Click to Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today Schedule Now

Morrin Law Office

Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Bowling Green, KY

A motorcycle is defined by Kentucky law as a motor-driven vehicle with a seat or saddle and is designed to travel on up to three wheels. This can also include mopeds, motor scooters, mini-bikes, and pocket bikes.

A local Kentucky article identified Warren County as the most dangerous county to drive a motorcycle after they experienced five fatal crashes within 2023. While motorcycle operators are expected to understand the additional dangers that come with driving a smaller, less protected vehicle on the roads and highways, what are their legal options when they are injured in a car crash?

Luckily, Kentucky offers some help through the options of filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The experienced Kentucky personal injury attorneys with Morrin Law can help you throughout every step of the legal process, making sure your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation.

Overview Information on Motorcycles in Kentucky

During 2022, there were 99,613 registered motorcycles in the state of Kentucky. Unlike a standard passenger vehicle that can weigh up to 6,000 pounds, a motorcycle is much smaller in size. They also offer much less protection, without a built structure around them and most without airbags.

Kentucky’s regulations for operating a motorcycle are codified under KRS 189.285:

  • Operating a motorcycle: To legally own and operate a motorcycle in Kentucky, an individual must have a valid motorcycle operator’s license, wear protective eye gear while riding, and have a bike that has a rear-view mirror. While riding, the driver and passenger must sit on a seat specifically designed for that purpose and use the designated footrests.
  • Helmet requirements: Any motorcycle operator who is under 21, only holds an instruction permit, or has had a motorcycle license for less than a year are all required to wear a helmet. A person who does not fall into these categories can choose if they want to wear a helmet.

How Do Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Kentucky?

There are multiple ways in which a motorcycle collision can occur. Depending on the situation, a collision can occur between two motorcyclists, a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle, or a motorcycle and a semi-truck.

Some of the most common causes of crashes involving motorcycles include:

  • Inexperience and improper handling of a motorcycle;
  • Aggressive driving by a motorcyclist weaving through traffic, or by another vehicle not wanting to share the road with a motorcyclist;
  • Distracted driving caused by using a cell phone, playing games, self-grooming, eating, or doing anything else that takes a driver’s attention from the road;
  • Impaired driving by a motorcyclist or other driver that is caused by alcohol, controlled substances, or prescription medications;
  • Speeding while operating a motorcycle;
  • Operating a vehicle while fatigued or too tired to fully pay attention to the road;
  • Failure of other motor vehicles to detect or recognize motorcycle operators on the road, typically caused by blind spots, distracted driving, or misjudgment of speed or clearance; and/or
  • Attempting to make a left-hand turn in front of a motorcyclist.

Based on the Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts, some of the most common contributors of motorcycle accidents during 2022 included:

  • Inattention: 454 motorcycle collisions
  • Not Under Proper Control: 382 collisions
  • Failed to Yield Right of Way: 179 collisions
  • Exceeded State Speed Limit: 79 collisions
  • Alcohol Involvement: 70 collisions

You can view the entire 2022 report here.

Injuries and Damages Resulting from a Motorcycle Collision

As a motorcycle operator, it is well-known that you have less protection than other types of motor vehicles. That means when a collision occurs, it is likely that a motorcyclist will experience severe injuries. Some common injuries sustained in a Bowling Green motorcycle accident can include:

The compensation you can receive from a successful personal injury claim will be based on the damages accrued from the crash. This usually refers to how the injuries have affected your everyday life, both financially and emotionally. When filing a personal injury claim with the help of Morrin Law, we can seek to obtain compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Property damage;
  • Disability;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Loss of consortium; and
  • Wrongful death.

Regardless of how you feel directly following a motorcycle collision, it is imperative when filing a personal injury claim to provide documentation from a medical practitioner that highlights all the resulting injuries sustained in the crash. Even if your injury is not listed above, still contact a representative with Morrin Law to discuss the extent of pain and suffering you have experienced.

Insurance for Motorcyclists

Kentucky is a “choice no-fault” state. That means when an accident occurs, the individual’s personal injury protection (PIP) from their own insurance should cover the expenses for injuries or damages sustained in the wreck, regardless of who caused or is deemed “at fault” for the collision.

However, motorcyclists have a slightly different path—as Kentucky does not require motorcyclists to obtain PIP coverage, unlike all other vehicles. Instead, a person who owns and operates a motorcycle in Bowling Green can choose if they would like PIP coverage. According to the Department of Insurance, a motorcycle operator who does not elect basic PIP coverage will not be able to receive any PIP benefits from any source. The same goes for any motorcycle passenger who is present during a collision.

Even if this coverage is not purchased by the motorcycle owner, Kentucky still views the operation of the vehicle as having accepted the limitations on their right to sue and be sued for damages. Unless a “no-fault rejection form” is filed, the motorcycle operator will not be able to recover the first $10,000 of a motorcycle injury claim from the at-fault party.

If you have questions or concerns about Kentucky’s insurance coverage for motorcycles, contact Morrin Law Firm.

What are my Legal Options Following a Motorcycle Collision?

If you’ve recently experienced the stress and anxiety that comes with a vehicle collision, you may be wondering what to do next. In the state of Kentucky, there are several options you have available when dealing with collisions and any resulting injuries.

A personal injury claim is usually the first step after a collision resulting in severe injury or wrongful death. This typically involves the following process:

  1. Informal process – After the injured person or party has received medical attention and hired an experienced personal injury attorney in Bowling Green, the first step is contacting the at-fault party’s (as well as your own) insurance company to address the extent of injuries and resulting damages.
  2. Negotiation – Either the injured person or their legal representative will negotiate with the insurance adjusters to attempt to reach a fair settlement for medical expenses, lost wages, and other resulting damages.
  3. Settlement/Outcome – Once the negotiations are complete, the claim can be resolved through a settlement offer, or it can be denied.

If the injured party or a deceased person’s representative cannot come to a fair settlement through a personal injury claim, they may seek to file a lawsuit against the at-fault person or party. This usually involves going through the civil court system. Under KRS 304.39-060, an injured person who exceeds the following threshold may seek to file a lawsuit for their damages:

  • $1,000 in medical expenses;
  • A broken bone(s);
  • Permanent disfigurement;
  • Permanent injury; or

One important aspect to be aware of is Kentucky’s statute of limitations regarding car accident claims. Under KRS 304.39-230, an individual has two (2) years from the date of the accident or discovered injury to file a claim for potential compensation. We advise you to collect all important documentation and contact us as soon as possible. Why? Although the law provides two years, if you wait that long you could potentially lose important evidence or even have your case barred from being settled. Keep this in mind if you are considering filing a personal injury claim within Kentucky.

Were you or a loved one injured in a motorcycle accident in Bowling Green, Kentucky? Contact the Kentucky personal injury lawyers at Morrin Law to discuss the details of your case and determine the best option for receiving compensation for your injuries.

Example Kentucky Cases

The following provides two example cases of motorcycle crashes that led to serious injuries and death in Bowling Green, KY:

  • February 2024 – The Bowling Green Police responded to a collision between a motorcycle and a truck carrying a trailer at the intersection of Scottsville Road and Ashley Circle. According to a local report, the driver of a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado that was pulling a trailer attempted to make a left turn during a flashing yellow arrow. At the same time, the driver of a 2004 Honda motorcycle, 21-year-old Dameon Price, crashed into the trailer. Witnesses told police that Price went airborne after colliding with the trailer and that he appeared to be “traveling fast at the time of the collision.” The operator of the Chevrolet claimed they had “plenty of time to make the left turn.” Price was transported to a nearby hospital to treat life-threatening injuries.
  • April 2024 – A Kentucky State Trooper was killed in an off-duty accident on April 30, 2024. According to a local report, Police trooper Jonathan Johnson, 48, was struck by a passenger vehicle while he was operating a 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle. While Johnson was driving south on Nashville Road, another driver in a Toyota Camry, Zeljka Meskovic, 53, was in the center lane of the same road, attempting to make a left turn. However, when making the left turn Meskovic’s car blocked Johnson’s path, without any way for him to avoid the collision. The motorcycle crashed into the vehicle, and Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tips for Motorcyclists from Bowling Green Police Department

The Bowling Green Police Department (BGPD) recently shared tips on how to maintain safety on the roads as a motorcyclist, and as another driver sharing the road with motorcyclists.

For those operating a motorcycle through Bowling Green, BGDP recommends the following:

  • Know the limits of your motorcycle;
  • Ride to the limit of your skill level;
  • Know the motorcycle’s braking distance;
  • Practice object-avoidant drills as a precaution;
  • Make sure all systems are working properly on the motorcycle;
  • Always wear protective gear and a helmet;
  • Avoid blind spots of vehicles; and
  • Anticipate the movement of other drivers on the road.

For more information from BGPD, refer to their informative motorcycle safety video here.

Contact Morrin Law Firm

The aftermath of a motorcycle collision can be catastrophic in an instant. Due to the lack of protection and size difference in comparison to other passenger vehicles, far too often collisions involving motorcyclists result in severe injury or even death. Even with the extra dangers that come with operating a motorcycle, it is imperative that you understand your legal rights and opportunities for obtaining compensation to support the resulting damages.

A Kentucky motorcycle accident attorney in Bowling Green can represent your case and ensure that you receive a fair settlement. At Morrin Law, we understand how difficult this period may be. We will proudly take on the bulk of the work by negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf and fighting to get you a settlement we deem fair. A plus-side of hiring Morrin Law? We work on a contingency basis, meaning we only win when you do! That’s why it’s our goal to get everything started as soon as possible to make this a straightforward process for everyone involved. To get started on your claim today, contact a Morrin Law representative by calling our office at (859) 358-0300

Seeking compensation through a personal injury claim can be a complicated process. On top of dealing with the physical and mental anguish that often accompanies serious injuries, the last thing you should have to deal with is the legal side of things. By hiring a personal injury attorney, you know your case is in the hands of a lawyer who is experienced in speaking to strict insurance companies, analyzing evidence relating to the accident, and fighting for fair compensation through the legal proceedings.

Morrin Law Firm understands that this is an extremely difficult time in your life. Whether you have been severely injured or have had to grieve the loss of a loved one in a wrongful death motorcycle case, securing the right representation will make all the difference in your case. Our firm will gladly go over the surrounding details of your accident during a free case evaluation. All you have to do is call our office today at (859) 358-0300