In this article, you will learn:
- What to do if you have been injured in a Kentucky car crash
- The importance of UM and UIM insurance
- The benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney after a crash
In Kentucky, we have no-fault insurance, so as a threshold matter, you have to incur at least $1,000 in medical expenses to have a claim. Most drivers that are insured, if they purchase liability insurance, are also purchasing no-fault insurance with that. The no-fault insurance allows you to have $10,000 in lost wages and medical expense payments regardless of fault. So, if you have an accident, and it’s your fault, your liability insurance has that $10,000 in no-fault coverage. So, the purpose of no-fault is to make sure that people can get medical treatment and lost wage reimbursement regardless of fault. If someone injures you and it’s not your fault, then that $10,000 of no-fault benefits insurance is still there to pay for your medical treatment and lost wages. The most important thing that anyone can do who has been injured in a car accident is get medical treatment.
Get medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident. Probably one of the number one defenses that will get raised against a serious injury from a car accident is that you didn’t go to the hospital or you went to the hospital but all of your X-rays were negative. Frequently, those whiplash injuries and strains can be very serious and can cause long-term permanent damage may not show up on an X-ray at the ER. So, if you’re in an accident and you’re in pain, it is so important to get medical treatment as quickly as possible.
How Being Partially At Fault For A Car Accident In Kentucky Can Impact A Personal Injury Claim
In Kentucky, we follow what’s called a comparative fault standard, which means that for anyone who is injured, it is always an issue before the jury as to percentage of fault for all of the parties involved. We apportion liability in Kentucky. If you have an accident where someone runs a stoplight and hits you, they caused the accident, it was their negligence, their inability or failure to stop at the red light, that’s what caused the damages. But you didn’t have your seatbelt on. Because you didn’t have your seatbelt on, it made your injuries 50% worse. You would have proved at the trial as to what percent of fault is related to the driver hitting you, as well as what percentage can be attributed to your inability to wear a seatbelt. It’s not a complete bar to a recovery but in Kentucky; we follow comparative fault where juries are allowed to apportion liability to all the parties involved.
How Long After A Car Accident One Has To File A Personal Injury Claim In Kentucky
In Kentucky, we have a statute of limitations that says you have two years from the date of the accident, or two years from the last no-fault payment, whichever occurs later. So, if on the day of the accident you never got medical treatment and didn’t use your no-fault coverage, you wouldn’t have a claim, because you didn’t meet the $1000 threshold. Still, for people who use their no-fault benefits, those are also called PIP benefits or basic reparations benefits; for anyone who uses those benefits, each time their insurance company pays a claim, then the statute of limitations extends another two years from the date of that payment. So actually, whatever the date of the last PIP payment is, generally you have two years from that date.
Your Chance Of Recovering Financially For Injuries If Hit By An Uninsured Or Underinsured Driver In Kentucky
If you have on your own auto insurance, if you have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, then you probably will have a claim, because in Kentucky, generally, when you buy coverage, full coverage insurance implies that you’re purchasing uninsured and underinsured coverage. In Kentucky, the way that our liability statute is written, unless you waive uninsured coverage in writing, you have it automatically when you purchase liability insurance. So, in Kentucky, uninsured coverage is written into the liability coverage unless there is a waiver in writing signed by the insured that says they waive that coverage.
It happens a lot, but people do waive coverage because they’ve seen advertisements and get the cheapest coverage that you can. But, if someone hits you and they don’t have insurance, then you’re not going to recover for your bodily injury. You may have coverage for your property damage to the vehicle, but unless you have uninsured coverage, you will not be covered for your personal injury.
Why To Hire A Personal Injury Attorney Even If The Fault Was Clear
Generally speaking, I think you’ll find that people involved in car accidents recover more money when they have an attorney. That’s a good general rule; in my opinion. When clients come talk to us, we talk to them about whether it’s in their best interest to have a lawyer, because if we thought it wasn’t in their best interest to have a lawyer, we would tell them that. Now, there are so many external factors like health insurance liens, Medicare liens, Medicaid liens that arise when someone has the right to recover money damages for injuries that they have received. So in some instances, just navigating the liens that will be asserted against the person’s recovery forces the injured person to have a lawyer.
Sometimes we spend a lot more time on not determining who is at fault or how much they owe the injured person, but trying to minimize the recovery that third parties will have against the injured for medical expenses or lost wages paid by a third party.
For more information on Filing A Personal Injury Claim In Kentucky, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (859) 681-9111 today.