Morrin Law Office
Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Richmond, KY
Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience. However, motorcyclists are at an increased risk of accidents and injuries. Unlike a car, a motorcycle is left with little to no protection from the outside world. Motorcyclists can be thrown from their bike or crushed during an accident. Since there is no cabin to keep riders protected, it is far too often that motorcycle enthusiasts are seriously injured or killed in an accident.
In the event of a motorcycle accident, it’s crucial to have an experienced and skilled attorney on your side to protect your rights and ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a newcomer to the world of motorcycles, it is important to understand your legal options in the event of an accident.
Dangerous Statistics on Motorcycle Accidents
The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports the annual statistics of motorcycle safety. Based on their data from 2020, NHTSA found that per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists were around 28 times more likely to die in an accident than those in a passenger vehicle.
While the organization addresses the importance of motorcyclists practicing safe riding and cooperation, they also stress the importance of drivers being aware of motorists. Specifically, drivers must be aware of the challenges motorcyclists face such as downshifting, weaving, and knowing how and when to respond to drivers on the road. Even when both motorcyclists and drivers are cautious on the road, dangerous wrecks can still occur.
The following is a list of key findings from NHTSA’s 2020 Motorcycle Traffic Safety Facts:
- In 2020 there were 5,579 motorcyclists killed, which made up 14% of all traffic fatalities. This was the highest number of motorcyclists killed since 1975.
- From 2019 to 2020, the number of motorcyclists killed in an accident increased by 11% from 5,044 to 5,579.
- In the States without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed in 2020 were not wearing helmets, compared to only 11% for the States with universal helmet laws.
- Two-wheeled motorcycles accounted for 90% of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes.
- Out of the 5,579 people killed in motorcycle accidents in 2020, 94% (5,268) were the riders and 6% (311) were passengers.
- In 2020, there was an estimated 82,528 motorcyclists injured from accidents.
Helmet Laws in Kentucky
Kentucky Statute 189.285(3) explains that an individual operating a motorcycle must wear a helmet only if:
- The motorcyclist or passenger is younger 21-years-old;
- The person possesses a motorcycle instruction permit and is operating a motorcycle;
- The person has a valid motorcycle operator’s license, or combination motor vehicle motorcycle operator’s license for less than one year.
While the attorneys at Morrin Law Office encourage all motorcyclists to wear a helmet while riding, it’s important to express that regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident has no effect on your claim. Contact our attorneys today to receive a consultation regarding your case.
Causes of motorcycle accidents
A common misconception society holds against motorcyclists is the perspective that they are reckless drivers. However, it’s drivers who are more likely to cause accidents, due to various reasons. One of the main causes of accidents comes from negligent driving. Negligence is defined as the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same conditions. For a driver, that means either acting in a way that goes against the standard actions of the roadways, or an omission of expected duty while driving.
Whether another driver is distracted, texting, impaired, or simply fails to see you or your loved one riding a motorcycle, the consensus is clear; the road is not safe for motorcyclists. The most common causes of motorcycle accidents in the United States are as follows:
- Driver error
- Impaired driving
- Roadway hazards
- Weather conditions
The Kentucky State Police released data indicating that there were 1,720 reported motorcycle accidents in 2019. The following is a list of the most common wrecks out of the recorded motorcycle accidents:
- Lack of attention – 33.8%
- Failure to yield right of way – 23.6%
- Speeding – 21.1%
- Impaired driving from alcohol/controlled substances – 11.3%
- Improper lane use – 6.9%
The Kentucky Transportation Center released the 2020 Crash Facts Report, which stated there were 1,411 motorcycle accidents within the year. Out of those, 85 people died as an outcome of the accident. Other potential causes for a motorcycle accident may include:
- Cutting off a motorcycle at an intersection
- Speeding around a motorcyclist
- Tailgating a motorcyclist
- Texting while driving
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Turning into a motorcyclist’s path/lane
- Breaking traffic laws
- Driver fatigue
Whatever the cause of your motorcycle accident, it is imperative that you speak with a legal representative to discuss your options for compensation.
Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles have less protection than a standard motor vehicle. Without seatbelts, airbags, or other safety features a car has, motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable to injuries if in an accident. At best, the motorcyclist is wearing protective clothing and a helmet—however, some may not even have this. Even with protection, a motorcycle accident can cause life-altering injuries. In the worst scenarios, it can lead to the motorcyclist’s death.
A responsible motorcyclist will know and understand all of the risks that come with operating a bike on the roadway. However, they should not be held responsible for the injuries which are caused by the negligence of others on the road.
The following is a list of most common injuries from a motorcycle accident which could result in compensation:
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries including traumatic brain injury (TBI); concussions, contusions, skull fractures or brain hemorrhages
- Paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury
- Shoulder and neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries to the neck, back, or knees
- Road rash–cuts, bruises and abrasions after being thrown off of the bike—which can become infected and even more serious
- Ankle injuries
- Amputations of a hand, arm, foot, or leg
Any of the above injuries are expected to cause pain and require medical attention. In some cases, the injuries caused by a motorcycle accident may never entirely heal. This could leave the victim helpless to deal with medical impairments, treatment, and complications for the rest of their lives. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a motorcycle accident which caused any of the above injuries, contact an experienced Kentucky Motorcycle Accident Attorney today.
Who is Liable for a Motorcycle Accident?
When a motorcycle accident occurs in Kentucky, the driver at fault may be held liable for any damages or injuries resulting from the accident. One way to establish liability is by providing evidence that the driver was negligent. Again, negligence means failing to exercise the reasonable care expected when operating a vehicle.
The state of Kentucky operates with a comparative fault system. This means if the motorcyclist is found to have contributed to the accident, their damages can be reduced based on the percentage of their fault. However, if it is established that the driver’s negligence was a contributing factor to the accident, then the driver may be held liable for some portion of the damages.
It is important to note that each case is unique, and the liability for a motorcycle accident will depend on the specific circumstances from the wreck. You should seek out a Kentucky motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible if:
- The other driver was at fault for your motorcycle accident – All drivers and motorists in Kentucky are responsible for operating the vehicle in a way which keeps everyone else on the road safe. When a person drives in a negligent manner, they may be liable to cover the cost of any injuries or other expenses.
- You suffered from injuries due to the accident which resulted in medical treatment – Given the structure of a motorcycle, it is rare that victims of a motorcycle accident walk away without any injuries. A Kentucky motorcycle accident attorney can help determine the compensation for any current or future damages caused by the wreck.
- The injuries caused by the accident caused you to miss school, work, or caused other impacts on your life – After a motorcycle accident, the most common damages occur from significant pain, lost income, and loss of future earnings. It is possible for the victim of a motorcycle accident to receive compensation for the above damages.
Kentucky’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
In the state of Kentucky, motorcyclists are not required to obtain personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. However, there are benefits to doing so. When speaking with a Kentucky insurance agent, they may offer PIP as an optional add-on to the standard insurance for a motorcycle.
With PIP coverage, a person who rides a motorcycle will receive benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related expenses in the event of a motorcycle accident. This is regardless to who is at fault for the accident. The amount of coverage may vary by insurance company, but it is an important aspect to consider for the potential coverage after an accident.
Morrin Law Offices advise any motorcyclists to make sure they speak with their insurance agent about PIP coverage for more information.
What Compensation is Recovered for a Motorcycle Accident?
After being in a motorcycle accident in Kentucky, the motorcyclist may be able to seek compensation for the damages caused by the wreck. Compensation after a motorcycle accident is meant to restore the victim’s financial burden and make them feel whole again.
The following are several types of compensation a person may receive by working with a Kentucky motorcycle accident attorney:
- Medical Expenses – Compensation is possible for both current and future medical costs that are caused by the motorcycle accident.
- Lost Wages – After filing a motorcycle accident claim, it is possible to receive compensation for any current or future lost income due to missing work from the accident.
- Property Damage – If the rider’s motorcycle was destroyed during the wreck, they may be eligible for compensation.
- Disability – Due to the higher stake of danger on a motorcycle, it is possible that a person in a motorcycle accident becomes disabled after a crash. Kentucky law recognizes that victims of such crashes are eligible for compensation if they suffer from disability.
- Pain and suffering – While it can be difficult to put a price on pain and suffering, the victims of a motorcycle accident experience a great deal of pain and suffering which they should receive compensation for.
- Loss of Consortium – Loss of consortium is the legal term meaning the deprivation of benefits from a familial or intimate relationship. The victim of a motorcycle accident may be able to seek compensation for the loss of emotional and intangible support from a marriage, family, or companionship.
- Wrongful Death – Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for motorcycle accidents to lead to the rider’s death. When the other driver was at fault, it is possible for loved ones to claim compensation under wrongful death.
One important detail to note is Kentucky’s statute of limitations when dealing with personal injury claims. The state provides a two-year statute of limitations for all auto wrecks, including motorcycle accidents. Filing a claim after the two-year mark may result in the court throwing out your case. The sooner you contact an attorney after a motorcycle accident, the better for your case.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Kentucky, it is highly advised to consult with an attorney to understand your legal rights and options going forward with the process. We advise you to be aware of any immediate settlement offers from an insurance company after the accident. Any early offer may not take into account for the long-term necessities. It takes time to fully understand the weight of the total losses caused by a motorcycle accident. Working with a Kentucky motorcycle accident attorney is your best bet to obtain compensation.
When making a claim for motorcycle accident damages, you need a competent legal professional representing you. A motorcycle accident attorney can help by explaining the legal process, evaluating all the evidence and medical records from the case, managing communications with the insurance companies, and fighting aggressively to receive your deserved compensation.
If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident in Kentucky, you may be able to take legal action against the driver who caused your wreck (and his/her insurance company). A motorcycle accident lawyer at the Morrin Law Office can help you with your claim against the driver’s insurance company, medical bills, litigation, and recovery all while you recover from your injuries.
There is no better way to resolve a claim than to prepare as if going to court. You want an attorney who will work hard to resolve your claim in a way that is fair to you. When you choose the protection offered by the Morrin Law Office, you leave the burden with us knowing that we are going to make certain you and your loved ones are well taken care of. Our attorneys vow to look out for your best interests, not just now but in the future as well. Contact our team today at (859) 358-0300 or on our website to learn about the options for your case.