Riding a bike can be dangerous business in the state of Kentucky, where multiple bicycle accidents occur every year, and the state has done little to invest in bicycle infrastructure, such as protected bike lanes and dedicated bike paths. Despite risks, however, bicycling is no doubt one of the greatest ways to get from here to there, supporting good health and a mindful outlook.
Unfortunately, even the safest, most aware cyclists are involved in accidents, some of which result in catastrophic or fatal injuries. When a bicycle accident changes your life or takes the life of your loved one, our aggressive Kentucky bicycle accident attorneys are here to explain your options and work hard to get you the settlement award that you deserve.
Why Bicycle Accidents Happen
Most bicycle accidents are preventable. If drivers and bicyclists always operated with a high level of care and caution, bike crashes could be virtually eliminated. Unfortunately, people make dangerous and detrimental decisions when behind the wheel of a car, engaging in unacceptable acts of negligence that often have tragic consequences. Some of these negligent acts that can cause a crash include, but are not limited to:
- Driving while distracted, including eating, texting, talking on a cellphone, using a GPS system, looking out the window, or attending to children, pets, or passengers while driving;
- Driving while impaired by drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, or fatigue;
- Aggressive driving;
- Running red lights/stop signs;
- Failing to yield;
- Tailgating a cyclist;
- Passing too closely; and
- Failing to observe posted traffic laws.
While less common, bicycle accidents may also occur because of bicycle defects (i.e. defective seats), road defects (such as potholes), or errors on the part of the cyclists.
Bicycle Accidents Cause Serious Injuries
Regardless of the cause of the bicycle accident, bicycle crashes almost always result in injuries, even if the injuries are minor. In more severe crashes, especially those that occur when a car is traveling at high speeds, a bike crash can be extremely injurious, or even fatal. Some of the most common cycling injuries include:
- Bone fractures, most commonly fractured wrists and clavicles;
- Road rash injuries;
- Scrapes, cuts, and bruises;
- Crush injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries, especially when the cyclist is not helmeted at the time of the crash;
- Facial injuries; and
- Spinal cord injuries.
Some cyclists who are hit by a vehicle will be able to walk away from the crash without severe or lasting injuries, and others will heal from their injuries fully in time. Others are not so lucky, suffering injuries that permanently impair their ability to ever ride again, care for themselves, or even walk or function as normal.
Liability for a Bicycle Accident
In Kentucky, liability for a bicycle accident is determined by fault in most cases (although drivers can purchase no-fault coverage). Kentucky is a choice no-fault state. Even if you have opted for no-fault insurance, however, you can pursue a lawsuit if your injuries meet the injury threshold. If you pursue a fault based claim, it is important to note that due to the state’s negligence laws, the amount of compensation that you are can recover will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. This means that if you were 10 percent at fault for your crash, your damages will be reduced by 10 percent.
Damages Available in a Bicycle Accident Claim
There is nothing worse than being involved in a crash, suffering serious injuries, and then worrying about your economic well-being and wondering how you will pay for your losses. While it is normal to feel helpless and hopeless about the future and recovering damages for your losses, you deserve to be compensated for every cent you have lost, and are expected to lose, as a direct result of your injuries. When you file a bicycle accident claim or lawsuit against an at-fault party, the experienced Kentucky injury attorneys at the offices of Slechter Law Firm will fiercely advocate for you, aiding you in recovering damages for:
- All of your medical expenses, including past and future costs of medical care, prescription medications, therapy and more;
- Your lost wages, and future lost wages and benefits;
- The value of your pain, suffering, and emotional anguish; and
- Any property damage losses you have suffered.
When a loved one is killed in a bicycle accident, you may file a wrongful death claim, which allows you to recover many of the damages above, as well as compensation for funeral and burial expenses, and loss of consortium, guidance, and companionship.
Understanding the Process after a Bicycle Crash in Kentucky
After a crash, you will initiate the claims process by informing your insurance company of the accident, or by filing a claim directly with the insurance company of the other driver. The insurance adjuster responsible for processing your claim will open an investigation, gather evidence, and offer you a settlement. You have the right to reject a settlement offer if it does not meet your demands and fully compensate you for the extent of harm suffered. Our Kentucky bicycle accident attorneys will enter into negotiations on your behalf in order to attempt to reach a settlement that fairly compensates you.
If a settlement cannot be reached, filing a lawsuit is the next step. Our attorneys have trial experience, and can represent you in court when settlement is not possible. We have achieved numerous jury verdicts in our clients’ favor.
If you decide to file a bicycle accident lawsuit, you must do so within one year, as found in Kentucky Revised Statute 413.140.
Hire an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney Near You
There is no excuse for careless action that leads to a bicycle accident. When a bicycle crash leaves you with questions about your future, our attorneys can help you find the answers. To schedule your free, no obligation consultation with the passionate Kentucky bicycle accident lawyers at Slechter Law Firm, contact us today at (502) 384-7400. You can also send us a confidential message using the form on our website.