A motorcyclist has enough hazards to watch out for while riding the streets of Lexington without worrying about loose dogs. Man’s best friend can often turn into a serious foe when chasing after your bike.
Motorcycle and Dog Encounters
An encounter with a dog rarely ends well for riders, because it puts them in a no-win situation. A rider can swerve to miss the dog, often leading to a loss of control accident. A rider can hit the dog and that can also lead to an accident. A rider can slow down and risk getting bit by the dog.
It’s a bad situation all around. And the entire threat could have been avoided had the dog’s owner followed the law and had the dog restrained. Unfortunately, an accident like this can send motorcyclists off their bikes and leave them with serious injuries.
These accidents fall under Kentucky’s liability laws. You may have a case against the dog’s owner or caretaker. To know for sure, you should contact a Lexington Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who has experience in every kind of traffic accident you can think of and can tell you the best way to proceed with your case.
Dog Accidents and Owner Responsibility
Kentucky is a strict liability state and dog owners are generally responsible for any damage their canines cause. If a dog chases a motorcycle or bicyclist, the dog’s owner can be held liable for injuries. Although Kentucky statutes don’t provide for any extenuating circumstances, a judge may consider if a rider provoked the animal, or was illegally trespassing when attacked.
These complexities are best sorted out by a local motorcycle accident lawyer. An injured motorcyclist should focus on getting better and returning to his or her motorcycle. In the meantime, an experienced attorney can battle to get the proper compensation to cover all of a rider’s losses including medical bills and lost wages from work.
Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
Damages that a motorcycle accident victim and the victim’s family are entitled to recover from a dog owner may include:
- Hospital and medical expenses.
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Past and future permanent physical disability such as a limp, scars, loss of a limb.
- Emotional distress, such as depression and anxiety; the pain of not being able to get back on your motorcycle.
- Damage or destruction of property.
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I was partially at fault for my accident with a dog?
You can file a claim against a dog owner, even if you think you are partially to blame in your accident. Kentucky is a pure negligence state. That means the two parties or more involved in an accident can share percentages of the fault.
For example, you may have provoked the dog or have been riding on private property, so a judge assigns you 60% of the liability. The dog’s owner may be forced to cover 40% of the damages. So if you were awarded 10,000 dollars in damages, your 60% liability would be subtracted for a final tally of 4,000 dollars in compensation.
What’s the deadline in Kentucky for filing an accident claim?
Kentucky’s statute of limitations allows the victim in an accident involving an injury a full year from the date of an incident to file a lawsuit. In accidents involving only property damage, the law provides a two-year deadline.
Experts at The Kaufman & Stigger Law Firm don’t recommend waiting that long to file a claim. The more time that passes, the harder it’ll be to gather evidence and documents to build your case.
Can I file a Motorcycle Accident Claim if I wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
You can file a claim for damages even if you weren’t wearing a helmet. The concept of comparative negligence applies here too (as explained above.) It may be ruled that you bear responsibility for a percentage of your injuries because a helmet would have prevented some of them. The dog’s owner can still be held liable for the rest of the injuries. The percentage of the accident you took the blame for would be subtracted from your final compensation.
Contact a Lexington Motorcycle Injury Lawyer
Accident victims often wonder if they need an attorney, and the answer is almost always yes. Especially in cases where a dog bit you or forced you into a serious crash. The insurance companies will try to discredit your claim so they can pay you as little as possible. You need someone just as experienced to help you level the field.
Talk to a Lexington Motorcycle Accident Attorney you can trust to be on your side and get you what is yours under the law. The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the compensation they’ll need during recovery. To discuss your case, contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, by clicking here to contact them online.