If you’re an avid motorcyclist, you know that riding a motorcycle on Kentucky streets and highways is inherently riskier than driving a car. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are more than 30 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than occupants of passenger cars. Simple physics don’t lie. Passenger vehicles are larger, heavier, and protected by a coat of armor.
When a motorcyclist collides with a car traveling at full speed, the results are almost always devastating for the motorcyclist—even if they’re equipped with the right gear. If you’ve been injured in a Kentucky motorcycle accident, you need help from a skilled Louisville motorcycle accident lawyer who will fight to defend your rights.
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What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents in Kentucky occur for a wide variety of reasons. Adverse weather conditions, road debris, loose gravel, and roadways that weren’t designed or maintained with the safety of motorcyclists in mind can lead to crashes.
But the majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by one factor: driver negligence.
Most Motorcycle Accidents Are Caused by Another Driver’s Error
Most traffic accidents involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle are caused by the actions of the car driver, not the motorcyclist. Drivers of larger vehicles have a duty to look out for and protect more vulnerable vehicles. But not every driver upholds this duty of care. Motorcycle wrecks are too often caused by another person’s negligence behind the wheel.
Some of the most common driver errors that lead to motorcycle crashes include:
Careless Left-Hand Turns
When making a left-hand turn, a driver may not make an effort to properly check for an oncoming motorcycle. If abundant caution isn’t exercised, a driver may not see a motorcyclist—and turn directly into their path of travel. Careless left-hand turns account for a high number of motorcycle accidents at intersections.
Motorists under the influence of alcohol are more likely to collide with a motorcycle, especially at night or under conditions of limited visibility. It’s easy for drunk drivers to misjudge distances or fail to see a motorcycle altogether. A motorcyclist can sustain life-changing injuries because of one person’s decision to drive after drinking.
Failure To Give Right-of-Way
Motorcycle riders can be struck when the driver of a passenger vehicle fails to give the proper right-of-way. Motorcyclists, like all drivers, follow the same right-of-way laws as all other drivers. All motorists need to remember this and stay vigilant on the road, particularly when navigating intersections.
Failure To Check Blind Spots
Due to the size and shape of a motorcycle, there’s no doubt that it’s easy to miss one in a quick glance in a rearview mirror. Drivers too often assume that because they don’t see another car, it’s safe to merge, change lanes, or make a turn.
Tailgating and Reckless Driving
Tailgating (or following too closely) is a dangerous behavior that can lead to serious injuries if a motorcycle rider is knocked off balance. Other reckless behaviors like speeding, brake checking, weaving in and out of lanes, and violating traffic laws cause severe motor vehicle accidents.
Distraction is a top factor in many motorcycle vs. car accidents, but at-fault parties aren’t always willing to admit they were distracted at the time of the crash. If distracted driving was a factor, your Louisville motorcycle accident attorney will find the evidence necessary to prove liability. That may mean examining the at-fault driver’s cell phone records, analyzing traffic camera footage, or speaking with eyewitnesses.
What Are Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents?
As personal injury lawyers specializing in motorcycle accident cases, we know how dangerous the road can be for riders who lack the protection other vehicles have. Even a collision that is minor for the car driver can result in catastrophic injury to the motorcyclist.
Severe injuries most commonly seen in motorcycle accident claims include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord damage (often resulting in paralysis)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Concussions and other mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI)
- Amputation or loss of limb
- Dislocated shoulder injuries
- Whiplash and neck trauma
- Cuts and severe lacerations
- First, second, or third-degree road rash
- Internal organ damage
- Permanent scarring
- Facial disfigurement
No matter how serious your injuries and associated medical expenses may be, an insurance company is not necessarily going to offer you the settlement you deserve. The insurance company may try to compensate your injury at face value. But as attorneys with experience in personal injury law, we know that your accident is just the beginning. After a motorcycle crash, you may be facing years of medical appointments, therapy and rehabilitation, prescription medications, and changes to your lifestyle and ability to earn income.
The repercussions of a serious motorcycle injury will have a far-reaching impact on your physical, emotional, and financial health. When you work with the Louisville motorcycle accident lawyers from our law firm, you can be sure that every cost associated with your injuries is fully calculated in your motorcycle accident claim. During your free case evaluation, we’ll work to better understand the many ways your life has been altered by your injury.
In the most serious type of motorcycle accident case, a victim may lose their life. We offer legal representation to the surviving family members of motorcycle accident victims. Wrongful death cases can hold negligent parties accountable for wrongdoing and provide much-needed financial compensation to families after the sudden loss of a loved one.
What Are Kentucky’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws?
Today, Kentucky does not have a universal helmet law (one which requires every rider to wear a helmet at all times). Our state’s universal helmet law was repealed in 1998, after which time motorcycle fatalities quickly rose by 50%. This fact—along with countless other statistics gathered nationwide—tells us how important it is for riders to protect themselves with properly-fitted helmets.
Kentucky’s current helmet laws require riders 20 years of age and younger to wear protective headgear when riding or operating a motorcycle. Motorcyclists with a temporary permit and those who have held a license for less than a year are also required to wear helmets.
Additionally, motorcycle insurance is required for all Kentucky riders, and proof of insurance must be shown when registering your motorcycle.
What Are My Legal Rights After a Motorcycle Accident?
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be left wondering how to obtain fair compensation. An insurance company may try to place blame on a motorcyclist, no matter who is at fault. As Louisville motorcycle accident attorneys, we have handled personal injury claims long enough to know when an insurance company is trying to take advantage of injured motorcyclists. Our law firm will fight to ensure you recover the damages you’re rightfully owed.
Many motorcycle accident victims ask our law firm if they are still able to recover compensation when partially at fault for the accident. Because Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state, you are still able to seek compensation through a personal injury claim if you are found partially at fault. Your amount of compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault.
Other clients come to us wondering how they can afford legal fees after a financially devastating accident. At Thomas Law Offices, we believe every victim of negligence has the right to be represented by a top personal injury lawyer. We take most personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you never have to worry about attorney fees until we win your case. We don’t believe that quality legal advocacy should only be available to those who can afford to buy it.
The attorney-client relationship is important to us. We pride ourselves on putting our clients first through every step of the legal process. We invite you to schedule a free consultation to see how our personal injury attorneys can help you.
What Compensation Can a Louisville Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Me Recover?
Your Louisville motorcycle accident attorney will examine all losses, both economic and noneconomic, when calculating the amount of compensation you’re owed. This may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
Some personal injury attorneys only look at the obvious damages, like medical expenses. While these are undoubtedly important, our law office works to get a more comprehensive view of the effect the injury has had on your life. We’ll examine your medical records, work history, and other documents to paint a full picture of your losses. We put in the extra work, and our clients see the difference in their settlements and verdicts.
Motorcycle Accident Victims Need Help From a Top Louisville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
A skilled Kentucky motorcycle accident lawyer is ready to walk with you on the path to recovery. Find out why our clients trust us during the most challenging times of their lives. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.