In Kentucky, motorcycle accidents happen frequently. In 2021, there were 1,526 motorcycle accidents in the state, according to data from the Kentucky Transportation Center. This data clearly shows that being in a motorcycle accident in Kentucky often results in serious injuries.
More to the point, there are a wide variety of causes and circumstances that go into motorcycle accidents. Simply put, motorcycles are dangerous for both riders and others that share the road with them.
Get the Assistance You Deserve from Kaufman & Stigger
Dealing with the aftermath of a serious motorcycle accident can be overwhelming and traumatic. However, our experienced team of Kentucky motorcycle accident lawyers is here to help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, we have the experience and skill to assist you after a motorcycle accident. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us work towards obtaining the justice you deserve.
Common Causes of Kentucky Motorcycle Accidents
Like other areas of the country, Kentucky has a wide variety of different factors and circumstances that lead to motorcycle accidents. Riding a motorcycle has advantages, but it also has disadvantages. One major downside is that motorcycles provide very little protection if you have an accident. They can also be difficult to control and handle differently compared to other vehicles on the road. These problems become worse when there are other drivers around, increasing the chances of accidents happening due to various causes:
- Failure to yield – One common reason for motorcycle accidents is when drivers don’t let motorcyclists go first at intersections or when changing lanes. This often leads to crashes.
- Not paying attention – Drivers who are distracted by phones, GPS devices, or passengers may not notice motorcycles on the road.
- Speeding – Drivers who go over the speed limit or drive too fast for the conditions can cause accidents, especially if they can’t stop in time to avoid hitting a motorcycle.
- Drunk driving or under the influence of drugs – When people drive after drinking alcohol or using drugs, it’s a major cause of motorcycle accidents. Both the motorcyclist and the driver of a larger vehicle can get seriously hurt or even killed.
- Dangerous driving – Drivers who do reckless things like tailgating, weaving through traffic, or ignoring traffic signals can put motorcyclists in danger.
- Turning in front of a motorcycle – One of the most common motorcycle accidents happens when a car or truck turns left in front of a motorcycle. Sometimes, the driver doesn’t see the rider or misjudges how fast they’re going.
- Opening car doors – Drivers or passengers who open car doors without looking can make a motorcycle rider crash into the door or swerve into traffic to avoid it.
- Low visibility – Motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than other vehicles, especially in busy traffic or bad weather. This makes accidents more likely.
- Defective motorcycle parts – If the brakes or tires on a motorcycle don’t work properly because of defects, it can cause an accident.
- Bad weather – With Kentucky’s location and geography, it experiences a wide variety of weather. Sometimes it rains, gets foggy, and even sees instances of snow and ice. This can make it hard for motorcyclists to see and be seen, which increases the risk of accidents.
The nature of riding a motorcycle can also lead to accidents even if other drivers are not involved. These are called “no-contact” accidents. They happen because of things like roads in bad condition or the carelessness of pedestrians or other cyclists. Regardless of what caused the accident, injuries are likely to happen and medical help may be needed. From there, you can shift focus to figuring out liability and what you’re legal options are.
Can You Be Blamed For a Motorcycle Accident in Kentucky?
As a motorcycle rider in Kentucky, you’re held to the same standard as any other driver on the road. This means that if there’s an accident, you could be just as much to blame as the other driver. However, due to Kentucky’s laws, you still have the right to pursue a claim for damages if another party is involved.
In Kentucky, the fault for a motorcycle accident is determined based on the concept of “comparative negligence, which means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover some damages. However, the amount of compensation you can receive may be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
Remember, the exact details of the accident and the evidence will be considered to decide who is responsible and how much fault they have. From your perspective, this means that if you take certain actions, a motorcycle and cause an accident, you could be considered at fault. These can include:
- Riding at high speeds
- Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Being distracted while riding
- Not wearing proper protective gear or helmets
- Lane splitting or riding aggressively
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Kentucky
Once liability is determined, our team can assist you in filing a claim to seek compensation for the damages caused by the accident. There are two main ways to do this: through an insurance claim or by filing a lawsuit.
- Insurance claim – The first step is usually to file a claim with the insurance company. They will investigate the accident and assess the situation. Then, they will offer you a settlement. You can either accept the offer or, if it’s not enough, you can proceed with a lawsuit.
- Personal injury lawsuit – If the insurance claim doesn’t provide adequate compensation, the next step is to file a personal injury lawsuit. This legal action allows you to pursue various types of compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and even punitive damages.
It’s important to note that the process of seeking damages can be complicated and time-consuming. That’s why it’s crucial to work with experienced lawyers who specialize in motorcycle accidents in Kentucky.
How Can You Reduce Your Percentage of Fault in a Kentucky Motorcycle Accident?
Obviously, being in a motorcycle accident isn’t ideal. However, if you are in one, you’ll want to reduce your percentage of fault as much as possible. Sometimes, this can be challenging, but there are a few measures you can take:
- Collect evidence – Gather as much proof as you can to support your side of the story. This may include taking pictures of the accident scene, the damage to vehicles, getting statements from witnesses, and keeping any important documents.
- Get medical help – Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. This is not only important for your health but also helps establish a connection between the accident and your injuries.
- Follow traffic rules – Make sure you were following all the traffic laws when the accident happened. This means driving at the right speed, using turn signals, and obeying traffic signs and signals. Doing so can make your case stronger.
- Keep records – Keep copies of important documents like medical records, bills, and estimates for vehicle repairs. These records are crucial in showing the extent of your damages.
- Be careful with insurance statements – Be cautious when talking to insurance companies, especially the other party’s insurer. Consult with your lawyer before providing detailed statements to avoid saying anything that could be used against you.
- Cooperate with the investigation – Fully cooperate with the investigation conducted by the police and insurance companies. Provide accurate and truthful information while sticking to the facts.
Remember that the specifics of your case and the available evidence will play a significant role in determining fault. Thus, it’s important to work with our team of experienced motorcycle accident lawyers. We can assess your situation and provide personalized advice based on our knowledge and experience with the laws and regulations in Kentucky.
Legal Support From Knowledgeable Kentucky Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
When you’re in a motorcycle accident, you’re likely facing significant challenges, both physically and financially. No matter what the cause of the accident was, Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC will be there to help you through the recovery process. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable Kentucky motorcycle accident lawyers will provide you with legal guidance and support from start to finish. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.