Rear end shunt accidents
What is a rear end shunt accident? It occurs where a vehicle hits the back of another vehicle and "shunts" it forward. This can happen with two, three or more vehicles. Sometimes a rear end shunt occurs when a car rear ends another car, that then rear ends a motorcycle at a light or stop sign; this chain effect is called a "concertina collision." Rear end shunt accidents can be caused by brake defects, distracted driving, drunk or impaired driving, or road rage. Motorcyclists in a rear end shunt accident or concertina collision are particularly in danger of more serious injuries. The experienced Maine motorcycle accident attorneys of Peter Thompson & Associates can offer sound counsel and assertive advocacy if you are hurt in a rear end shunt accident.Injury and Damages in Rear End Shunt Accidents
The most common kinds of injuries in a minor rear end shunt accident are whiplash and soft tissue back injuries. Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when your head is moved suddenly back and then forward. The neck muscles and ligaments are pushed outside a normal range of motion and the effects of soft tissue injuries like this one may be either short-lasting or the source of chronic pain. If you are in a motorcycle rear end shunt accident, the lack of crash protection means your soft tissue injuries are more likely to be severe and you should see a doctor to find out whether medications and physical therapy would be useful. More serious injuries are also possible, such as fractures or even brain injury, depending on the force of the shunt.Joint and Several Liability
Maine follow the doctrines of comparative negligence and joint and several liability. These doctrines mean that all parties at fault for a plaintiff's injuries including the plaintiff may be held responsible. Comparative negligence applies to reduce a plaintiff's recovery in the amount that the plaintiff is responsible for his or her own injuries. Maine follows a modified version of comparative negligence so that if a plaintiff is 50 percent or more responsible for the accident, he cannot recover at all for his injuries. Joint and several liability makes all tortfeasors responsible for the full amount of the judgment. Each of these tortfeasors can be sued by the others for contribution. If a plaintiff can reach a settlement with some defendants, the amount of the settlement is deducted from total judgment.
In a concertina collision where the motorcycle is in front, for example, the motorcyclist may be able to hold responsible any of the drivers behind him or her whose negligence proximately causes the accident. Suppose the car behind the motorcyclist was following too close and stopped too close behind the motorcyclist when the car behind him rear-ended his car, causing him to shunt the motorcyclist. If the motorcyclist believes only the car behind him was negligent, he can sue just the car behind him, but the driver of that car can bring in the other cars behind him that were partially responsible to contribute to the total judgment.An Experienced Maine Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
A rear end shunt accident can leave a motorcyclist in significant pain, requiring him or her to take time off work, take pain medications, undergo physical therapy and more. Contact the knowledgeable Maine motorcycle injury attorneys of Peter Thompson & Associates at 1.800.804.2004 or via our online form. We can evaluate causation and determine which parties should be held accountable.