Liability for a Rear-End Motorcycle Crash in Ontario

motorcyclist in tunnelRear-end crashes can result in serious injuries and significant damages. Many victims of these crashes often suffer back and neck injuries, internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries requiring ongoing medical care. These injuries can be catastrophic if a motorcyclist gets hit from behind by a vehicle.

If you have been involved in a rear-end motorcycle crash, it is important to understand that under Ontario law, the rear driver is presumed to be the at-fault driver. However, this does not necessarily mean that the rear driver is the only one liable for the crash and any resulting injuries and damages.

A reputable Windsor motorcycle accident lawyer is prepared to review your situation and evaluate whether you have a valid claim during a risk-free, legal consultation. This initial meeting comes with no obligation to hire our firm, but if you do, we charge zero upfront fees. We do not get paid unless you do.

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How Common Are Rear-End Motorcycle Crashes?

Rear-end crashes involving motorcycles are quite common and can be more dangerous than crashes involving two vehicles. This is because motorcyclists are more vulnerable and have less protection against a passenger vehicle. As a result, many motorcyclists sustain serious and even fatal injuries.

The force of impact from a crash will impact a smaller, less secure user such as a motorcyclist in different ways than a driver operating a heavier passenger vehicle. When a vehicle rear-ends a motorcycle, the back wheel of the bike can get lifted off the ground and flip the motorcycle and the rider forward and onto the ground. If a vehicle is speeding, the driver may not have enough time to react and slow down or even come to a complete stop and may strike and run over the motorcycle.

Additionally, a vehicle that rear-ends a motorcycle can push the bike and the rider into the vehicle in front of them or into the middle of an intersection. The motorcycle could get crushed between two vehicles or slide under the vehicle in front, causing a serious and possibly deadly multiple-vehicle crash.

Is the Rear Driver Always at Fault for Negligence?

In most cases, Ontario law will find the driver who rear-ended the motorcyclist to be the negligent party. This is because all drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. Drivers must always be alert and on the lookout for other motorcyclists sharing the road. If a motorcyclist is in the lead, a driver should maintain a safe following distance in the event traffic must slow down or stop.

However, this duty is often breached in a rear-end crash. A driver may be liable for damages if he or she hit another motorcyclist from behind while:

  • Going too fast for the situation
  • Driving distracted
  • Following too closely
  • Under the influence
  • Drowsy behind the wheel

Although the rear driver is often presumed to be negligent, his or her insurance company may still dispute liability in an effort to pay as little as possible in compensation. Insurance companies use many different tactics after a crash to deny or devalue valid claims. This is why it is in your best interest to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can represent your best interests every step of the way.

When a Motorcyclist in the Lead Could Be Held Liable

The rear driver may not be the only liable party. Sometimes the motorcyclist in the lead could be at fault for causing a rear-end crash. For instance, a motorcyclist might pull out in front of another vehicle, leaving the driver of the vehicle no opportunity to react and move out of the way to prevent the crash.

Other instances of motorcyclist negligence include:

  • Slamming on the brakes for no apparent reason
  • Operating the bike while using drugs or alcohol
  • Suddenly putting the motorcycle in reverse
  • Operating the bike with broken brake lights
  • Making unsafe lane changes between vehicles

Motorcyclists also have a duty on the road to exercise good judgment and ride responsibly. Our firm is well versed in Ontario’s motorcycle laws and how they may apply to your particular situation.

Pursuing Compensation for a Rear-End Motorcycle Crash

Drivers with a standard auto insurance policy have access to Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits. These benefits cover drivers and passengers, as well as insured motorcyclists. These benefits are also available regardless of fault, even if you were found partially liable for the rear-end motorcycle crash.

In addition to accident benefits, you may also be eligible to pursue compensation by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This requires proving that negligence played a role in the crash – the other driver’s actions or inactions directly caused you to suffer injuries and damages, such as medical bills.

Reach Out to Our Firm Today for Trusted Legal Help

If you or a loved one have been injured in a rear-end motorcycle crash, Greg Monforton & Partners is here to help. Our legal team is ready to review the facts of the case, conduct a detailed investigation and gather supportive evidence to help prove negligence and determine liability on your behalf.

The initial consultation we offer is free of charge, so there is no risk to you and no obligation involved. There are zero upfront fees to retain our services. Our intake staff is available to take your call, 24/7.

Call (866) 320-4770 to Talk to a Lawyer Today.