The Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents in Kentucky

In terms of a quick answer, the statute of limitations for victims or their survivors of motorcycle accidents in Kentucky may be one year, two years, or up to four years, depending upon factors such as if they received any compensation for the accident, which the party is making a claim, and when the party was able to discern they were harmed. 

What Does Statute of Limitations Mean?

The statute of limitations is a very important legal concept, both for civil and criminal cases. The statute of limitations is the time frame within which a legal claim of wrongdoing can be brought against a defendant in a criminal or civil case. Statute of limitations windows begin and end at strict time frames. 

If you are in a motorcycle accident and have a claim against someone else for your injuries and property damage, there is a limit to how long you have to file the case. If you are too late to file your claim, you are barred by law from filing a claim against the person.

Depending upon what has already transpired, the time frame for the statute of limitations may not begin to “toll” from the date of the accident. It may start from the time you last received a payment from the insurance agency responsible for the claim. 

Kentucky Statute of Limitations

There is a specific time limit you must abide by to pursue legal action for your case. While there is a general rule, exceptions may apply.

Two Years is Standard

Specifically, Kentucky law states that the injured party or their survivors have two years from the time of the accident date to file a legal claim for damages to their property and for personal injury in the state. 

Sadly, if you do not file a claim within that window, you are legally barred from ever filing such a claim again. This is why it is important not to wait to consult a motorcycle accident lawyer in Lexington or nearby as soon as possible. Your lawyer needs time to research and develop your case. 

One Year for Survivors to File

If you are a surviving family member of someone who was killed in a motorcycle accident, you only have one year to file a legal claim against the defendant. 

Insurance Payments Change Statute of Limitations Timelines

Kentucky is a no-fault insurance state. According to the Kentucky state government, this means that every car driver in the state must purchase PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, coverage. When they are in an accident, they must first file a claim with their insurance company. Their insurer will recompense their claims up to certain thresholds, such as monetary thresholds and thresholds that pertain to the types of injuries, such as broken bones. 

Plaintiffs can only file claims against those that they feel injured them or killed their loved ones in Kentucky when the claims of injury and/or monetary value exceed the thresholds set by law. Also, motorcyclists do not have to purchase PIP. They can waive it. If they do, they and their passengers on the motorcycle will not be able to receive the first $10,000 in PIP benefits if they are injured in a crash. 

Some changes to the Kentucky statute of limitations when PIP and insurance considerations are involved: 

  • If you received PIP compensation from your insurer, you have two years from the date of the last PIP payment to file a claim against a defendant. 
  • If you waived the PIP coverage, you only have one year from the date of the accident to file a claim against the defendant. 

Rare Cases Where Up to Four Years May Be Permitted

As you can see in the text of the law, there may be wiggle room of up to four years from the date of the accident in the case that the injured or the person’s survivors are unaware that the accident is the cause of their injuries. 

Specific situations that may warrant a longer statute of limitations period include: 

  •  The case of someone who went into a coma from their injuries. 
  •  A case in which the defendant flees and is not identifiable
  •  A case in which the injured has not yet turned 18 years of age. The courts usually allow the plaintiff to reach 18 years of age before the statute of limitations begins to toll its two years. 

The main thing is not to wait too long to take steps to file a claim when you are injured or your motorcycle is damaged due to the wrongdoing of another motorist. 

Leland D. Bengtson

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As a journalist, Leland D. Bengtson dedicated most of his career to law reporting. His greatest satisfaction is to convey legal matters to the public in a language that they can understand. He is active on various platforms and media outlets, writing about common legal issues that people confront with every day. While medical malpractice is his strong suit, Leland covers plenty of other topics, including personal injury cases, family law, and other civil and even criminal legal matters.


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