and another vehicle, you’ll need to know Maryland’s motorcycle accident laws and which legal options may be available to you. You may be eligible for accident compensation to cover your medical bills, vehicle damage, lost wages, and other costs. 

An accident claim could secure coverage from car insurance, motorcycle insurance, or another source. Most traffic accident claims result in out-of-court settlements your lawyer helps you negotiate without the need to appear in court.

At this stressful time in your life, you deserve excellent legal representation. The team at Zirkin & Schmerling Law has the compassion and experience it takes to support injured drivers and motorcyclists. We pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to find the best possible outcomes after traffic accidents.

Contact us online or call (410) 753-4611 to set up an appointment today.