Motorcycle accidents are on the rise in Kentucky. According to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet data, fatalities have also increased in the state: motorcycle crashes killed 85 people in 2020, and the number jumped to 99 in 2021. Motorcyclists continue to be overrepresented in fatal crashes, with bikers 28 times more likely than car passengers to lose their lives in an accident.
For those who survive, the recovery is often long, difficult, and painful, but an accident can be equally devastating to their family, both emotionally and financially. Motorcycle accidents are rarely ‘minor’ for a rider: their injuries can have lifelong complications and result in damages worth thousands of dollars due to lost income, medical bills, and property damage.
You may feel distraught and helpless when your loved one has been seriously injured in a Kentucky motorcycle accident. What can you do to support them? In this blog, the team at The Schafer Law Office explains what you can do to help and how a motorcycle accident attorney in Louisville can provide the legal advocacy your loved one deserves.
Prepare For Their Return Home
Once your loved one returns home from the hospital, make sure the house is both clean and functional for their needs. If they’ve been left with limited mobility, you may want to install a ramp leading into the house and move all of their bedroom furniture into a downstairs room for ease of access. This way, you make the recovery process as comfortable and safe as possible for them.
Support Them During Their Rehabilitation
When someone has suffered a motorcycle crash injury, it can be a great comfort to have family members involved with their rehabilitation. This can include:
- Accompanying them to medical appointments.
- Making sure they receive the answers they need from doctors and therapists.
- Picking up medications, assistive devices, etc.
- Writing things down for them if they’ve suffered memory loss from a head injury. You can help them remember appointments and everyday items by using post-it notes, lists, or journals.
- Making nutritious meals and supporting their personal needs if required.
Help Them Hire a Kentucky Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Due to the overwhelming number of things accident victims have to deal with, they may not think to contact a lawyer. Nonetheless, an attorney may be able to assist your loved one in resolving the issues following a car accident and getting them on the road to recovery. Speak to them about hiring legal representation, and help them with the following issues:
- Provide them with resources on car accidents and personal injury, either online or in hard copy. Don’t let your loved one make a statement to an insurance company or accept a settlement offer too early.
- Assist them in organizing important information, such as medical bills and reports, details about lost wages, police accident reports, and property damage repair records.
- Make sure your loved one is aware of the time limits for bringing a personal injury claim. According to section 413.140(1)(a) of the Kentucky Revised Statutes, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is one year from the date of injury. As a result, an injury victim has one year to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party.
A Kentucky motorcycle accident lawyer can calculate the value of the injury claim and deal with insurance companies on your loved one’s behalf. Remember that insurance companies do not care how badly your loved one was injured, and their adjusters and attorneys are trained to find ways to limit their liability. A compassionate and diligent lawyer will seek to deter any attempts to deny a motorcycle injury victim the compensation they deserve.
Who Pays the Bills for My Loved One’s Motorcycle Crash Injuries?
Motorcycle riders in Kentucky are required to carry liability insurance, which will help pay for bodily injuries or property damage in the event of an accident. As a minimum, the insurance policy must include the following limits:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for multiple persons
- $25,000 for property damage
The $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury policy only applies to someone the motorcyclist injured, not to the injured biker. Optional coverage such as Underinsured Motorist Coverage or Uninsured Motorist Coverage should be purchased by any driver or rider. These policies protect you should the driver that hits the motorcycle have little or no insurance.
In Kentucky, all motorists are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which helps cover medical expenses after a crash, regardless of who caused it. This does not include bikers, since motorcycle insurance policies do not have to include PIP. However, if your loved one does carry it, they can collect the basic $10,000 coverage. If they don’t, their health insurance might pay additional medical bills. Your motorcycle accident lawyer can help your family identify all viable options for financial recovery.
Does My Loved One Really Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Legally, no. However, without expert guidance, your loved one is almost certain to receive a smaller settlement than they need, especially if they will require long-term care. Insurers protect their bottom line by paying out as little as possible, even to long-term policyholders who have faithfully paid their premiums for years.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will use their experience and resources to accurately value your damages and negotiate for a full settlement. If necessary, they will take your loved one’s case to trial, although this rarely happens: the majority of personal injury claims settle. When they do, claimants who hire a lawyer typically receive a much larger settlement than those who don’t.
More Questions? Get a Free Consultation From a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Louisville, KY!
Caring for a severely injured loved one can be exhausting physically and emotionally, which is why so many caregivers suffer from burnout. Consider asking for help from other family members while a personal injury lawyer focuses on getting full and fair compensation for all accident-related losses.
The attorneys at The Schafer Law Office are committed to fighting for the rights of motorcycle crash injury victims. We can help you if your loved one has suffered severe injuries in a Louisville motorcycle accident. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid until you do. To learn more about your legal options, please contact us online for a free consultation.