Frequently Asked Questions
What you need to know about motorcycle Accidents
What are some common causes of motorcycle accidents?
It is well known that bikers are hard to see, especially in heavy traffic. This alone can lead to an accident. But a lot of bike accidents have other common causes, such as:
- Distracted drivers – Add driver distraction to your being hard to see and you can understand why this one is gaining as the cause of a growing number of motorcycle wrecks.
- Vehicle drivers who fail to yield the legal right-of-way to motorcyclists
- Intoxicated or impaired (by alcohol or drugs) vehicle drivers
- Unsafe road conditions, such as potholes or roads under construction or repair which require bikers (or vehicles) to suddenly swerve into each other’s path
Am I required to carry liability insurance if I ride a motorcycle in Kentucky?
Kentucky requires all drivers to carry at least a minimal amount ($10,000 coverage) of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. But it is not mandated for motorcycle riders. This is due the fact that Kentucky is a no-fault state. When you get into an accident, your insurance company is the one that pays your medical bills. However, motorcycle riders who don’t have PIP coverage are generally prohibited from collecting the basic $10,000 PIP coverage from any other parties who may be at fault for their motorcycle accident – even if those parties are proved to be negligent.
Do I need an attorney after a Kentucky motorcycle crash?
You are not required by law to hire an attorney if you’ve been in a crash. But if you have been injured, an experienced Kentucky motorcycle accident attorney can dramatically improve your chances of obtaining compensation for your losses — especially a lawyer who has ridden motorcycles all of his adult life. The Billy Johnson Law Firm can do that. We work exclusively for Kentucky personal injury and accident victims. We have experience negotiating with insurance companies and, if necessary, representing accident victims in court in order to protect their full and fair compensation rights and help them get their lives back on track.
I wasn’t at fault for my motorcycle accident; the other guy hit me. Can an attorney help me file a lawsuit?
Yes, but first things first. The normal process is to first file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Chances are, they’ll give you weak excuses for not paying the claim quickly, and may even accuse you of being at fault. Having a lawyer deflect these baseless charges and demand payment for your damages (medical bills, lost income because you can’t work, pain and suffering, etc.) places pressure on the other driver’s insurance company to hopefully offer you a fair settlement amount – which you choose to accept or reject.
The odds are good that we’ll negotiate an acceptable offer. But if you are not satisfied with what the insurance company offers, we then will file the claim in civil court. If the defendant refuses to settle and the day comes where your case is heard, we will argue your demands clearly and aggressively in court.
But it’s your claim, or case, and ultimately you decide what to do. We’re here to serve your legal needs, give you sound legal advice and help you get the compensation you need.
I was hurt when a driver pulled into the intersection in front of my bike, and the other driver told the police that he didn’t see me. But the policeman said I may be partly to blame for the accident. Do I have a claim?
Yes. What the policeman referred to is Kentucky’s “pure comparative fault” statute. It means that if two people are partially at fault for injuries sustained in an accident, damages may be reduced by the percentage that it is determined to be each person’s fault. For example, if your actions warrant carrying 25 percent of the blame (fault) for the accident and your damages were $50,000, you would only be allowed to recover $38,500 (75 percent) of the damages under Kentucky law. Comparative fault is one critical reason why you should contact a qualified motorcycle accident attorney if there is any chance you may have been partially responsible for the crash.
Does Kentucky State Law require me to wear a helmet when riding my motorcycle?
Yes, if any of the following three conditions apply to you:
- You (as rider or passenger) are under age 21
- You have only a motorcycle instruction permit
- You’ve had your full motorcycle operator’s license for less than one year
But there’s more working here than just a state law.
Not wearing a helmet may affect the amount of compensation you could get, especially if you weren’t wearing a helmet and suffered a head injury. The insurance company is bound to accuse you of not really caring about your safety because you didn’t wear a helmet; and in court, that could be a hard accusation to overcome in front of a jury. Plus, wearing one proves that you ARE responsible, that you DO care about your safety and that of your passengers.
If I was a passenger in a motorcycle wreck, can I still file a motorcycle accident injury lawsuit?
Yes. Hopefully you have PIP protection on your car insurance so you are not limited in the amount of damages you are permitted to collect. Check with a lawyer during your free consultation for a more detailed answer on that. You can usually file an injury lawsuit against the driver of the motorcycle, or the driver of the vehicle that hit you, or maybe even both if they each are responsible for a percentage of the accident.
What do I say if the other party’s insurance company contacts me about the accident?
Say nothing. You never get hung by your own words if you keep your mouth shut. Tell the adjuster you’ll get back with them. Then, find a motorcycle accident lawyer to handle everything from that point on, including their pesky nuisance calls. Once you have a lawyer, they have to deal with your attorney and stop calling you.
If you have any other questions, contact the Billy Johnson Law Firm for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation by calling 606-437-4488 or filling out this form.
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