As spring goes on, motorists in Kentucky may have noticed an increasing number of motorcyclists on the road. Motorcycling is a popular activity, but it is not always a safe one. Motorists who are distracted or in a rush may not take the time to make sure there are no motorcyclists in their vicinity before making a turn at an intersection or changing lanes on the highway. This could result in a motorcycle accident in which, due to the lack of structural protection a motorcycle provides, the motorcyclist usually turns out worse for wear.
In fact, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2016 there were almost 5,000 motorcyclist fatalities and over 23,000 motorcycle passenger fatalities. This accounts for 13 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities that year. Moreover, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal motorcycle collisions were 28 times more likely to occur than fatal collisions involving standard passenger vehicles.
These serious numbers show just how deadly motorcycle accidents can be. No motorcyclist can tell whether the ride they are on will be their last, but unfortunately fatal motorcycle accidents occur all too often. When a motorcyclist is killed in a motorcycle accident caused by a careless driver, it can spell financial disaster for the motorcyclist's loved one. Not only are they emotionally scarred by the death, but they must pay for any medical expenses associated with the crash, along with funeral and burial expenses. If the motorcyclist was the main income-earner in the family, the loss of those wages can make getting by financially very difficult. Moreover, there is the loss of companionship to deal with.
Therefore, sometimes the family of a motorcyclist killed in a fatal crash will choose to pursue a lawsuit against the driver responsible for the accident. While no amount of money can truly undo the losses they suffered, a lawsuit could at least help the family cope financially. Deciding whether or not to take legal action is a very personal decision, so families of motorcycle accident victims will want to make sure they understand how the law will apply to the facts of their case before deciding how to proceed.
Source: The News Wheel, "Motorcyclists Are 28 Times More Likely to Die in an Accident than Those in Passenger Vehicles," April 12, 2018