Numerous factors have to be evaluated to attempt to determine the value of a motorcycle injury claim. If you or a loved one have been injured on a motorcycle, it is highly recommended you consult with a motorcycle injury attorney so you can be apprised of all legal options available to you. You may be able to pursue a claim for monetary damages from those who caused the injuries. A motorcycle accident injury attorney can provide you with an estimated range of what your motorcycle injury claim may be worth. Below we discuss many of the factors that must be analyzed to try to determine the value of your damages sustained in a motorcycle injury crash.
Who is liable for the motorcycle accident? Was the other driver 100% liable for the accident due to their careless or reckless actions? Can any liability be apportioned against you for your actions in the accident? These are crucial questions that must be examined when trying to determine the value of a motorcycle accident injury claim.
Fortunately, in Kentucky, pure comparative negligence laws apply. This means that so long as a judge or judge does not determine you to be 100% at fault for the motorcycle accident, you are still entitled to recover a portion of your damages from any party determined to have some liability for the accident. For example, say a trier of fact, such as a judge or jury, concludes that you are 15% at fault for the accident, and that another driver involved in the accident is 85% at fault for the accident. In this scenario, your claim for damages is diminished by 15% of the valued amount of your damages. Thus, you would legally be entitled to recover 85% of your total damages from the other driver or their insurance company.
The fact that Kentucky is a “no-fault” state is another important factor that must be considered when evaluating the claim a motorcycle accident injury claim. Under “no-fault laws” your automobile insurer is required to provide no fault insurance coverage for automobiles. “No-fault” insurance coverage is also known as personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. This insurance coverage provides insurance, typically in the amount of $10,000.00, and is meant to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other “out of pocket” expenses resulting from your injuries. Provided you have this type of insurance coverage on your policy, your insurer is required to pay out this coverage for expenses related to injuries sustained in the accident following an accident regardless of who was the “at fault” party in the accident.
Per Kentucky law, PIP must be paid by the insurer of the vehicle in which you occupied at the time of the accident. Kentuckians, if they decide to do so, also have the option to buy additional PIP benefits in excess of the $10,000.
Kentucky law does not force insurers to provide PIP insurance coverage on motorcycles. PIP is only optional insurance coverage on motorcycles and unfortunately, most of our motorcycle accident clients do not have PIP insurance on their motorcycle. If a Kentucky motorcyclist does not purchase PIP coverage, they, unfortunately, are not entitled to recover the first $10,000 of their damages caused by a liable motorist in a motorcycle accident.
How does this work when calculating damages for injuries following a motorcycle crash? Say, for example, you are involved in a motorcycle accident while on a motorcycle (without PIP insurance on it) and get a $950,000.00 judgment in court on your case for your damages. In this scenario, you will only legally be entitled to be compensated in the amount of $940,000 from the liable driver or their insurance company. Why is this the case? This is the case because Kentucky law requires that a $10,000 offset has to overcome on any injury case where the claimant does not have PIP coverage in place before the claimant is entitled to any compensation for their damages.
How much insurance coverage does the at-fault driver(s) have? It is always extremely important to investigate how much insurance is available to you following injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, especially if the injuries are catastrophic. According to Kentucky law, Kentucky motorists must maintain minimum bodily injury liability limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident on any automobile insurance policy.
If the at-fault motorist did not have insurance, you would also want to check to see if your motorcycle policy included uninsured motorist benefits as you may be entitled to recover your damages under this type of coverage in such a scenario. Additionally, if the at-fault driver did not have enough insurance to cover your damages in the accident, it is crucial you check to see if you are eligible to recover monetary compensation under your motorcycle policy underinsured motorist benefits coverage. This type of coverage is purely optional, but if you do have this type of coverage it could certainly provide you with a safety net in the event the other driver did not maintain enough insurance to cover your damages. In order to maximize your monetary recovery for your injuries, it is often necessary that determine how much insurance is available to you for your damages and it is highly recommended that you consult with an injury attorney to help you with this process.
The Meagher Law Office exclusively dedicates its law practice to personal injury cases and has handled numerous motorcycle accident cases. Motorcycle accidents can often be catastrophic. To protect your future it is highly recommended you reach out to a Mount Washington motorcycle accident injury attorney. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Mount Washington, schedule a consultation to find out your legal options today.