Motorcycle Wrecks in Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana
Most of the motorcycle wrecks that I have handled as a personal injury lawyer, have involved serious injuries requiring surgery, large medical expenses and sometimes death. Usually, the injuries are far worse for the motorcyclist and the medical expenses alone can easily exceed the insurance coverage, known as the liability insurance, on the at- fault driver.
Did you know that it is legal to drive in Kentucky and Indiana with insurance coverage as little as $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, the state minimum in insurance coverage for motor vehicles.
So there is no guarantee that the at-fault driver has enough insurance to pay for your medical expenses much less your claim for pain and suffering. Think about it this way. If you are flown from the accident scene to a trauma hospital, the charge for that helicopter tends to run about $30,000. While you may be able to get health insurance to pay that charge, I just used an example wherein the first medical bill was more than the state minimum for automobile insurance in Kentucky.
Also, many motorcyclists don’t understand the need to put underinsured motorist coverage on their motorcycle insurance and they assume incorrectly that their car insurance will apply while they are riding their motorcycle. This is why it is so important for a good personal injury lawyer to look for multiple layers of insurance coverage. A driver can be insured or the vehicle owner’s can provide the insurance coverage. There are a lot of ways to track down insurance coverage when someone suffers serious injuries in a motorcycle accident.
To understand the risks of riding a motorcycle in Kentucky or Indiana, and the need for adequate insurance coverage that will cover you when you are seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, I will give you a real life example wherein a friend was hurt while riding his motorcycle and was hit by an uninsured truck.
My friend was injured to the extent that he was hospitalized for several weeks and had over $700,000 in medical expenses. All indications are that the at-fault truck was uninsured and the driver was uninsured. The at-fault driver left the scene of the accident and still has a warrant out today for his arrest. This could have very easily have been a motorcycle wreck involving wrongful death cases as well.
In my friends’ case, the problem was that he, the motorcyclist, only had $25,000 of uninsured motorist coverage on his motorcycle. While we looked at trying to make his automobile insurance apply to the injuries sustained while he was on his motorcycle, the automobile insurance had a valid exclusion that meant it would not provide insurance coverage while he was riding his motorcycle. As a result, the total recovery for this injury claim was limited to $25,000 even though the value of the personal injury claim was over $1,000,000 if there had been automobile insurance we could have recovered from. In essence, the value of a personal injury claim, for the same injuries, is entirely dependent upon whether you were hit by a commercial tractor-trailer or a 1980 Chevette insured by Safe Auto for the state minimum of $25,000 per person. So what a personal injury claim, arising from a motorcycle wreck, really depends upon how much liability insurance is on the at-fault driver AND how much underinsured coverage is on your own motorcycle. https://www.attorneydesmond.com/finding-layers-of-insurance-coverage/
Similarly, I just finished prosecuting a motorcycle accident injury claim wherein my client’s medical expenses exceeded $1,000,000. My injured client, the motorcycle rider was not the owner of the motorcycle that was involved in this wreck. Rather, my injured client was riding a motorcycle entrusted to him by a friend for a short errand. While I believe the friend may have some liability for the wreck because he negligently entrusted a dangerous machine, his motorcycle, to my client who was not an inexperienced motorcycle rider, my client did not want me to pursue such a claim. As a result, the recovery on his personal injury claim was limited to the liability coverage on the at-fault driver that was the Kentucky state minimum, $25,000 per person, and another $25, 000 of underinsured motorist coverage through a grandparent’s policy. In essence, I was able to make a policy of underinsured motorist coverage apply to this wreck because my client lived with his grandparent at the time of the motorcycle accident. Basically, insurance coverage can apply to a resident relative of the same household even though that injured party is not named on the insurance policy and the vehicle involved was not listed on the insurance policy. https://www.attorneydesmond.com/finding-layers-of-insurance-coverage/
This is why it is so important for a motorcyclist to be an informed consumer and have the insurance coverage they need from the first moment they get on a motorcycle. I blog a lot about seriously injured motorcycle riders because the value of their personal injury claims is so clearly dependent upon the insurance coverage available. https://www.attorneydesmond.com/resource-library/car-insurance-coverage-is-limited-and-claim-is-worth-more/
As a personal injury lawyer, I need to assess how and where to recover for my client’s personal injury claim when a motorcycle wreck has happened. http://www.attorneydesmond.com/supreme-court-on-motorcycle-insurance/ . Kentucky law does not treat motorcycle passengers, http://www.attorneydesmond.com/passengers-injured-motorcycle/ , and automobile owners the same in regard to their right to recover certain elements of their personal injury claim. http://www.attorneydesmond.com/motorcycle-insurance-car-wrecks/. To evaluate a personal injury claim from a motorcycle wreck or any car accident, I have to look at:1) was the at-fault driver insured and how much was he insured for; 2) if the at-fault driver was uninsured, was the vehicle he was driving insured as someone else owned the vehicle; 3) does my client have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on his own insurance policy, motorcycle or automobile policy, that we can recover from; 4) does my client have no-fault, med-pay or health insurance coverage that might cover his medical bills and; 5) are there any liens that will need to be satisfied out of my client’s injury settlement. http://www.attorneydesmond.com/top-10-mistakes-can-make-handling-automobile-injury-claim/This is why while I try to provide you with with legal advice in regard to your personal injury claim, I encourage you to contact me on my cell phone for immediate legal advice.
Personal Injury Claims and Motorcycle Insurance
Kentucky is what is known as a pure comparative fault state while Indiana is what is called a modified comparative fault state. Comparative fault basically refers to how fault for the wreck is divided among the drivers. In Kentucky, a motorcyclist could be 99% at fault for an accident and still recover 1% of his damages. This is why we call Kentucky a pure comparative fault state. In Indiana, you can not recover from a personal injury claim if a jury determines that your fault for causing an accident is equal to or greater than the other drivers. So in Indiana, a motorcyclist would recover $0 on his personal injury claim unless a jury determined he was 49% or less at fault in causing the accident.
How Do I Value My Personal Injury Claim?
You don’t listen to your friends as they will tell you that they know of someone who did not get hurt and he/she recovered $25,0000. While I wish that were the case, it most likely is not. Insurance companies fight before they just hand over money to an injured person. Also, you don’t try to use standard formulas like three times your medical expenses. Those formulas existed in the past and are no longer used by insurance carriers. These assumptions will take you down the wrong road and you may end up in a lawsuit because of false expectations.http://www.attorneydesmond.com/how-do-i-value-my-personal-injury-claim/
Until an injury lawyer looks at all of your medical records stemming from a motorcycle wreck, no lawyer can really provide you with a value for your personal injury claim. A claim’s value depends upon a multitude of factors including: amount of property damage; length of treatment; type of treatment; lost wages; pre-existing medical conditions existing before the accident; liability for the accident; aggravating circumstances such as a drunk driver; insurance company involved and; prior experience with this particular insurance adjuster.
I see many attorneys act like realtors when they first speak to a potential client and promise that the world to sign up the case. Realtors, to obtain a house listing, have no problem using the figures you want to believe your house is worth only to tell you six months later, “Sorry I was wrong and the market changed.” I won’t do that. I am not going to promise you the moon and let you get your hopes up only to change my story once the first low offer comes in from the insurance carrier. http://www.attorneydesmond.com/desmond-among-top-accident-attorneys/
As an injury attorney who knows other attorneys who also have extensive personal injury practices, I have an advantage that you don’t. Many times, without revealing information protected by the attorney-client privilege, will discuss your case with attorney friends of mine so I can get their input on what they believe the case is worth. Basically, I want to make sure that I am accurately valuing your personal injury claim. After all, as an injury lawyer who is always advocating for you, it is not hard to start believing our own hype. I don’t want to put you through the rigors of a lawsuit unless I am sure that the case justifies it and the insurance company has incorrectly valued the claim.
Motorcycle Accident Investigation
If you were injured in a motorcycle wreck, I hope you will contact me very soon after the accident. Why? Because I am an experienced personal injury lawyer that wants to prosecute your personal injury claim effectively and efficiently. One issue I want to know is if your injuries and the facts of the accident justify the involvement of an accident reconstructionist. http://www.attorneydesmond.com/law-depends-upon-can-prove/ Very simply, we may want to send an accident reconstructionist to the accident site to see what physical evidence the police may have missed at the accident scene. Sometimes, this can make the difference as to whether you can recover from your injury claim or not.
If you want an attorney who will give you a straightforward, honest evaluation of your case, I can do that. http://www.attorneydesmond.com/desmond-among-top-accident-attorneys/