People who ride motorcycles often talk about the feeling of freedom they have on their bikes. Whether they ride one for recreation or transportation, they say there is nothing like the open road. However, this source of fun isn't without risk.
If you're a motorcycle enthusiast, you probably know that you have a higher risk of injury in a motor vehicle accident than someone driving a passenger vehicle. You might not know everything about a motorcycle accident, including determining who is at fault or how helmet use might affect your case. Fortunately, there are answers to all of your questions that can give you peace of mind.
What you should do if you're in a motorcycle accident
If you are able, taking photos of the scene of the accident is always a good idea, including any injuries or damage to your motorbike. If you have any medical expenses, be sure to keep copies of them as well as any record of other expenses that result from the crash.
As with any kind of motor vehicle accident, avoid saying that you are at fault or signing any documentation from an insurer without consulting an attorney. If the accident results in a fatality or injury, the police will need to be notified. They also need to know about an accident if it involves property damage above a certain amount of money.
How to determine liability in a motorcycle accident
Some accidents will involve comparative negligence. This means assigning a certain percentage of fault to any drivers involved in the crash. That depends on their level of carelessness as determined by the legal system. For example, a motorcycle rider with a broken tail light may be 20% at fault for a crash, and that percentage may impact any awarded monetary damages.
One common kind of motorcycle accident happens when a car makes a left turn in front of a biker going the other direction. In this scenario, the car is most likely at fault, unless the motorcycle was excessively speeding or failed to stop at a red light.
How helmets factor in to a motorcycle accident
In Kentucky, the law requires certain motorcyclists to wear helmets, but not all of them. For this reason, even if you weren't wearing a helmet and you had an accident, you can probably still receive damages from a civil claim if you were not at fault.
Health insurance, sick leave and damages from a civil claim
Some people worry that their insurance or paid sick leave from work will reduce the amount of monetary damages they can claim after a motorcycle accident, but that is not the case. A court will not use your insurance payments or work benefits to determine the amount of damages you receive. Your insurance might require some reimbursement if your claim is successful, but that is dependent on many circumstances.
The most important thing if you are in a motorcycle accident is that you receive proper medical care afterward. However, that can mean a great deal of unexpected expense. Filing a civil claim may be a way to offset that expense if you were not the one at fault for the crash.