If you or your loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, there is a law firm that wants to hear your story. The Lexington motorcycle accident attorneys at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP want to defend your rights to ride a motorcycle without having to suffer an injury at the hands of a negligent driver.
Motorcyclists deserve the same legal protection as all other drivers on the road.
Unfortunately, a negligent driver who is distracted, intoxicated, or driving recklessly can completely change your life. Because motorcycles lack the same level of protection as passenger vehicles, the results of an accident can be devastating – even when wearing proper safety gear.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you are 28 times more likely to perish in a motorcycle accident than you are in a car accident. The organization has also conducted numerous studies, highlighting the dangers of motorcycle accidents, showing that:
- In 2016, over 5,000 motorcyclists died as a result of a traffic accident.
- Two-wheeled motorcycles accounted for 93 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes.
- 111 motorcyclists lost their lives in Kentucky in 2016.
Your pain deserves to be heard. Contact the Lexington injury attorneys at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP today at (859) 550-2900 for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Every driver on the road has a duty of care. When they fail to meet this responsibility, they can cause a serious accident that can lead to severe injuries. Unfortunately, there are many negligent drivers on the roads these days and the causes of motorcycle accidents continue to grow.
Some of the more common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted drivers. Drivers who fail to pay attention to their surroundings or who are distracted by a cell phone or some other electronic device are frequently at fault for motorcycle accidents.
- Driving under the influence. Drunk driving or driving while under the influence of drugs is one of the most frequently cited causes of all types of car accidents, and it is no different with motorcycle accidents. Individuals who cause an accident while under the influence are subject to both civil and criminal liability.
- Drivers failing to check their blind spot. Because motorcycles are smaller than traditional vehicles, they can be more difficult to spot when out on the road, especially for individuals in large trucks or SUVs. Unfortunately, this means motorcyclists are at a greater risk of being hit when other drivers fail to check their blind spots when changing lanes.
- Speeding. Another leading cause of auto accidents in general, drivers who fail to maintain their speed can easily collide with others. The higher the speed, the more dangerous the accident.
- Sudden stops. A motorcyclist being rear-ended by a 2,000-pound vehicle can be devastating. These types of accidents often end with serious injuries or even death.
- Failure to yield right-of-way. Many drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists, especially on left turns. This common cause of motorcycle accidents can be catastrophic.
- Inexperienced drivers. Inexperienced drivers tend to make unsafe movements on the road that can lead to a collision with a motorcyclist.
- Defective motorcycle parts. Manufacturers may design or manufacturer defective motorcycle parts that can lead to a motorcycle accident.
The experienced Lexington motorcycle accident attorneys of Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP have won substantial amounts of recovery for our clients and we can do the same for you.
Contact us today at (859) 550-2900 for a free consultation.
Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The personal injury attorneys at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP will be able to adequately handle your case if you have suffered from any of the following motorcycle accident injuries:
- Head injuries. Unfortunately, not every motorcyclist wears a helmet. When they fail to protect themselves and are involved in an accident, they can easily sustain head trauma. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent.
- Neck injuries. Neck injuries are closely related to head injuries and can be just as severe. This is especially true when motorcyclists are rear-ended, as the results can lead to spinal cord damage including total or partial paralysis.
- Road rash. Road rash occurs when a motorcyclist slides across the pavement, suffering scrapes, cuts, and bruises. The result injuries can lead to infections, surface nerve damage, and the need for skin grafts.
- Leg injuries. Injuries to the lower extremities include broken bones, knees, road rash, twisted ankles, torn ligaments, or severe lacerations that can require amputation.
- Arm injuries. If you are thrown off your motorcycle, your natural instinct will be to brace for impact by sticking out your arm. However, this can lead to a broken arm, torn rotator cuffs, a broken elbow, fractured fingers, or nerve damage.
- Trauma to pelvis. When an individual is thrown off their bike, they may suffer from pelvic fractures, trauma to their torso, broken ribs, or even internal bleeding.
For a free consultation, fill out our online form or contact us at (859) 550-2900 today.
Kentucky Law Regarding Motorcycle Permits, Helmets, and Insurance
As per Kentucky law, individuals interested in operating a vehicle within the state must obtain a Kentucky motorcycle license. The first step to securing a KY motorcycle license is to obtain a motorcycle instruction permit.
Having a permit allows drivers to enroll in a motorcycle education course, which allows you to apply for a Kentucky motorcycle license.
When it comes to wearing a helmet, “the following persons shall be required to wear protective headgear, in the manner prescribed by the secretary of the Transportation Cabinet, at all times the motorcycles they are riding are in motion on a public highway”:
- A person under the age of twenty-one (21) years who is operating a motorcycle or who is a passenger on a motorcycle or in a sidecar attachment.
- A person who possesses a motorcycle instruction permit and who is operating a motorcycle.
- A person who has held a valid motorcycle operator’s license, or combination motor vehicle-motorcycle operator’s license, for less than one (1) year and who is operating a motorcycle.
It’s worth noting that motorcyclists should use a helmet at all times. As per the NHTSA:
- It is estimated that 1,859 motorcyclists’ lives were saved in 2016 because of helmets.
- An additional 802 lives could have been saved had the motorcyclists worn helmets.
Last, but not least, in order to be compliant with Kentucky law, motorcycles must be covered with the bare minimum of liability insurance to help pay for property damage or bodily injuries suffered by others in a crash that you cause.
Minimum coverage limits per accident should include:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
- Up to $10,000 for property damage.
Be aware that minimal liability insurance will not cover costs to repair or replace your motorcycle. You may want to add “collision insurance” to your policy in order to protect your property.
If you are unsure of what your legal rights are following a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to contact the Lexington motorcycle accident attorneys at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP immediately.
Factors That Can Affect Your Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Like any other personal injury, motorcycle accident cases have their own unique factors that can affect how much your claim is worth. The team at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP will thoroughly investigate the following factors to ensure that you obtain full recovery:
- Whether or not the at-fault party was issued a traffic citation. This is valuable evidence that can be used to prove that another party’s negligence resulted in your injuries.
- Whether or not the at-fault party was cited with a DUI or DWI. Our attorneys will analyze the police report to determine whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in your accident.
- The type of insurance the negligent party has. Understanding the negligent party’s insurance coverage and limitations can help to uncover additional sources of recovery.
- Whether you were partially at fault for the accident. Kentucky is a “comparative fault state” which means that a plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by the percentage for which they were responsible. Our dedicated team will help you better understand your role in the accident and determine whether you are partially liable.
- The severity of the injuries that you suffered. Our Lexington motorcycle accident attorneys will review and analyze your medical bills and costs for rehabilitation, how much you lost in wages as a result of your injuries, whether your injuries will cause permanent disability or limit your ability to work, and how much you are projected to lose over a lifetime.
- Non-economic damages. Aside from physical damages, the pain and suffering caused by the accident will also play a role in how much recovery you are able to obtain.
Do not suffer in silence. Your motorcycle accident was serious and you deserve to be taken seriously, too.
For a free consultation, contact Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP today at (859) 550-2900.