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Pedestrian Hit By Motorcycle: Who Is At Fault?

Pedestrian hit by motorcycle

Being struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian can possibly lead to devastating injuries and turn your life upside down in an instant. When that vehicle is a motorcycle, the situation can be even more catastrophic due to the speed of the bike and lack of protection. If you or a loved one has been involved in such a crash, one of the first questions you may ask is: who is at fault – the pedestrian or the biker?

Determining fault in these crashes is crucial, as it can impact your ability to recover money for injuries, damages, and suffering. While involved motorists are often blamed for pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian can also be found partially or fully at fault in certain circumstances under Kentucky law.

This blog post will explore the key factors that help officials determine fault when a pedestrian is hit or killed by a motorcycle, the role of right-of-way laws, the responsibility of the police, the potential liabilities and blame of all parties involved, including motorcyclists, and the steps you should possibly take if you are a victim of such an incident.

Right-of-Way and Pedestrian Laws in Kentucky

pedestrian accident lawyer

Every state has laws that govern the right of way on the roads for both motorists and pedestrians.

In Kentucky, drivers, including motorcyclists, must follow specific rules when encountering pedestrians:

  • They must yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections.
  • They cannot pass vehicles that have stopped for pedestrians crossing.
  • They must yield to pedestrians crossing the road when there are no signals or crosswalks.
  • They should exercise caution to avoid hitting pedestrians and sound their horn.
  • They must yield to any pedestrian on a sidewalk.

Violating any of these laws can lead to the motorcycle driver being deemed at fault if they strike a pedestrian. However, pedestrians also have a duty to follow certain rules to avoid being hit, such as not entering the roadway outside of a crosswalk or intersection, which could result in them being considered partially responsible by police for the crashes.

Factors That Determine Fault

In a pedestrian-motorcycle crash, several factors are considered when determining fault:

1. Location of the motorcycle accident: Where did the collision occur? This scene can significantly impact who had the right of way.

2. Eyewitness accounts: Statements from bystanders who saw the motorcycle incident can provide valuable insight into what happened and who may have been negligent.

3. Physical evidence: Skid marks on the roadway, debris patterns, and damage to the motorcycle or the pedestrian’s belongings can help reconstruct the events leading up to the crash.

4. Traffic signals and signage: Did the pedestrian or biker disobey signals or posted signs for speed? This can indicate who may have been jaywalking and failed to follow the rules of the road.

5. Impairment: If either party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the scene, it could be seen as negligence and factor into fault determination.

6. Distraction: If the biker was distracted by a phone, music, or other elements, they may be considered at fault for failing to maintain focus.

7. Visibility: Poor lighting, bad weather, or obstructed sight lines could impact who could see and react to the other party.

Potential Liabilities

In a pedestrian-motorcycle crash, several parties could potentially be held liable:

  • The motorcyclist: If the biker involved violated traffic laws, was speeding, or operating their motorcycle negligently, they may be found at fault.
  • The pedestrian: If the pedestrian jaywalked, disobeyed traffic signals, or acted carelessly, they could share some or all of the blame.
  • The vehicle manufacturer: If a defective part on the motorcycle contributed to the crash, the manufacturer may be liable.
  • The government: If poor road design, lack of signage, or inadequate maintenance played a role, a government entity could be held accountable.

Kentucky is a “comparative negligence” state. This means that even if the pedestrian is found partially at fault, they may still be able to recover compensation, but the amount would be reduced by their percentage of fault.

For example, if a pedestrian is deemed 20% responsible for the crash and the biker is found 80% at fault, the pedestrian could still pursue a claim but would only receive 80% of the total damages awarded.

Steps to Take After a Pedestrian-Motorcycle Accident

If you or someone you know is struck by a motorcycle or other vehicle while walking or crossing an intersection, take the following steps:

motorcycle crash call 911

1. Call first responders: Immediately after being hit, contact 911 for assistance and to report the accident to police officers.

2. Seek medical attention: Even if injuries seem minor, get evaluated by medical professionals as some injuries may not be immediately apparent to a victim after a motorcycle striking them. You may need to be transported to the hospital for treatment.

3. Document the scene: If possible, take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles, any debris, and visible injuries. These can serve as valuable evidence for the investigation later.

4. Gather information: Obtain the name, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle details of the biker involved, as well as the contact information of any witnesses. Be sure to obtain an official police report from officers on the scene.

5. Avoid discussing fault: Do not admit fault or make any statements such as admitting to jaywalking to the police about the accident that could be used against you later.

6. Contact an attorney: Reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney, day or night, who can advise you as a victim, investigate the accident, speak with police officers, and ensure you receive the funds you deserve for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages after being hit by a bike or if a loved one was killed.

By taking these steps, you can protect your legal rights and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for a bike hitting you, such as for medical bills if you were transported to the hospital, if the motorcyclist who hit you is found to be at fault or if you are determined to be only partially responsible for the accident.

Experienced Legal Representation for Motorcycle Striking Pedestrian Accidents

pedestrian hit by motorcycle

Pedestrian-motorcycle accidents can be complex, with multiple parties involved or potentially liable and various factors influencing fault determination. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.

At McCoy & Sparks, our team has extensive experience investigating pedestrian accident cases involving motorcycles. We understand the nuances of Kentucky’s right-of-way laws, comparative negligence rules, and the various types of evidence needed to build a strong case when you’ve been injured.

Our attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation, gather all necessary information, and fight tirelessly day or night to ensure you receive the damages you deserve for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by being struck by a motorcycle while walking, don’t hesitate to contact us at 844-459-9467 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our legal team will review your case, explain your options, and provide the compassionate and aggressive representation you need day or night during this challenging time.

Don’t let the complex legal system, stories on the news, or insurance companies take advantage of you. Don’t risk going through the investigation process of these cases alone. Trust McCoy & Sparks to be your advocate and pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.