Kentucky Motorcycle Laws
Whether you’re sharing the road with motorcyclists or if you are a motorcyclist yourself, Kentucky’s motorcycle laws are something that you should always be aware of. Some of the most important motorcycle laws in the state of Kentucky include the following:
Lane splitting is the concept of driving a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic, and it’s an issue that often causes strife between motorcyclists and other vehicles on the road. Some states like California have made it legal, while others have explicit laws that prohibit lane splitting. The state of Kentucky remains a bit of a gray area. While Kentucky law does not explicitly state that lane splitting is legal, it has not been explicitly prohibited either. This unclear status can make it difficult to establish fault in an accident that involves a motorcyclist who was lane splitting and any analysis will be highly fact-specific. If this situation arose in the wreck in which you were involved, be sure to explain the specific factual situation to our attorneys.
Kentucky Helmet Laws
When it comes to motorcycle helmets, the laws are much more clear. Kentucky law requires any person under 21 who operates or rides on a motorcycle or rides in an attached sidecar to wear a helmet. In addition, helmets are also required to be worn by those drivers who have a motorcycle instruction permit, as well as those who have held their motorcycle operator's license for less than one year. Everyone, no matter what age, must wear eye protection.
Kentucky requires every motorcyclist to have insurance, similar to regular drivers. In Kentucky, you must have $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person per accident, $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $10,000 in property damage liability per accident.
Kentucky requires owners of all cars to have no-fault coverage (Personal Injury Protection ("PIP") coverage), which provides $10,000 of benefits for medical expenses and lost wages to the occupants of a vehicle involved in a wreck, regardless of fault. However, Kentucky does not require PIP coverage for motorcycles although motorcyclists can opt-in for PIP coverage. We recommend that all motorcyclists opt for this extra coverage as it can be extremely beneficial if you are hurt in a car wreck.
How to Determine Fault
Whenever an accident occurs, whether in a car or motorcycle, fault gets allocated between the parties. Kentucky is a pure comparative fault state, meaning that the amount that you can receive in damages will be proportionate to the percentage of fault that you are assigned by a jury for the accident. For example, if you are in an accident and a jury finds you to be 10% at fault because you were speeding, any settlement that you win will be reduced by 10% to account for your fault. So if a jury determined that $100,000 would compensate you for your injuries but also found that you were 10% at fault for causing the accident, you would only collect $90,000.
Can I File A Claim On Behalf of A Loved One?
Ordinarily, the person who is injured pursues his or her personal injury claim. However, if a loved one was killed in a motorcycle wreck, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death action on his or her behalf and may be eligible to pursue your own loss of consortium claim (a claim for loss of love and affection).
According to the Insurance Information Institute, of every 100,000 motorcycles registered, there are 57.52 fatalities. If you have a loved one who was injured to the point of incapacitation or even killed, you may be able to file a claim on their behalf.