Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Riding motorcycles can be a fun pastime or hobby. Over the last 30 years, the number of people riding motorcycles has increased significantly in the United States, particularly in Kentucky. With the creation of motorcycle clubs everywhere, there are more and more bikes on Kentucky roads each year.
Unfortunately, a motorcycle is one of the deadliest types of road vehicles for passengers. Motorcycle accidents are more likely to be fatal than accidents involving passenger cars. Motorcycles provide no protection from impact, and motorcycle riders are routinely thrown from their bikes in a crash. It is usually the motorcycle rider who is killed in an accident, or who suffers serious and life-changing injuries.
If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle crash and was seriously injured, then hiring an experienced Louisville motorcycle accident attorney is the smartest thing to do. You have rights in these cases. Investigating the accident and dealing with the insurance companies can be difficult. In order to get fairly compensated for your injuries, you need experience on your side.
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Hiring an experienced Louisville motorcycle accident attorney is the smartest thing to do
Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous
Because motorcycle riders are so vulnerable, they need to be extremely careful and drive defensively. A car can pull in front of a motorcycle at any time.
According to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, in 2017 there were a total of 782 roadway fatalities, with 78 of them involving motorcycles. Nationwide, there are over 100,000 people injured in motorcycle accidents every year. The injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents can be severe and varied, especially if the rider was not wearing a helmet.
Common injuries seen in motorcycle crashes include
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
As with any type of motor vehicle accident, causes can be varied. However, riding a motorcycle is unique, and there is one cause of motorcycle accidents that is less common with other types of vehicles, and that is not being seen.
Some common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
Other drivers not seeing the motorcycle: Because this is common, most states have laws requiring motorcycle riders to run their front light all times, or have a blinking front light. The most common types of “no-see” crashes are when drivers either make a left turn in front of the motorcycle, or simply pull out in front of a motorcycle.
Distracted drivers: Distracted driving is a major cause of all types of roadway accidents, and it affects motorcyclists as well. Distracted driving has become an epidemic in Kentucky and in the United States.
Road defects: Because motorcycles are so light and agile, they are more subject to road defects than regular vehicles. Large potholes, uneven or broken pavement, and broken roadway berms can send a motorcycle reeling.
Types of Recoverable Damages in a Louisville Motorcycle Crash
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you can recover damages for you injuries. You should not attempt to deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company by yourself. The insurance company will try to avoid compensating you for the economic and non-economic damages you incurred. A Louisville motorcycle accident attorney can level the playing field for you.
Economic damages are calculable and include the following:
- Property damage to your bike and any items you may have had in the vehicle
- Medical bills and expenses related to your treatment and recovery
- Lost wages due to an inability to work while healing from your injuries
- Future lost wages due to a long term disability affecting your future earning capacity.
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Non-economic damages are more difficult to discern, because your lawyer is not just adding up numbers. Non-economic damages attempt to compensate you for the effect of injuries on your life, and include:
- Pain and suffering from your injuries;
- Emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder and mental suffering;
- Humiliation and damage to your reputation.
If a motorcycle accident is caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be able to seek punitive damages. Punitive damages can be awarded to the injured plaintiff not to compensate the plaintiff for any injuries, but to punish the intoxicated driver. Punitive damages are not allowed in every case.
Motorcycle accidents happen everyday on the roads and highways of Kentucky
Kentucky helmet laws
On July 15, 2000, Kentucky legislators passed HB 619, which no longer required those 21-years-old or older to wear a helmet.
Additionally, the legislature did away with a law that required motorcyclists to prove they were covered by health insurance. Bikers under 21 years of age, whether they are operators or passengers on a motorcycle, are required to wear helmets. The same holds true for those who are operating a motorcycle on a permit, or who have had their motorcycle license for less than one year.
HB 0Bikers under 21 years of age are required to wear helmets
Non-use of a helmet can affect your case
When a motorcycle rider chooses to not wear a helmet, this can be seen to increase their liability when an injury crash occurs. It can also limit the amount of compensation that can be awarded to the injured rider.
For compensation to be denied, the non-wearing of the helmet has to be pertinent to the injury or injuries being claimed. For example, if the rider suffered a broken leg and is filing a lawsuit based upon that injury, the fact that they were not wearing a helmet has very little to do with the injury. However, if the motorcycle rider suffered a brain injury which could have been prevented or lessened in severity, then the fact that a helmet was not worn could reflect negatively on the motorcycle rider.
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The Importance of Hiring a Louisville Motorcycle Crash Lawyer
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, the motorcycle accident lawyers at Hessig & Pohl will help you get the compensation you deserve. We work hard to build a solid case on your behalf. We handle the details so you can focus on getting healing and getting your life back to normal. We know how to present the facts of your case and negotiate with the automobile insurance companies.
When you hire Hessig & Pohl, we become your advocates. We will make sure you get the medical coverage you need and lost wages that are caused by your injuries. We will not rest until you are fully and fairly compensated for your injuries. Contact us at (502) 777-1111. The initial consultation is free.