Most states operate on a fault system when it comes to car accident claims, meaning the driver who causes the crash is liable for any injuries s/he causes. Kentucky, however, is one of only a dozen states that instead rely on a no-fault system.
In Kentucky car accidents, it does not matter who caused the crash. You each file a claim with your own auto insurance provider. You can only file a claim against the at-fault driver if you suffer injuries that meet or exceed the threshold defined by Kentucky law.
Even though the no-fault system should simplify recovering compensation, this is rarely the case. If you have questions about navigating the claims process after a Louisville car accident, the Powell Law Firm, PLLC can help. Call our office today at 502-242-7000 to schedule a free consultation.
How does Kentucky’s no-fault system work?
Kentucky’s no-fault system allows motorists to choose between:
- Carrying no-fault insurance and waiving their right to third-party compensation; and
- Retaining the right to third-party compensation, but also opening themselves up to the possibility of a lawsuit
The no-fault system means that you have at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits to cover your injuries after an accident. (This is true regardless of whether you waive or retain the right to sue.)
The headaches arise, however, when you suffer serious injuries that exceed the limit of this type of policy. Now, if you opted for traditional coverage (retaining the right to sue), you can file suit against the driver with no restrictions at this point.
If you did not opt out of the no-fault system, you must meet Kentucky’s threshold. To do so, you must:
- Have more than $1,000 in accident-related medical bills;
- Suffer from a serious break in a bone or a fracture of a weight-bearing bone;
- Have permanent disfigurement stemming from the accident; or
- Have permanent loss of a limb or body function
It is also important to note that PIP policies only cover personal injuries. This means that you will not be able to repair or replace your vehicle or any of its damaged contents unless you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
How do I begin the process of filing against the other driver?
If you find that you need to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver after a Louisville car accident, you may want to call a qualified car accident attorney to discuss the merits and estimated value of your case.
Under Kentucky law, all motorists must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance in case they cause an accident where someone suffers serious injuries. This means the at-fault driver in your crash should have at least:
- $25,000 per person for medical care and other accident-related costs
- $50,000 total per accident for third-party medical care and other accident-related costs
- $10,000 for property damage
By filing a claim based on this policy, you can collect compensation for a wide variety of damages. Often, this includes losses and damages such as:
- The cost of medical care
- Ongoing care costs
- Losses associated with missed work
- Property damage
- Emotional damages, including pain and suffering
- Other out-of-pocket costs related to the accident
How can a lawyer help me after a Louisville car accident?
On the surface, most car accident claims seem simple. Even many that require third-party claims do not seem overly complex. However, any time you are taking on an insurance company you can count on things not going exactly as planned.
Establishing liability in many car accident cases is more difficult than it originally seems, and insurance companies often use tactics to blame some or all of the crash injuries on the victim.
In most cases, the insurance company will actually use your own words against you. This is problematic because you do not even need to admit fault; even saying something like, “I’m sorry this happened” or “I’m OK” can be misconstrued to mean that you are sorry for causing the accident or that you did not sustain injuries.
Having a skillful lawyer in your corner makes the process go much smoother. Your lawyer can handle all communication with the insurance company, reducing the risk that you fall into one of their traps. He can also help you build a strong case to prove liability, and collect all of the evidence necessary to maximize your payout by demonstrating the severity of your injuries.
Call the Powell Law Firm, PLLC for Help After a Car Accident
The Powell Law Firm, PLLC understands the ways the insurance companies try to take advantage of crash victims. We can protect you from this type of behavior while also ensuring you have all of the necessary evidence to receive the full amount due to you.
To learn more about how we can help you recover from your Louisville car accident, call our office today at 502-242-7000.