motorcycle and helmet laying on the ground

Determining Fault in Motorcycle Accidents

Accident Liability for Motorcycle Riders

Motorcycle riders are often some of the most at-risk people on the road. Because a motorcycle doesn't provide the same external protection as a car, being involved in a collision comes with a high chance of sustaining an injury. However, these accidents can happen quickly and without warning.

It's estimated that about 65% of motorcycle crashes involve multiple vehicles, highlighting roadway issues of car driver inattention or recklessness. When filing an accident claim, your insurance provider will make an assumption of fault depending on the circumstances.

Determining who is at fault in a motorcycle crash is not always so black and white, so it's important to know what may go into this determination in a courtroom.

Kentucky’s Comparative Negligence Doctrine

Thirteen states, including Kentucky, observe a doctrine known as "pure comparative negligence" or "pure comparative fault." Under Kentucky Statute 411.182, tort actions (those involving injuries) and the awards of damages are affected by the negligence contributed by all parties involved.

In accordance with this statute, an injured person—whether from a motorcycle accident or other personal injury claim—that is found to be at a certain percentage at fault for their injuries will have their awarded compensation decreased by the percentage of fault.

For example, motorcycle riders under 21 are required by state law to wear a helmet, and all riders must wear eye protection. If a rider chooses not to and is involved in a collision, their negligence to follow the law can be factored into the damages awarded, even if another motorist caused the accident.

Making Your Claim

When you choose to seek legal action to recover damages for your injuries, hiring the right attorney is a key component of getting the compensation you deserve. They can help you understand the process, represent you in the courtroom, and obtain the evidence needed to make your case.

Many kinds of evidence may be assessed to determine fault, including:

  • Eyewitness testimony.
  • Phone records if the at-fault driver was presumed to be using their phone at the time of the accident.
  • Videos or photographs.

The police report may also be important evidence, as it can provide essential details for which driver initiated the collision.

Motorcycle Safety Advice from the Kentucky State Police

The Kentucky State Police provides a motorcycle manual that outlines the rights and responsibilities of riders in the state with a heavy emphasis on rider safety. As such, here are a few tips provided to decrease chances of a collision:

  • Wear bright colors during the day to increase visibility.
  • Familiarize yourself with the bike and check the equipment for damages or defects.
  • Riders should wear an approved helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing.
  • Ride within your abilities—avoid driving at speeds or in weather conditions that you are not yet prepared to handle.
  • Be "in shape" to ride by never riding when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

When motorcyclists take accountability for their vehicle safety, they can be better prepared to handle potential hazards that may arise.

London Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

With motorcycles accounting for 7% of traffic fatalities but only 3% of registered vehicles, the possibility of being involved in one of these crashes affects riders daily. As such, it’s crucial to know what you can do after an accident to help you through your recovery.

If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle collision and sustained an injury or suffered a loss of life, call (606) 332-2494 to get in touch with a member of the Bruce Bentley, Attorney At Law team. We will work with you to obtain the maximum compensation for your unique circumstances.