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Motorcycle AccidentsAvid bikers know that riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists have far less protection, and they have a smaller profile than other vehicles on the road, making them more difficult to see. Even if you do everything right – wear your helmet and other protective gear and follow all the safety rules of the road – you may still end up in a crash because of the negligence of another motorist or other factors. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Before accepting any settlement offer from the insurance company, it is best to talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer, so you can be advised of your rights and legal options.

At John H. Ruby & Associates, we have represented clients injured in motorcycle accidents in Kentucky since 1999. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of personal injury law, and we have a successful track record with even the most complex cases. We work closely with our clients, taking the time to fully investigate their case and explore every potential legal avenue toward securing full and fair compensation. We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. Whenever possible, we seek to obtain a fair settlement without the need for litigation. If the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, however, we are ready and able to aggressively pursue full damages at trial.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are more than 5,000 individuals killed in motorcycle accidents in United States each year. In addition, bikers are 28 times more likely to die in a motorcycle crash than occupants of another type of vehicle. After seeing a decline from the early 1980s through the late 1990s, motorcyclist deaths have been on the rise in recent years. By 2017, the number of motorcyclist deaths was more than double what it was in 1997.

There are number of reasons motorcycle accidents occur, some of the most common include:

Distracted Driving

One of the biggest factors that is driving the sharp rise in motorcycle accidents is the increased use of electronic devices by motorists. There have always been distractions for drivers. But texting while driving and other forms of electronic activity while behind the wheel bring this danger to a whole new level, because they distract drivers in three ways; manually, visually, and cognitively. It is hard enough for drivers to see motorcycles when they are totally focused on the road. But when someone is focused on sending a text while driving, it is essentially like driving blindfolded.

Failure to Yield

Another common cause of a motorcycle accident is when the driver of the other vehicle fails to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist. Many times, the driver does not see the motorcycle, or they see them late and just assume that they were there first and have the right of way. This can result in a head-on collision between the vehicle and the motorcycle.

Blind Spot Accidents

Because motorcycles have a small profile, it is easy for them to get lost in another vehicle’s blind spot. This is especially true with large commercial trucks, because they have more blind spots than the average passenger vehicle. Failure to notice a motorcycle in your blind spot can cause collisions when a vehicle tries to change lanes or make a turn. Many newer vehicles are coming equipped with blind spot monitors, so hopefully this will become less of a hazard in the future.

Chemical Impairment

When a driver or motorcyclist is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they tend to make very poor driving decisions. Some drive recklessly with wanton and willful disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of others, while others become drowsy and even fall asleep at the wheel. These behaviors vastly increase the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident.

Poor Driving Conditions

Inclement weather, road construction, and poorly maintained roads can make driving more hazardous, especially for motorcyclists. Rain, snow, and ice, potholes, uneven roadways, loose gravel, downed trees blocking the road, and other adverse conditions can all be contributing factors to a motorcycle accident. In some cases, a government entity may be responsible if the road was not properly maintained, for example. Legal actions against public entities are very complicated, however, and there are certain procedures and time limits that must be followed.  If you are considering this option, be sure to work with an attorney with specific experience in this area of the law.

Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle crashes can result in serious and catastrophic injuries, especially to the motorcyclist or someone riding on the bike. Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Cuts, bruises, and skin abrasions;
  • Head and brain injuries;
  • Neck and back injuries;
  • Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries;
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis;
  • Chest injuries;
  • Fractures/broken bones;
  • Amputations/loss of limbs;
  • Internal injuries;
  • Wrongful death.

Damages due to motorcycle accident injuries can run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Compensatory damages can be divided into two general categories:

  • Economic Damages: These are losses which are quantifiable, such as property damage, medical costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and funeral and burial expenses.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These are intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify. Examples may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.

In rare cases in which the party responsible for your injuries is found to have acted outrageously with malice or fraud, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and serve as an example for others.

Kentucky follows a “pure comparative negligence” legal standard. This means that if the injured party is found to be partially responsible for the underlying accident, their damage award is reduced in proportion to the percentage they are found to be at fault. For example, if the total amount of damages was $100,000, and you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, your damage award would be reduced by $20,000.

Kentucky has a very short statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. For most personal injury actions, the statute of limitations is only one year. For this reason, it is important to speak with an attorney and discuss your legal options as soon as possible.

Speak with a Knowledgeable and Compassionate Kentucky Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

When you are injured in a motorcycle accident, it can turn your whole world upside down.  Mounting medical bills, time missed from work, and in many cases, permanent injuries, can take a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families. At John H. Ruby & Associates, we understand that this is a difficult time, and we are committed to making the legal process as smooth and stress-free as possible. We handle all the complicated legal matters, and we fight hard to secure the just compensation you need and deserve, so you can focus on your recovery.

For a free consultation with one of our Louisville personal injury attorneys, call our office today at 502-895-2626 or send us a message through our online contact form.  

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