Louisville Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycles can be incredibly liberating to ride, but they can also lead to major accidents. This is especially true when there are careless or negligent motor vehicle drivers on the roadway that don’t follow traffic laws. At the Law Office of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, we have a history of helping injured motorcyclists secure fair compensation after accidents they did not cause. Let our Louisville motorcycle accident attorneys get to work helping secure the coverage you are entitled to. Contact us online or call us at (859) 578-4444.
Why Choose Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery to Help?
Motorcycle accident victims need help from an attorney with extensive experience handling these types of cases. At Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, our Louisville personal injury lawyers have your back.
- We provide our clients with personal, direct attention from the start of their case through to the conclusion. You will not be handed off to a junior associate or paralegal.
- You will always have access to your attorney to ask questions or raise concerns about your case.
- We take Louisville motorcycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no legal fees until we secure the conversation you are entitled to.
How Will an Attorney Help Your Case?
An attorney will be an invaluable resource for your motorcycle accident case because they will have the resources to properly investigate what happened. They will work to obtain all evidence from the crash, including photo and video surveillance, eyewitness statements, and the police report. Working with medical experts, your lawyer will calculate your total losses and negotiate with the other side for full compensation for your injuries. Your lawyer will also handle the necessary communication with the insurance company on your behalf. If necessary, your lawyer will prepare your case for trial.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Louisville
Almost all motorcycle accidents that take place in Kentucky are preventable. They are often caused by careless and negligent drivers, such as motorists who disobey traffic laws and fail to pay attention to the road. Understanding the most common causes of motorcycle collisions can help motorists prevent them in the future. According to the DOT, the following were the most common causes of motorcycle crashes during the latest reporting year:
- Driver inattention
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield
- Alcohol involvement
- Operating at high speeds
- Following too closely
- Red-light running
- Left-hand turns
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Improper control of the bike
Although driver error is the most common cause of motorcycle accidents in Kentucky, motorcyclists are also vulnerable to hazards such as vehicle part defects and obstacles in the road. This can result in a personal injury lawsuit being brought against a product manufacturer or the city or state government for an unsafe roadway. If you aren’t sure what caused your motorcycle accident in Louisville, our lawyers can investigate to determine the liable party or parties on your behalf.
Motorcycle Accidents Can Cause Devastating Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating. According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, there were 1,464 total motorcycle collisions during the latest reporting year in the state. Out of these incidents, there were 88 fatalities and more than 1,100 injuries. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to serious accident injuries than those in regular passenger vehicles. Even if a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet at the time of a collision, the force of a passenger vehicle collision is immense.
Our Louisville bike accident lawyers regularly help clients who have sustained the following:
- Spinal cord trauma (possible paralysis)
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or road rash
Motorcyclists are more at risk of severe and catastrophic injuries than other motorists in traffic accidents. Without a metal shell, seat belt or airbag for protection, a motorcyclist can suffer life-changing injuries in a crash. Sadly, some motorcyclists do not survive these accidents. Those who do may be permanently affected with physical disabilities, scarring and disfigurement, and emotional trauma. Given the large number of motorcycle accidents happening on our streets, it’s important to advocate for motorcycle safety to protect riders and everyone else involved.
Motorcycle Laws in Kentucky
Obeying Kentucky’s motorcycling laws is your responsibility as a rider, just as vehicle drivers have a responsibility to follow the traffic laws that apply to them. Breaking the law puts everyone on the road at risk of being injured in an accident, including yourself. Before you get on your motorcycle in Louisville, make sure you understand all of the laws that apply to you:
- Special license required. To operate a motorcycle in Kentucky, you must first obtain a special motorcycle operator’s license. This requires special training, a knowledge test and a skills test.
- Helmet required for those under the age of 21. If a motorcyclist (or passenger) is under the age of 21, he or she legally must wear a motorcycle helmet. Although helmets are not required for riders 21 and older, they are highly recommended to help protect motorcyclists from head and brain injuries.
- Motorcyclists must obey all traffic laws. Motorcycle riders are subject to the same traffic laws as other motorists, including speed limits, rights-of-way laws, drunk driving laws, and traffic signs and stoplights.
- Motorcyclists cannot lane split in Kentucky. Lane splitting, or riding on the line between two lanes of same-direction traffic, is not allowed in Kentucky.
- Motorcycles must possess all required equipment. A motorcycle cannot be ridden without a headlight, taillight, rearview mirror, brakes, horn, muffler and tailpipe.
Following Kentucky’s motorcycle laws and regulations can keep your actions predictable to the drivers surrounding you on the road, reducing your risk of an accident. It can also help you understand your rights if you do get into a collision with a driver. If you know you were in the right, this can strengthen your claim against the other driver.
Who Pays for a Motorcycle Accident in Kentucky?
Kentucky is a no-fault state. This is uncommon, as most states abide by fault laws. Under a no-fault insurance law, any driver who is involved in a car accident must seek benefits from his or her own car insurance provider, regardless of who is at fault for the collision. In a fault state, on the other hand, injured parties file claims against the at-fault driver. Motorcycles, however, are an exception to Kentucky’s rule.
Unlike other motor vehicle operators, motorcyclists in Kentucky do not have to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This is a first-party type of vehicle insurance that pays for a driver’s own medical bills after an accident, regardless of fault. Without PIP insurance, however, a motorcyclist does not have the right to collect the basic $10,000 PIP coverage from other parties, even if someone else is at fault.
As a motorcyclist in Kentucky, the best way to protect your rights is by purchasing PIP insurance in addition to the required types of insurance coverage for motorcyclists. This can allow you to hold another party responsible for causing your crash and give you compensation to cover your medical costs up to the limits on the driver’s policy.
If you get into a motorcycle accident, your first outlet for making a financial recovery is generally your own motor vehicle insurance. You are required to have at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability insurance, as well as $10,000 in property damage insurance. If your insurance does not cover your expenses, you can file a claim against the other driver to pursue additional compensation.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Get for This?
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bike accident that was caused by the careless or negligent actions of another person, contact a Louisville motorcycle accident lawyer today. At the Law Offices of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, our legal team is going to investigate your case and work to secure the compensation you deserve. This can include:
- Your medical expenses related to the crash
- Lost income and benefits if you cannot work
- Compensation to repair your motorcycle or replace the totaled vehicle
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against the negligent party
The types of compensation available in a motorcycle accident claim depend on the case. Working with one of our attorneys can ensure that you explore every potential outlet for making a monetary recovery, including your own insurance provider and the other driver’s insurance company. We will help you navigate Kentucky’s unique insurance laws and pursue the compensation that you deserve for serious injuries.
Motorcycle Accidents and Comparative Negligence
It can be difficult to collect a fair amount in financial compensation from an insurance company as an injured motorcyclist in Kentucky. Insurers tend to have biases and stigmas against motorcyclists. This may mean that you get blamed for your motorcycle crash in an attempt to avoid paying you a fair award. One tactic you may encounter is the comparative negligence defense.
Comparative negligence argues that the victim or plaintiff who is filing an injury claim caused or contributed to his or her own injuries and should therefore receive less money from the defendant. In a motorcycle accident case, for example, an insurance company may try to blame a rider who was not wearing a helmet for his or her own head or brain injury.
If the comparative negligence defense succeeds, it could diminish the motorcyclist’s payout. Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that a plaintiff could be found up to 99 at fault for an accident and still recover financial compensation. The amount of fault allocated to a motorcyclist, however, will reduce his or her financial recovery by an equivalent amount. This is why it is important to hire an attorney to protect your rights during an injury claim.
How Long Do You Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Kentucky?
Kentucky has a law known as the statute of limitations that places a strict time limit on a crash victim’s right to bring a related injury claim or lawsuit. All states have statutes of limitations that are unique to claims filed within state lines. In Kentucky, the statute of limitations on a personal injury claim is one year from the date of the injury. However, it is two years for motor vehicle accident cases.
There are exceptions to the rule in limited circumstances. If the injured party is a minor (under the age of 18), for example, he or she has one year from his or her 18th birthday to file. If you are attempting to sue the government for your motorcycle accident (such as for a pothole or road defect), you have one year under Kentucky’s Tort Claims Act.
Finally, if you were eligible to receive no-fault medical payment benefits from your insurance company but still wish to file a lawsuit, you have two years from the date that you received your last payment from your insurer. It is important to obey your statute of limitations if you wish to protect your right to file a claim and recover financial compensation for a motorcycle accident.
How to Deal With an Insurance Company After a Motorcycle Crash
Once you file an insurance claim for a motorcycle crash in Kentucky, expect a call back from an insurance claims adjuster. Be careful what you say to the adjuster, as his or her goal is to limit your financial recovery as much as possible. Politely decline to give the adjuster a recorded statement and keep your answers to all questions asked short and simple.
Insurance companies often try to convince claimants that their cases are worth less than they truly are. Do not rush to accept a quick settlement or sign anything sent to you by an insurance company. Instead, consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Louisville to understand the true value of your case. A lawyer can take over insurance claim negotiations on your behalf to protect your rights.
Contact a Louisville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
At the Law Office of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, we stand with Louisville’s motorcyclists. Our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you and your family move forward after a devastating crash. If you need a Louisville motorcycle accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at (859) 578-4444. We look forward to helping you during this difficult time.