Winchester, Kentucky, Motorcycle Accident Attorney
We ride – We Understand
Motorcycle cases aren’t like other injury cases. There is more difference than just the number of wheels. The general public, who don’t exercise the privilege of riding, don’t seem to understand motorcyclists at all. They don’t know most of what we do and much of what they think we do isn’t correct. There is often a prejudice, hidden or not, against people who ride. When you are trying to present a case about a motorcycle accident to a jury, it often becomes a subtle educational situation: educating the jury about the motorcycle and then telling that now-educated group what happened to the person riding it. As someone who has ridden motorcycles continuously for over forty years and tried cases before juries for more than twenty years, we feel qualified to make that explanation and privileged to do so.
Motorcycle Safety And Training
Motorcycle safety isn’t always about the things that are depicted in the driver’s manual. One thing that makes motorcycling different than driving an automobile is the intensity of the control required. A motorcycle rider has to be aware of everything around him or her and anticipate what someone else will do (often when they don’t seem to know themselves what they are going to do). All of these things must be done while keeping control of a rapidly moving two-wheeled vehicle that, unlike a four-wheeled automobile, can’t stand up by itself. Track schools teach control. On the race track the student learns to control the bike, learns what it will do under extreme conditions without having to cope with the variables found on the street such as inattentive car drivers, stray pets, gravel, farm implements, etc. Track schools aren’t about going fast: you can learn that if you want to and go on to a racing career if that’s your desire, but the real purpose of the school is to learn control. There are several track schools available, each one offering the student what it considers to be unique. You can take your pick from schools that promise to offer you a racing license, schools to make you a better street rider and those that offer special techniques unique to their own system. We’ve spent my career as a lawyer representing people who have been in accidents, but We’d much rather that you avoided the accident in the first place. Learning control makes it easier to avoid an accident and makes it less likely that you will be injured.
Helmet Laws / Motorcycle Laws
Kentucky is one of 27 states requiring helmet use for certain riders. If you are under 21, Kentucky requires use of an approved helmet and eye protection (visor, glasses or goggles). State law also requires operators of any age to wear a helmet for the first year after obtaining a provisional motorcycle license. Vocal groups on both sides of the issue advocate for changing the law — abolishing all helmet requirements, or requiring helmets for every motorcyclist. As a motorcycle enthusiasts, we personally choose to wear a helmet, but I support the freedom of each individual to make that choice.
While nearly one-third of victims in fatal motorcycle accidents died despite wearing a helmet, ample evidence suggests that helmets do save lives, and prevent or minimize brain damage and other severe injuries. In the statistically likely event of an accident (motorcyclists are six times more likely to be injured in crashes than car drivers), you should know that Kentucky is a comparative negligence state. This means that if the cycle operator is partly to blame for the accident, any compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault apportioned by a jury. If you were not wearing a helmet and suffered head, eye, face, or neck injury, the defense may argue that injuries would have been mitigated but for your negligence in riding without a helmet. This argument holds particular weight if you are required by law to use a helmet.
Old bikes, like this 1968 Norton, keep us connected to the history of motorcycling and to the reasons we got into this sport in the first place. We started riding in 1963 and worked my way over the next 40-plus years through a wide variety of machines and aspects of motorcycling. We’ve ridden on and off road, competed in motocross, observed trials (including two national events) and (very briefly) quarter mile drags.
The Next Generation
Some children take quickly to motorcycling as well as other sports we may consider to be risky. It is our responsibility as adults to teach them to handle the risk while not being overprotective to the point of denying them beneficial experience. Particularly with children, risk and fun often go together. Most of the risks associated with motorcycling, particularly off-road, can be managed to an acceptable degree through careful planning and rider training. It isn’t enough to just set them on the seat, show them where the brakes are, and send them off to learn on their own. One who starts with a good background in training and a careful, reasoned approach can be a safe, responsible, and happy rider for the rest of his or her life.
Our goal is to provide the highest quality legal services to you in a timely fashion. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you and to discuss how we may be of service. Contact us with your questions or concerns about motorcycles and injury claims in central or eastern Kentucky.