Louisville Bicycle Accident Lawyer
There are plenty of bicyclists in and around the Louisville area. Unfortunately, there are also far too many bicycle accidents that cause serious injuries to riders. At Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, we are here to help if you need a Louisville bicycle accident lawyer. We will investigate your case and work to secure the compensation you are entitled to.
Why choose Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery?
In the aftermath of a serious bicycle accident injury, victims need to find a Louisville personal injury lawyer with vast experience handling these types of cases. The law firm of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery is ready to help.
- The sole focus of our firm is personal injury law. This has given us years of specialized experience that will help us secure the compensation you deserve.
- We pride ourselves on giving each client individualized attention. An attorney will handle your case directly from start to finish.
- We take all Louisville bicycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients pay no legal fees until we secure the compensation they deserve.
Will an attorney be beneficial for your case?
Most people who are injured in a bicycle accident do not have the resources or legal experience necessary to properly secure the compensation they are entitled to without legal representation. Your Louisville bicycle accident lawyer will be responsible for:
- Gathering all evidence from the incident (any photos or videos, eyewitness accounts, accident reports, etc.).
- Ensuring that you are evaluated by a trusted medical professional.
- Properly calculating your total economic and non-economic damages.
- Communicating with insurance companies.
- Negotiating with all parties to secure fair compensation for your total losses.
You don’t have to worry about the cost of hiring an attorney at our law firm. You will only ever pay us as a percentage of the settlement or judgment award that we collect on your behalf. This payment arrangement means that our high-quality legal services are always affordable.
Bicyclist Rights and Responsibilities in Kentucky
Bicyclists are considered vehicles in the eyes of Kentucky law. This means that bicyclists are subject to all of the same rights and responsibilities as typical motorists. They have a right to ride in the road with other motorists, and they must obey all traffic signs and roadway rules. A cyclist cannot run a stop sign or ride in a direction opposite traffic, for example. Likewise, motor vehicle drivers must respect bicyclists’ right to the road. They cannot follow or pass too closely to a bicyclist or engage in other behaviors that could endanger a biker’s life. Unfortunately, many drivers in Kentucky are careless, reckless and experience road rage around bikers. This can lead to actions that put a cyclist’s life at risk, such as following too closely, honking or yelling at bicyclists, and turning without looking for oncoming bikers.
Bicycle accidents can lead to severe injuries
Bicycle accidents are often devastating. According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, there were hundreds of bike accidents throughout the state during the latest reporting year. Even if a bicyclist is wearing a helmet, that does not mean they will not sustain a serious injury. Passenger vehicles weigh several thousand pounds, and this can inflict serious injuries on a bicyclist if an accident occurs. It is not uncommon for the Louisville bicycle accident lawyers at Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery to help clients who have sustained the following injuries:
- Open head wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones and dislocations
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent paralysis
- Severe road rash or lacerations
As a bicycle accident victim, you could be eligible for compensation for many different injuries. You may also qualify for compensation if a loved one tragically lost his or her life in a fatal bicycle accident in Louisville. Our wrongful death attorneys can guide your family carefully through this type of case to achieve justice and maximum financial compensation.
Top Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Louisville, KY
Learning the most common causes of bicycle accidents in Louisville could keep you safer on your bike.
In many cases, a bike accident is caused by the careless or negligent actions of vehicle drivers. The Kentucky DOT says the following are the most common bicycle accident causes:
- Drivers failing to yield the right of way
- Driver distraction
- Texting while driving
- Driver inattention (Not looking at the blind spots)
- Impaired drivers
- Passing too closely
- Making an unsafe left-hand turn
- Dooring a bicyclist
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Violating traffic laws
Speeding, reckless driving, tailgating and other dangerous driver behaviors can also lead to bicycle accidents.
It is vital for drivers to understand that bicyclists have the right to use the roadway just like any other motor vehicle in most circumstances. If a negligent driver is at fault for a bicycle accident in Louisville, he or she can be held financially responsible.
Who Pays for a Bicycle Accident in Kentucky?
Under Kentucky’s no-fault car insurance system, most drivers seek financial compensation from their own insurance companies after a car crash, regardless of fault. A bicyclist, however, may have different legal options. After a bicycle accident in Louisville, you are within your rights to seek financial compensation from the driver’s insurance company.
If you have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, you can seek benefits from your own insurer first. Then, if your insurance does not fully cover your expenses, you can seek additional compensation from the other party’s insurer. All motor vehicle drivers in the state must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to pay for the injuries and losses of others after accidents.
This type of coverage can pay for your medical bills, bicycle repairs, lost wages and other damages. To recover compensation from another person’s insurer, you or your lawyer must prove that that party is to blame for the accident. In addition to a driver, you could also hold a bicycle manufacturer, city government, company or another party responsible for causing the accident.
What if You Contributed to Your Injuries?
With PIP insurance, you can qualify for coverage even if you are at fault for your bicycle accident in Kentucky. Without this coverage or during a third-party claim, however, your comparative negligence could reduce the amount of compensation you receive from someone else’s insurer.
Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence rule states that a plaintiff’s degree of fault or negligence in connection to an accident will not bar the plaintiff from financial recovery. It will, however, reduce the compensatory award by an equivalent amount. If you are found to be 10 percent responsible for your bicycle accident, for example, your settlement award could be reduced by 10 percent from $100,000 to $90,000.
Note that your failure to wear a bicycle helmet could be used against you during a bike accident case. If the defense can prove that you most likely would not have sustained your injury – such as a head or brain injury – had you been wearing a helmet, this could reduce your financial recovery. It is difficult to prove the helmet defense, however; especially as adult bicyclists in Kentucky are not legally required to wear helmets.
How to Prove a Bicycle Accident Case in Kentucky
If you bring an injury claim against one or multiple parties for a bicycle accident in Kentucky, you have the burden of proof as the plaintiff or filing party. This means you or your bicycle accident attorney must prove that the defendant is at fault for your collision and related losses. The burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning enough evidence to show that the defendant is more likely than not to be responsible for your injuries.
Most bicycle accident cases are built on the legal doctrine of negligence, or the failure to act with reasonable care. Proving negligence requires evidence of four elements:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care, or a responsibility to act in a way that a reasonable and prudent person would have in similar circumstances.
- The defendant breached or violated the duty of care by committing a careless act or omission, or by demonstrating a wanton disregard for the safety of others.
- The defendant’s failure to act with reasonable care was the proximate or main cause of the bicycle accident and the victim’s injuries.
- The victim or plaintiff suffered specific, compensable losses because of the bicycle accident, such as medical bills or property damage.
Evidence to help prove a bicycle accident case may include an accident report, photographs, traffic or surveillance video footage, eyewitness statements, crash reconstruction diagrams, expert testimony, and medical records. An attorney can make it easier to prove your bicycle accident case with services such as hiring a highly qualified expert to testify as to the cause of the collision.
Is there compensation for a bicycle accident?
If you, a family member or someone you care about has been injured in a bicycle collision that was caused by another person’s careless or negligent actions, contact the Louisville bicycle accident attorneys at Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery today. Our qualified and experienced team of accident lawyers is ready to get to work investigating what happened so we can secure the compensation you need. This can include:
- Coverage of medical bills and expenses
- Lost wages if you cannot work while recovering
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence
There is no such thing as an “average” settlement for a bicycle accident case in Kentucky. Each case is unique, with values calculated based on the specific elements involved, such as the severity of the victim’s injuries, how long it will take the victim to recover, the cost of the victim’s medical bills and the amount of insurance coverage available. An attorney can accurately estimate the potential value of your bicycle accident case and negotiate for a fair settlement with an insurer on your behalf.
Steps to Take After a Louisville Bicycle Accident
If you get into a bicycle accident in Louisville, you may be hurt, confused and in shock. However, it is important to remember that you need to take steps to protect your rights as much as possible as an injured victim. The following actions can help you with an insurance claim against the at-fault driver or party:
- Check yourself for injuries. Remain calm and check to see if you have any injuries. Keep in mind that you may have injuries with hidden or delayed symptoms.
- Seek medical care. Request paramedics to the scene of your accident if you are injured, or go to the nearest hospital for a checkup. Keep copies of your medical records and bills.
- Call the police. Call 911 to report the bicycle accident to local law enforcement. This is important even after a minor accident so that you can obtain a police report.
- Do not admit fault. Avoid apologizing to the driver or admitting any fault for the bicycle accident to the driver, police or an insurance representative.
- Exchange information. Write down the driver’s name, contact information, insurance information and a description of the vehicle.
- Gather evidence. Before you leave the scene of the accident, take photographs, speak to eyewitnesses and write down your police report number.
- File an insurance claim. Bring a claim against the driver’s PIP insurance to seek coverage for your medical bills and losses as soon as possible.
- Do not rush into a fast settlement. The initial offer made by an insurance company may not be adequate for your injuries. Wait to accept an offer until you’ve spoken to an attorney.
Once you have received medical care for your injuries and are ready to seek a financial recovery, contact the attorneys at Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery. Our Louisville bicycle accident lawyers can help you negotiate a fair insurance settlement or take your injury claim to court, if necessary.
How Long Do You Have to File a Bicycle Accident Claim in Kentucky?
Kentucky’s statute of limitations, or deadline for filing a claim, is more complicated than in other states. Kentucky has a different filing deadline for cases that arise from motor vehicle accidents compared to other personal injury incidents. The statute of limitations on a car or truck accident is two years, while the general personal injury statute of limitations is one year. If a motor vehicle struck you while you were riding a bike in Louisville, you will generally have two years to file a related injury claim. If you were injured in a bicycle accident that did not involve a motor vehicle, however, you may have just one year.
There are exceptions to the general rule. In a case where a victim does not discover his or her accident-related injuries right away, for example, the clock on the statute of limitations will not start ticking until the date of reasonable injury discovery. If you wish to file a wrongful death claim for the passing of a loved one in a fatal bicycle accident, you have one year from the date of death rather than the date of the accident, if these two dates differ. Finally, if you intend to bring a claim against the government for a bike accident caused by a dangerous road defect, it must be filed within one year.
Contact Us for a Free Bicycle Accident Case Evaluation
A bicycle accident can have a significant impact on many aspects of your life. If someone else negligently or recklessly caused or contributed to your bicycle accident in Kentucky, our personal injury attorneys can help you seek justice. We can hold a negligent party accountable for your bicycle crash and help you rebuild your life as much as possible.
Learn more during a free case review with a personal injury attorney from Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery.
If you or a loved one need a Louisville bicycle accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here.
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