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How Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help

We have represented riders for over 45 years and understand what you are going through when you have been injured. Representing bikers is our passion and we go the extra mile for our injured clients. With a success rate well over 90%, our skill and expertise have resulted in millions for our clients injured on a motorcycle.

Motorcycle riders in Kentucky are often victims of careless vehicles on our roads and highways. According to a 2017 traffic report from the Kentucky Transportation Center, injuries caused by motorcycle accidents often result in serious or fatal injuries with permanent disability and loss of loved ones.

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    Leading Causes of Motrocycle Accidents In Kentucky

    More often than not, it is the negligence of another driver that causes a motorcycle accident. The most common causes in Kentucky include:

    Distracted driving: Anything that diverts your attention from the road can be considered distracted driving according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This includes texting, talking, eating, and even playing with the radio or other gadgets. Any non-driving activity that an operator takes part in significantly increases the chance of an accident. Not only is it dangerous for motorcyclists to engage in distracted driving, but every other distracted driver on the road places unnecessary risk on motorcycle riders.

    Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: In 2018, there were 4,736 alcohol-related collisions in Kentucky, according to Kentucky Transportation Center. Additionally, the GHSA found that Kentucky also has higher rates of drunk driving fatalities than the national average, making our roads even less safe for motorcycle riders.

    Drivers who lose control on the road: Losing control of your vehicle near a motorcycle rider can be a recipe for disaster. There are many reasons why motorists may lose control of their vehicles on the road, with bad road conditions due to inclement weather being a popular excuse for vehicle collisions. It is important to understand that it is the responsibility of the driver to avoid operating a vehicle under dangerous conditions. If a car or truck driver loses control due to weather, fatigue, or poor road conditions, they can be deemed the at-fault party.

    Failing to yield: Drivers regularly pull in front of motorcyclists and often claim that they didn’t see the motorcycle rider before it was too late. Bringing a motorcycle to a full stop is not an easy task, especially when the rider has mere seconds to react, brake, and safely avoid a collision.

    Speeding: Speeding endangers everyone and every type of vehicle on the road. Speeding reduces both the driver’s chance of seeing a motorcyclist and the time to prevent a collision. It also increases to impact force in a vehicle collision, leading to more severe injuries.

    Accidents involving motorcycles are often avoidable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the majority of motorcycle accidents in the U.S. are due to motorists failing to see motorcyclists on the road.

    Real Case Our Lawyers Have Handled

    motorcycle accident bowling green

    Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers were contacted by Mary, the wife of a man named Mike, who was tragically killed in a Kentucky motorcycle accident leaving behind his two young children.  Mike was riding his motorcycle on a county highway when he encountered a commercial vehicle blocking the roadway.  Mike slowed his motorcycle and entered the designated passing zone to avoid a collision.  However, the commercial vehicle made a sudden left turn into the lane where Mike was traveling.  He was unable to avoid a collision.  Although he was wearing a helmet and other safety gear at the time of the collision, the injuries he sustained resulted in his death.

     

    Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

    Motorcycle riders are at a much greater risk of suffering severe injuries or death in accidents. Compared to motor vehicles, motorcycles lack similar protective features, leaving riders vulnerable. Here are some of the most commonly occurring injuries:

    • Traumatic brain injuries
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Concussions and head injuries
    • Broken bones
    • Paralysis
    • Death

    Kentucky Helmet Laws

    Kentucky has one of the highest rates of no-helmet motorcycle riders in the country. The NHTSA reported that 66% of all Kentucky motorcycle riders do not wear a helmet. Despite some states requiring all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, Kentucky only requires helmets for:

    • Riders under the age of 21.
    • Riders who have been licensed for less than 1 year.

    Although helmet usage is not required and will not affect your claim, wearing a helmet is the most effective and easiest way to prevent serious injury or death in a motorcycle accident. Riders can choose between a full face or three-quarter helmets in various colors and styles.

    No matter what style you choose, a helmet that follows DOT & state standards, fits snugly and has no obvious defects significantly improves your chances of survival after an accident.

    Helmets save lives, plain and simple. For every 100 fatal injuries to motorcycle riders not wearing helmets, 37 could have survived if they were wearing a helmet. Some riders refuse to wear a helmet because they think it will limit visibility. Others only wear helmets for long trips or when traveling at high speeds. However, in a study of more than 900 motorcycle crashes, not a single case showed that helmets prevented a rider from spotting danger. Additionally, most crashes happen on short trips and occur just a few minutes after starting out.

    No matter how careful or experienced you are as a motorcycle rider, there are some things that are simply out of your control. Bad drivers are everywhere, and even good drivers can become distracted or fail to see a motorcyclist on the road. Wearing a helmet is one thing that you can control and simple change that saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017.

    Kentucky Motorcycle Licenses and Permits

    Kentucky residents over the age of 18 are eligible to apply for a motorcycle permit at their Circuit Court Clerk’s office in their county of residence. Those with a valid operator license for any classification are also eligible to apply for a motorcycle permit. For applicants who are under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign the application and assume responsibility, even if the applicant has a valid license for a moped or automobile.

    In both cases, a written exam, vision screening, and identification documents are required for applicants to receive their motorcycle instruction permit. The permit is valid for one year and can be renewed once. Motorcycle permit holders may ride a motorcycle, but there are a few rules they must follow:

    • Passengers are not permitted.
    • They must not be on the road between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.
    • They are required to wear a helmet.

    After holding the motorcycle permit for one month, riders may apply for their Kentucky motorcycle license and enroll in a motorcycle education course. When applying for your motorcycle license, you must present either a certificate of completion for a rider education course OR written proof that you have passed the motorcycle road skills test.

    Completion of an approved rider education course through the Motorcycle Safety Education Program (MSEP) allows applicants to waive the on-road motorcycle skills test. These courses promote motorcycle safety and increase awareness of the dangers associated with operating a motorcycle. The program also instills the knowledge, skills, and habits necessary for safely operating a motorcycle. These courses are free and suit all levels of experience.

    Choosing The Right Motorcycle

    All motorcycle riders are different, and all motorcycles require different skills and experience levels to ride. There are countless factors that a rider must consider when purchasing a motorcycle such as travel distance, frequency of use, luggage capacity, comfort, weight, and size. The most common types of motorcycles are cruisers, sportbikes, touring styles, standards, and dual sports. Each type is designed for entirely different purposes and riders should choose a bike that best matches their needs.

    One of the biggest mistakes motorcyclists make is overestimating their abilities or choosing a motorcycle that does not match their body size or riding style. Sure, large bikes may look appealing and are more comfortable on long trips, but their weight and size make maneuvering and handling extremely difficult for inexperienced riders. Touring bikes, which can weigh in at over 700 pounds, can be safer in the hands of an experienced rider but can be significantly more dangerous for beginners or people with smaller body types. On the other hand, sportbikes are lighter and faster but are generally not suited for long trips.

    Understanding your needs as a rider and the purpose of the bike is the single most important consideration in terms of safety. While some motorcycles provide more protection in the event of an accident, rider experience and proper motorcycle education can eliminate many of the dangers associated with riding motorcycles in Kentucky.

    FAQs

    What should I do if I have been injured in a motorcycle accident through no fault of my own?

    If you have been involved in a motorcycle wreck, you should immediately file a report with the police and notify your insurance company.  If you were injured, seek medical attention right away.  Get the name, address, license number, plate number, and insurer from the at0fault driver.  Write down details of the motorcycle accident including date, time, location, what happened to cause the accident and other details while they are fresh on your mind.  If possible, also get names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses and take photos of the scene of the accident (such as damage to vehicles, skid marks, road signs, or anything that might have contributed to the wreck).  An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you preserve the evidence you need to win your case.  Do not discuss the accident with the other drivers’ insurance company before consulting with an attorney.  If you have been injured, contact motorcycle accident attorney Flora Templeton Stuart immediately so you can focus on what is most important 0 recovering from your injuries.

    What makes motorcycle wrecks different than other auto accidents?

    Motorcycle accidents can be some of the most tragic cases we handle because drivers are not well protected and often suffer catastrophic injuries such as broken bones, disfigurement, brain or spine injuries, and amputations.  What could be considered a minor accident to a person involved in a car wreck has the potential to seriously injure or kill a motorcycle rider.  In addition to the serious nature of motorcycle collision injuries, the required insurance coverage on motorcycles in Kentucky is different than the required insurance coverage on cares 0 potentially leaving a motorcycle injury victim struggling to cover his or her medical expenses.  If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us for a free case evaluation.

    For more information on motorcycle insurance coverage, see the question relating to PIP and Uninsured/Under-insured coverage.  Also, visit our blog or Insurance FAQ to learn what insurance you should carry on your motorcycle to adequately protect yourself.

    I was injured ina motrocycle accident. Will I have PIP to pay my bills and lost wages?

    Most motorcycle insurance policies sold in the state of Kentucky do not include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or “no-fault” coverage unless you specifically request it.  PIP is the coverage you carry on your motorcycle that generally pays up to $10,000 on your medical bills and lost wages during your recovery.  If you did not add PIP coverage to your motorcycle insurance policy, your medical bills should be paid by your health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or our law firm can negotiate with your physicians to obtain treatment before you settle your case.  Unless you have PIP coverage, you will not receive money for lost wages or sort-term disability until your case is settled.  We recommend that all motorcycle owners add PIP coverage to their policies for better protection in the event of an accident.

    Do I need Uninsured or Underinsured coverage on my motorcycle?

    If an uninsured or under-insured driver injures you, there may not be enough money available to pay your medical bills.  Motorcycle policies typically do not include Uninsured (UN) or Under-insured (UIM) coverage.  Protect yourself by adding both Uninsured and Under-insured coverage to your motorcycle policy.  Contact an experienced motorcycle wreck attorney to learn more about UN and UIM insurance coverage.

    Do I use my own health insurance?

    If you do not have PIP coverage for your motorcycle, then your health insurance may pay medical bills while you are recovering.  Contact us if you have questions about which insurance should cover your medical bills.

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