According to the 2019 Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts report, there were 1,427 total motorcycle collisions statewide in 2019, with about 1,128 victims injured. For many Kentucky residents, motorcycles are an enjoyable part of life. Unfortunately, due to the dangerous nature of riding, motorcyclists and passengers involved in traffic collisions often sustain serious injuries, including burn injuries, severe road rash, traumatic brain injuries, facial fractures, and sometimes even death. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to hold any negligent parties accountable and pursue compensation.
At Bland & Birdwhistell, PLLC, our attorneys are dedicated to providing experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation to motorcycle accident victims in Kentucky. As experienced personal injury attorneys, we can review the details of your unique situation, conduct a thorough investigation, and help you explore all possible legal options as you seek to recover damages. Our attorneys will fight passionately to protect your rights and help you pursue the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, future medical bills, and any additional pain and suffering you’ve been forced to endure.
Bland & Birdwhistell, PLLC is also proud to represent clients in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and the surrounding communities of Shepherdsville, Louisville, Radcliff, Bardstown, and Brandenburg — so reach out today to learn more about how we can help you with your case.
When involved in a motorcycle accident, the next steps you take can have a significant impact on the outcome of your personal injury claim, should you choose to file one. If you’ve been injured in an accident, here are a few things that you can do to help protect yourself and preserve your chances of filing a successful claim:
Remain calm and immediately get to safety.
Call 911 to get emergency medical help for yourself and any other injured victims.
Report the incident to the police or law enforcement.
Collect relevant information from any other parties involved. If you can, record their name, insurance information, phone number, address, and license plate number.
Gather and document all available evidence, including the police report, witness statements and testimonies, and accident scene photos.
Document all of your medical treatment, including doctor's appointments and medical procedures.
Record a detailed personal account of the incident as soon as you can while it’s still fresh in your memory. Include details about the accident and its impact on your daily life.
Inform your insurance provider about the accident.
Retain an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights and help you take the necessary legal steps to pursue compensation for your injuries.
There are a number of different laws that regulate how cars, trucks, and motorcycles are to be operated on the road. Here are just a few of the laws that apply to motorcyclists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
Lane splitting is the practice of driving a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic that are moving in the same direction. In Kentucky, the legal status of lane splitting isn't entirely clear. There is no clear and definitive law that stipulates whether or not lane splitting is legal or illegal in the state — which is why it’s important to retain an attorney if you’ve been in an accident that involved lane splitting.
Under Kentucky law, the following groups of motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet:
Motorcyclists who are under 21 years
Individuals with a motorcycle instruction permit
Motorcycle riders who have had their motorcycle operator's license for less than a year
Motorists in Kentucky are required to maintain minimum liability insurance of coverage limits to ensure that they can cover any damages that they cause if they are found liable after an accident. These coverage limits are as follows:
$25,000 for bodily injury or death per person per accident
$50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more people per accident
$25,000 for property damage per accident.
$10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy
Kentucky is considered a "choice no-fault" state. This means that accident victims can opt out of the no-fault system and choose to file a lawsuit against the “at-fault” party following a traffic crash. Under the no-fault system, the injured victim turns to their own insurance policy (PIP policy) to seek compensation for medical expenses and other financial losses suffered from the collision — regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Unfortunately, PIP benefits will only pay up to $10,000 for medical expenses, lost income, and other "out of pocket" costs resulting from the accident.
Once that $10,000 PIP policy limit has been reached, the accident victim can choose to "opt-out" of the no-fault coverage and file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, provided that your accident claims meet the statutory threshold. In Kentucky, the threshold requires that:
The accident resulted in more than $1,000 in medical bills.
You suffered permanent disfigurement, significant fracture, permanent injury, or any permanent loss of a body or organ function.
You can also opt-out of the no-fault system by filing a Kentucky No-Fault Rejection Form with the state's Department of Insurance. However, it is always advised that you seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney if you choose to either file a lawsuit or a Kentucky No-Fault Rejection Form to ensure that you have the best chance of successfully pursuing compensation.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky operates using the "pure comparative fault" rule. Under this system, an accident victim will be allowed to recover damages even if you were partially or mostly responsible for the incident. However, the amount of damages you may recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, assume that you were injured in an accident and found to be 20% at fault for the accident. The jury chooses to award total compensation in the amount of $100,000 for your injuries and losses. However, since you were found to be 20% responsible for the motorcycle accident, your damages will be reduced by 20% ($20,000). This means that you will only be eligible to collect $80,000 in compensation. It is important to note that under Kentucky's pure comparative fault system, you may still recover damages if you are found to carry the majority of fault for the accident — even if the court rules that you were 99% at fault.
According to Kentucky Revised Statutes section 413.140(1)(a), "an action to recover damages for an injury to the person of the plaintiff, or of her husband, his wife, child, ward, apprentice, or servant, shall be commenced within one year from the date of the accident.” This means that you have one year from the date of the accident to file a claim or otherwise legally pursue compensation for your injuries.
Getting injured in a motorcycle accident can be a difficult and overwhelming experience. Such an accident can affect you financially, physically, and mentally. Fortunately, you don't have to face these challenges on your own. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is the first step towards protecting your rights and pursuing fair financial compensation when involved in a motorcycle accident.
At Bland & Birdwhistell, PLLC, we have the experience and resources needed to help you hold any negligent parties accountable for your injuries. As your attorney, we can:
Fight diligently to protect your rights and represent your best interests
Review every aspect of your case and conduct a comprehensive investigation
Gather necessary details, such as police reports, witness statements, and other pieces of evidence
Work to prove fault and establish liability
Determine the full extent of your injuries and estimate case-value
Help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies
Take additional legal action, if required
If you or someone you love has been injured in a negligent motorcycle accident, call Bland & Birdwhistell, PLLC today to schedule a free case assessment. Our attorneys can fight vigorously to protect your rights and help you pursue rightful compensation for your injuries. We proudly represent clients across Elizabethtown, Shepherdsville, Louisville, Radcliff, Bardstown, and Brandenburg, Kentucky. Call our firm today for reliable legal counsel!