There are many factors that must be considered in determining the value of a motorcycle injury claim. If you have been injured in a motorbike accident, it is highly recommended you consult with an attorney so that you are fully advised of your legal options. While it would be unethical for any attorney to guarantee a specific result, by evaluating many factors, a skilled motorcycle injury attorney may be able to provide you with an estimated range as to what your injury claim may be worth. We explain some of the factors impacting damages in Shepherdsville motorcycle accident claims in greater detail below.
One major factor that must be evaluated to determine the value of a motorcycle injury claim is whether you have any fault for the accident. Kentucky is a state with pure comparative negligence laws. This means that you are still legally entitled to recover some of your damages even if you are determined to share a portion of liability, so long as you are not determined to be 100% at fault for the accident. For example, if a trier of fact, such as a jury or judge, determines you to be 25% at fault for the accident, and another driver is determined to be 75% at fault for the accident by a jury, your claim for damages are diminished by 25% of the amount of your damages. In this scenario, you would only be entitled to recover 75% of your damages from the other driver or their insurance company.
Kentucky is a no-fault state. This means insurers are compelled to provide no-fault insurance for automobiles. This kind of insurance coverage is also called personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. This type of insurance coverage provides insurance, typically in the amount of $10,000.00, for your medical bills, lost wages, and other “out of pocket” costs resulting from injuries sustained in an automobile accident regardless of who was “at fault” or liable for the accident.
The purpose of PIP coverage is to cover your medical bills, lost wages and similar “out of pocket” costs due to injuries stemming from a car accident no matter who is “at fault” for the accident. PIP is to be paid by the insurer of the vehicle in which you occupy, or the vehicle’s insurer for any vehicle that strikes a pedestrian. Kentuckians have the option to purchase additional PIP benefits in excess of the $10,000 if they choose to do so.
State law does not mandate insurers to provide PIP coverage on motorcycles. Thus, PIP is optional on motorcycles. If a motorcyclist chooses not to purchase PIP coverage, it will usually be the case that they will be unable to obtain the first $10,000 on any injury claim they have from the at-fault driver in a motorcycle accident. For example, if you are involved in an accident while on a motorcycle (without PIP insurance on it) and obtain a $750,000.00 judgment in court on a case for your damages, you will only be entitled to receive $740,000 from the at-fault driver or their insurance company. This is because Kentucky law, unfortunately, penalizes motorcyclists who do not get PIP coverage on their vehicles. A $10,000 offset must be overcome on any injury case involving a motorcyclist (or their passenger) before they are entitled to any compensation for their damages when they were injured in a motorcycle accident without any PIP coverage on the motorcycle insurance policy.
Another very important factor in determining the value of a motorcycle accident injury claim is how much insurance coverage is available to you for your injuries? Unfortunately, Kentucky law does not require at-fault driver’s to disclose the amount of their insurance policy limits. Thus, in many cases, the only way to discover how much insurance is available from the at-fault driver is via the discovery process after a lawsuit is filed. First, look to see how much bodily injury liability insurance coverage the other driver has, whether or not they own other automobiles with insurance policies that may provide you with insurance coverage, or if they have an umbrella insurance policy that may apply. According to Kentucky law, Kentuckians must maintain minimum bodily injury liability limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
If the at-fault party did not have insurance, you may be eligible to recover compensation for uninsured motorist benefits under your own insurance policy, provided you have this type of insurance coverage on your motorcycle policy at the time of the accident. Or if the at-fault party did not have enough insurance to cover your damages in the accident, you also may be eligible to recover compensation for underinsured motorist benefits, provided you had that type of coverage on your motorcycle at the time of the accident. Determining how much insurance is available to you for your damages following a motorcycle accident must be investigated.
Another important factor to look at when evaluating the potential compensation available in a motorcycle injury accident claim, is what damages did you sustain as a result of your injuries in the motorcycle accident? The most common types of damages that you may be entitled to due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident are medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The value of pain and suffering damages depends on the type and longevity of the pain and discomfort endured by you. How long did you experience pain and discomfort? How severe were your pain and discomfort? What activities were you unable to do due to your injuries, pain, and discomfort? These are all important questions when evaluating the value of one’s damages for pain and suffering. In the event that you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and suffer from any number of injuries, it is also important to research historical data to see how much compensation has been awarded by juries for cases where victims have suffered similar injuries to your injuries.
The Meagher Law Office is ready to fight for clients that have been injured in motorcycle accidents, and we seek maximum compensation. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call Tate today for your free legal consultation to discuss how we can help you!