Get help overcoming your bike wreck injuries by meeting with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Kentucky who may be able to assist you in holding the at-fault party accountable for your losses.
As a motorcyclist, you are automatically at an increased risk of suffering catastrophic injuries if your bike crashes. Without the protection of a vehicle frame surrounding you, it is not uncommon for motorcyclists to endure loss of limbs, traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among other serious injuries.
If you suspect that someone else is to blame for the injuries you sustained in your Kentucky motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your suffering. Your Kentucky motorcycle accident lawyer at Wilt & Klausing, PLLC will work diligently to see that you are not stigmatized by the insurance company and that you are awarded fairly for the losses you’ve been forced to cope with.
Why Fault Matters in Bike Crash Claims
Establishing fault is paramount to the success of your Kentucky injury claim because without it, there will be no one to compensate you for your losses. In motorcycle accidents, figuring out who is to blame can often prove to be a challenge.
Generally speaking, the driver of the vehicle that struck you will be found liable. This is usually due to unsafe driving practices, such as driving aggressively, being too tired to drive, distracted driving, or operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
But the driver of the vehicle that hit you isn’t always the one responsible for causing the collision, contrary to popular belief.
In some cases, you may have wrecked your motorcycle and no other vehicle was even involved. Even in these cases, you may not be responsible for your accident, so talk to a Kentucky personal injury lawyer about your situation for details.
For example, sometimes, a part on an involved vehicle will malfunction or be faulty, resulting in a collision. In these situations, the parts manufacturer or manufacturer of the car or motorcycle could be to blame.
In other cases, there is a possibility that the roadways played a part in the cause of the accident. If the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) failed to fill potholes in a reasonable amount of time, replace missing street signs, or secure their road construction zones, for example, and an accident occurs, the KYTC could be liable for your suffering.
What You Need to Know about Shared Fault in Kentucky
Motorcycle accident survivors who know or believe that they may have contributed to the cause of their accident are usually the most reluctant to sue. They often believe that they simply don’t have a case if they are partially at fault. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth in Kentucky.
Here, the civil law system operates under comparative negligence, which means you can still file your claim and receive compensation for your losses, but the amount you receive will take into account your portion of shared fault. Let’s take a closer look at an example of Kentucky comparative negligence in action:
James took his bike out for a ride one sunny afternoon when he was suddenly struck by a driver who was speeding. James wasn’t wearing a helmet when he suffered a traumatic brain injury, so the judge found him to be 25 percent to blame for the cause of his injuries. When the jury awarded him $1 million for his losses, his award was reduced by 25 percent, and his final injury settlement totaled $750,000.
As can be seen, the greater your award, the more shared fault laws will influence the outcome of your case. This shouldn’t stop you from seeking the repayment you may be entitled to, as many awards are often still sizable after the shared fault deduction. You can speak with your attorney in greater detail about the individual details of your Kentucky case and how your award could be affected by shared fault.
Rising above the Motorcyclist Stereotypes
Now that you know more about how fault is established and how shared fault could impact your injury settlement, we can tackle the ever-present biker stereotypes imposed on motorcyclists everywhere by avaricious insurance companies.
That’s not to say that all insurers are out to get you, personally, but they are often only interested in protecting their profits. If that means they need to stigmatize you as being a reckless, irresponsible motorist or utilize comparative fault laws to make you appear more at fault than you actually are, they’ll do it.
Many insurance adjusters have been known to manipulate statements given to them by well-intended injury victims to make them seem like they have admitted guilt or accepted responsibility for the cause of their accidents. If you want to take steps to protect your injury settlement, your best option is typically to have your attorney handle any communications with the insurance company for you.
Your lawyer can provide the insurer with a statement on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance adjuster so you don’t have to concern yourself with an insurance company that isn’t looking out for your best interests.
Kentucky Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Being involved in a bike crash can be terrifying, but the claims process afterward doesn’t have to be. We understand that you must be overwhelmed by all of the information surrounding your collision, so to help make things a little easier, below we have provided the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions. Further motorcycle accident questions can be discussed during your free consultation.
What happens if my motorcycle passenger was to blame?
If your passenger is responsible for causing your injuries, your case will need to be handled extremely delicately. Your passenger, after all, is likely a close friend or family member, and the last thing you want to do is rock the boat with your civil claim.
However, if you are entitled to compensation, their relationship with you shouldn’t limit the amount you’re able to recover. Your Kentucky attorney will do everything possible to ensure your relationship with your passenger is salvaged while still obtaining an injury settlement that will meet your needs.
Do I still have a case if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
As long as you are 21 years of age or older and have had your motorcycle operator’s license for at least one year, you are under no legal obligation to wear a helmet when operating your bike in Kentucky. With that being said, making the decision to not wear a helmet means you will likely have your award reduced proportionally, as per the state of Kentucky’s comparative fault laws.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are an award issued by the court to the injury victim that go above and beyond what their damages are worth. Their purpose is to punish the liable party, set an example for the public, and prevent similar instances from occurring in the future.
Punitive damages are only issued in Kentucky when the actions of the liable party intentionally caused “cruel and unjust hardship” to the injury victim.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Kentucky
The impact of a bike crash can permanently impact your life. If you’ve been dealing with the consequences of a motorcycle wreck injury and are interested in discussing your legal options with a qualified Kentucky motorcycle accident lawyer at Wilt & Klausing, PLLC, you can do so by coming in for a free claim review.
To schedule yours, you can submit the online contact form we have provided at the bottom of this page or give our office a call at 502-253-9110.