Recently in Motorcycle Accidents Category

September 30, 2013

Two Recent Indiana Fatalities Highlight the Risks of Riding a Motorcycle

Motorcycles can be a great way to travel, but the risks of injury and death are also much higher than with larger vehicles. According to national statistics, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident than drivers of cars, accounting for approximately 13% of all roadway fatalities. Passengers on a motorcycle are 5.5 times more likely to die than passengers in a car or truck. The leading cause of death is head injury, and riders are 40% more likely to die if they are not wearing a helmet.

speed-of-motorcycle-1016169-m.jpgA couple of motorcycle crashes in Indiana over the past month highlight these grim statistics. A few weeks ago, a Plymouth, Indiana, woman died after a motorcycle crash on northbound Interstate 65, near Crown Point. The 55-year old woman was a passenger while her husband drove the motorcycle. As her husband was changing lanes, the motorcycle struck an area of road that was uneven because of recent repaving, and lost control of the motorcycle. The motorcycle flipped over and both husband and wife flew over the barrier cables, into the median. The wife died at the scene, while the husband was airlifted to a hospital in Crown Point and later to a hospital in Oak Law, Illinois with severe injuries. Authorities claimed that signs were in place notifying drivers of the roadway conditions. There is no word as to whether the husband failed to see the signs, or drove in a manner that was reckless or unreasonable.

Recently, another motorcycle passenger died after a collision with a pickup truck. The 27-year old woman was riding with her boyfriend southbound on State Road 135, with the boyfriend allegedly passing other vehicles in a no-passing zone. At a hill crest, they encountered the pickup truck, which was northbound. The boyfriend swerved to avoid hitting the truck, losing control of the motorcycle in the northbound lane. The pickup truck likewise tried to avoid the motorcycle, but wound up hitting the woman before hitting a nearby tree. Neither the woman nor her boyfriend were wearing motorcycle helmets, and the woman died at the scene. Her boyfriend was taken to a hospital for toxicology screening, while the truck driver was taken to a local hospital for neck and back pain.

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November 13, 2012

Latest Fatal Kentucky Drunk Driving Accident Kills Motorcyclist in Louisville

Yet another Kentuckian has lost his life to a drunk driver in a car accident this year. On November 5, 2012, a motorcyclist was rear-ended by a drunk driver while waiting for red light to change in Louisville, Kentucky. He was taken to a local hospital, but died from his injuries. The drunk driver also crashed into another car, causing it to hit a fourth vehicle. Fortunately, none of the people in these cars suffered life-threatening injuries.

What made this motorcycle accident even more horrible was the nonchalance in which the drunk driver responded to causing the crash. According to a witness, he got out of his car and demanded that someone give him a light for a cigarette. He then told police, "Just take me to jail, I'm drunk." He never once asked about the conditions of any of the people he had hit. Equally frustrating is the fact that this was not his first offense. He was convicted of DUI in 2005 and has a criminal record that includes reckless driving, marijuana possession and alcohol intoxication. This time he was charged with murder, DUI, wanton endangerment, assault, and driving without insurance.

Ideally, the penalty he receives from this latest accident would be severe enough to convince him never to drink and drive again. But this may not be the case. Despite the fact that drunk drivers injure and kill people on a daily basis, the laws and punishments do not seem to be enough to keep it from happening again. One additional way the drunk driver may be punished is if any of the injured victims or the family of the deceased victim decides to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against him. They can seek compensation for lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering, among other things. They can also request another type of compensation called punitive damages. This type of damages is meant to punish the alleged defendant for his actions in the hopes that he will not drive drunk again.

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September 5, 2012

Kentucky Drivers Not Used to Driving in Rain Cause Multiple Car Accidents

1200812_water_drops.jpgLabor Day, according to the United States Department of Labor "is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers." Many Americans celebrate the weekend with friends and family around the grill or the neighborhood pool, enjoying the last few days of summer. Unfortunately, Hurricane Isaac made outdoor celebrating a little trickier for Kentucky residents this year with heavy rains and the occasional thunderstorm. Based on the number of car accidents reported, it also made driving more difficult.

In 24 hours between Sunday and Monday evening, almost 80 car accidents occurred just in Lexington, with 17 of the crashes causing injury to at least one person. In Rockcastle County, there were five related wrecks on I-75 that involved 12 vehicles and shut down the highway for miles. And tragically, a motorcycle rider was killed in Louisville, Kentucky when he lost control of his motorcycle on the wet pavement on a curvy stretch of Brownsboro Road. He had returned from serving in the military in Saudi Arabia only 24 hours before the crash.

What caused all of these accidents, and what can be done to make Kentucky roads safer for drivers when the pavement is wet or it is raining? According to police involved in the cleanup of the 12-car accident scene in Rockcastle County, people were not paying attention. When it is raining outside, it is even more important to not be distracted while driving because wet roads may make it harder to stop and visibility may be reduced. An increase in traffic due to the holiday weekend may have worsened the situation. When more people are on the road, there are simply more cars to crash into. So drivers need to slow down, shut off their cell phones or radios, and stop trying to multi-task in the car when roadways are wet.

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May 24, 2012

Kentucky Truck Crash Involving Four Vehicles Kills Two Motorcyclists

A recent Kentucky truck accident involved multiple vehicles and cars, most of whom were not even from the area. On May 22, 2012, traffic on I-24 over the Ohio River near Paducah was moving slowly due to some construction. One driver did not slow or stop in time and rear-ended the car in front of him. Both of these drivers survived the accident with only minor injuries.

Unfortunately, this initial car accident led to another more deadly accident in the same area. Traffic was backed up from the initial accident in both westbound lanes when semi driver reached the scene. He allegedly did not slow down or stop. He hit the mirror on a pickup truck first, then crashed into a motorcycle. Both people were knocked off the motorcycle. The truck driver then hit another semi before coming to a stop. Both truck drivers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The motorcycle riders were not so lucky; they were pronounced dead at the scene.

This accident was very tragic in that it claimed the lives of two innocent victims. It was also very unusual because almost every person involved was from a different state and no one was a Kentucky resident. The truck driver who allegedly caused the accident was from Wisconsin. The two motorcycle riders were from North Carolina and Texas. The pickup truck and second semi-truck drivers were both from Illinois. This raises the question of where a lawsuit, if necessary, should be filed.

Generally, lawsuits are filed in the state in which the accident occurred. We'll use the above case as an example. The accident happened in Kentucky, so a lawsuit should be filed in Kentucky. Most attorneys are licensed to practice law in one or two states that are in close proximity to each other. So it is unlikely that an attorney from Texas or North Carolina - the home states of the victims in this accident - would be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky. It is also unlikely that the victims' families would know any Kentucky attorneys.

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March 21, 2012

Motorcyclist Killed in Truck Accident on I-65 in Louisville Kentucky

1016169_speed_of_motorcycle.jpgOn Tuesday, March 6, 2012, a motorcyclist was killed on I-65 in Louisville, Kentucky. It appears that the motorcyclist was travelling in the middle lane between a pickup truck and a tractor-trailer truck. According to Louisville police, the accident seems to have been caused when the driver of the pickup truck moved into the lane the motorcycle was in, causing the motorcycle to collide with the semi. Traffic on I-65 and the nearby ramps of the Watterson were closed for several hours and rush-hour traffic had to be diverted.

This horrific crash illustrates a few points of driver safety that bear repeating. First, riding a motorcycle can be fun and exhilarating, but it is inherently much more dangerous than driving a car. As a result, motorcyclists have to take extra precautions, especially when riding on a multi-lane highway. Motorcycles are smaller than cars or trucks and can be overlooked by other drivers on the road. Motorcycle riders have to be incredibly alert when riding to make up for other drivers possibly not seeing them. Proper gear should be worn at all times, including long pants, boots, a protective jacket and a helmet. The motorcyclist in this accident does not appear to have played any role in this accident, he was an innocent victim, and all of the above precautions still may not have saved his life.

Second, car and truck drivers need to always be alert when driving, paying attention to the road and those around them. It is even more important when travelling at higher speeds on a freeway or interstate. As noted above, motorcycles are smaller and may be harder to notice, especially in a rearview mirror. Any distraction may be enough to cause a driver to not see a motorcyclist, or another car driver, before it is too late. It is unknown whether the pickup truck driver in this wreck was distracted by the radio, a cellphone, or even a snack, or if distraction played no role in the accident.

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October 4, 2009

The Number of Kentucky Deaths Related to Traffic Accidents Rises

As of September 30, 2009, 586 people have died as a result of motor vehicle accidents according to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. Over 50% of those deaths involved people that were not wearing their seat belts. Almost a quarter were accidents involving alcohol and just over 10% involved motorcyclists that were riding without a helmet. This year's death toll is five more than at the same time in 2008. However, it is much lower than in 2006 and 2007.

Clicking your seatbelt, not drinking and driving, and wearing a helmet while riding your motorcycle are important steps you can take to ensure your safety on the road. Unfortunately, even despite taking these safety measures, sometimes there is nothing you can do to protect yourself against a negligent driver.

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September 9, 2009

Bullitt County, Kentucky: Auto Accident Claims Two Victims

This morning around 10:00 a.m. a five vehicle collision occurred on I-65 between the Shepherdsville and Brooks Road exit. The accident claimed the lives of a man and a woman and two others were injured and transported to the University of Louisville Hospital's trauma center.

According to WLKY, James Evans, Jr witnessed a southbound vehicle crossover into northbound lanes striking a vehicle head-on. Mr. Evans, in attempting to avoid the accident was also clipped by a semi-tractor trailer.

The accident is another in a long line of crossover accidents in this area. I-65 was shut down for an accident reconstruction of the fatal wreck.

For more information on this accident go the WLKY 32 News story.

Unfortunately, serious injuries and death are not uncommon in wrecks on Kentucky interstates. Our Personal Injury Information Center contains helpful information for those injured as the result of another driver's negligence.

It is important to know what to do if you are in an accident to best protect your rights.

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September 3, 2009

Motorcyclist Killed in Crash with a Pickup Truck

At about 4:00 p.m. on September 1, 2009, there was an accident involving a pickup truck and a motorcyclist in Henry County, Kentucky. The accident occurred when the driver of the pickup truck crossed the center line and struck an embankment in the road. The impact caused the pickup truck to flip over and spin around, hitting the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet and, sadly, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

motorcycle accident.jpgUnfortunately, while motorcyclists only make up 3% of vehicles on the road, motorcycle accidents make up approximately 11% of highway fatalities each year. For motorcyclists, the risk of serious injury or death from an accident is much greater than for a automobile driver. It is therefore crucial for motorcyclists to take all the necessary precautions to protect themselves from negligent drivers. Practicing safe driving habits, attending motorcycle training classes, and wearing a helmet are just a few ways you can lessen your chances of being involved in and injured in an accident.

Although Kentucky does not require motorcyclist to wear helmets, many states do require helmets to be worn. A helmet can save your life and prevent brain damage in the event of an accident. When buying a helmet, make sure it fits comfortably and always fasten it while you ride. It is also important to be sure that the helmet conforms to Federal standards. And remember, helmets are for passengers too!

For more safety information, please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration .