Edwards & Kautz
Protecting your rights in western Kentucky

Four Common Motorcycle Accident Questions

Motorcycles have grown in popularity, and as a result, injuries and deaths related to motorcycle accidents have increased. In Kentucky, 96 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2012, representing almost nine percent of all fatal accidents in the state, an increase of three percent from 2011. When you are hurt while driving a motorcycle, or when a loved one dies due to injuries sustained in this type of crash, there are four commonly asked questions regarding what rights you may have under the law.

The motorcycle accident was not my fault, but I was not wearing a helmet and suffered a head injury. Can I still file a claim?

Kentucky does not have a universal helmet law and only requires those under 21, possess an instruction permit and/or have had a motorcycle operator's license for less than one year to wear a helmet. However, the fact that you meet one of these criteria does not stop you from pursuing a claim. Either way not wearing a helmet may lessen the amount of damages you can claim but you still are entitled to compensation.

I was injured when a driver pulled into the intersection in front of my bike and the other driver admitted to the police that he didn't see me. However, the policeman said I may be partly to blame for the accident. Do I have a claim?

Kentucky has what is known as a "pure comparative fault" statute. If an injured person is determined to be partially at fault for injuries sustained in an accident, damages may be reduced by the percentage that it is determined to be his or her fault. For example, if a judge or jury determines your actions meant you were 25 percent at fault in the accident and your damages were $10,000, you would only be allowed to recover $7,500 of the damages under Kentucky law. It is critical that you contact a qualified motorcycle accident attorney if there is any chance you may have been partially responsible for the crash.

My husband died when another driver pulled out in front of him while he was on his motorcycle. The other driver was charged in the accident, and the police say my husband was not at fault in any way. A lawsuit will not bring my husband back, but we have small children who must be supported. Am I entitled to compensation?

The loss of a loved one due to a motorcycle accident can be devastating to a family. Your loved one may have provided all or a significant portion of the income necessary to operate your household. For this reason, the state of Kentucky allows you to file a wrongful death suit in order to provide financial support after a fatal motorcycle accident. Kentucky requires a wrongful death lawsuit be filed within one year of the person's death, so it is critical to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible to determine the steps necessary to file a claim.

How much is my case worth?

The amount you may be eligible to receive after a motorcycle accident varies based on the circumstances of the crash, the percentage of liability and many other factors. Kentucky does not have caps on damages in personal injury or wrongful death cases. In addition, both economic and non-economic damages can be recovered. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, or a loved one has died as a result of injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash, contact our office by phone at 866-795-5087 or fill out our free consultation form to learn what rights you may have regarding personal injury or wrongful death.

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Edwards & Kautz

Edwards & Kautz
222 Walter Jetton Blvd
Paducah, KY 42003

Phone: 270-908-4914
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