Visitor Question

Rear Ended by Motorcycle after Stopping Short…

Submitted By: Ingrid (Granada Hills, CA)

I was forced to stop short because a pick up truck crossed in front of me. A motorcycle that was driving behind me rear ended me. Who is at fault in this accident?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Ingrid,

Nine out of ten times the motorcycle driver will be considered the “at-fault” driver. Most states, including California, require drivers to stay at least one car length behind the driver in front of them for every 10 miles per hour.

Although sometimes it isn’t practical to do so, insurance companies have relied on that standard seemingly forever.

Although it appears your liability is limited (if any), if you haven’t already reported the collision to your insurance company, report it now.

Motorcycle collisions normally include injuries to the motorcyclist. If that was the case, the police may have been dispatched to the scene. They are normally only dispatched to collisions where injuries are involved or traffic is impeded.

If the police did respond they gathered sufficient information to create a police report. Police reports are normally available for pick-up after a couple of days.

They usually indicate who the at-fault driver was. Often that driver will have been issued a citation for “Following too Closely”. If so your case will be substantially strengthened.

We urge you to cooperate with your insurance company. The monthly premiums you pay are for just these types of incidents. Your insurance company will protect you. That’s their job.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 30, 2011

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