Summer in Kentucky brings with it more than warm breezes. It brings the roar of motorcycles thundering along highways and country roads alike. Louisville and its suburbs are among the best places to ride in the state. Unfortunately, drivers of larger vehicles aren't conditioned to watch for those on motorcycles and mopeds. That means we're likely to see an uptick of Louisville motorcycle accidents resulting in serious injury or even death.
Case-in-point: In Central City, it was recently reported by SurfKY.com that a 22-year-old man on a motorcycle was killed after a woman in a sport utility vehicle turned left into a Wal-Mart parking lot in front of the motorcyclist, who was traveling in the opposite direction.
So many of these crashes occur for no other reason than that the driver of the larger vehicle isn't paying attention. Our Louisville motorcycle accident attorneys know that because Kentucky is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance, securing damages from these drivers is often not a straightforward process.
Kentucky's No Fault Law
KRS 304.39, sometimes referred to as Kentucky's No Fault Law, requires motorists to procure personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that will cover basic medical expenses and lost wages up to $10,000 for injuries caused by other drivers.
The Kentucky Department of Insurance notes that for motorcycles, basic PIP coverage is optional. Unless the coverage is purchased for the motorcycle, neither the rider nor the passenger is entitled to collect these damages. That means in single-vehicle accidents, passengers may need to pursue damages from the rider's bodily injury liability policy, or their own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (which they can access even though they were not driving).
If a motorcyclist's injuries exceed the amount provided by PIP coverage—or if they don't have PIP coverage—they can then pursue a tort claim against the other driver. Our motorcycle injury lawyers can help you ascertain the best course of action given the circumstances of your case.
Motorcycle Accident Prevention in Kentucky
Although you cannot control the careless and reckless actions of others with whom you share the road, you can do your best to drive defensively and protect yourself. To this end, the Kentucky State Police recommend the following:
- Wear the proper gear. This includes a helmet. Although it is not required for riders or passengers over the age of 21, ample research shows helmet use can significantly reduce the risk of serious injuries and death. Approved eye wear is required.
- Check your motorcycle equipment and be familiar with your bike.
- Be visible. That means wearing bright clothing during the day and reflective gear at night. It also means using your headlight and riding in the best lane and position for you to see and be seen.
- Communicate your attentions. This involves using the proper signals, brake lights and lane positions.
- Be prepared to act. This means remaining alert and sober and ready to react at a moment's notice.
- Ride within your abilities. If you are a relatively new rider, or haven't been on a bike for a long time, consider taking an instructional course, and know your own abilities.
- Obey all traffic laws.
If you are injured in a Kentucky motorcycle accident, our dedicated injury lawyers can help.