Is Kentucky a No-Fault State?
In Kentucky, the insurance implications of a car accident can be a bit confusing. One of the most common questions we get from clients is, Is Kentucky a no-fault state? The short answer is that Kentucky is a “choice” no-fault state. In this article, we will explore what that means and how it might affect you.
At Flint Cooper, we have seasoned Kentucky car accident lawyers who are available to help you navigate the legal process that follows an auto accident. Our lawyers can negotiate with the relevant insurance companies on your behalf and help ensure that your legal rights are protected. To contact our office, you can reach out to us online or by phone at 1-866-536-0722.
So What Does It Mean to Be a No-Fault State?
In a no-fault state, automobile drivers are required to carry a special type of car insurance called personal injury protection insurance, or PIP insurance. Like regular car insurance, PIP covers medical costs like hospital bills, costs of treatment, and medication costs in the event of an auto accident. It may also cover a portion of your lost wages. However, PIP insurance is different from other types of insurance because it goes into effect regardless of who was at fault in the car accident that led to the injuries.
The purpose of this type of insurance is to reduce the number of lawsuits that result from car accidents. In addition, it helps ensure that all parties are able to cover the costs of medical care in the event of an accident.
Kentucky’s No-Fault Law
Kentucky is one of the 12 states that are considered a “no-fault” state. However, unlike most of those states, Kentucky gives drivers the choice to opt out of PIP coverage. To do so, the driver must file a form with the Kentucky Department of Insurance. By opting out of PIP coverage, the driver retains their right to sue an at-fault party for damages. However, they also open themselves up to lawsuits by other drivers.
Assuming you have not opted out of PIP coverage, the minimum amount of PIP insurance that you must carry is $10,000. However, you may elect to purchase up to $50,000 in PIP coverage. You must also carry liability insurance of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
No-fault insurance in Kentucky has some important benefits, such as some protection from civil liability if you are at fault in an accident. However, this protection is not all-encompassing. An injured party may file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver if:
- Their medical expenses exceed $1,000
- They suffer disfigurement
- They break a bone
- They suffer permanent injury
If someone dies in a car accident, their loved ones can also sue the at-fault party for wrongful death damages.
How Do Kentucky’s No-Fault Rules Work?
If you suffer injury in a Kentucky car accident, you will need to file a claim first with your own PIP insurance. Your insurance will compensate you for your medical expenses and up to $200 per week in lost income. However, you won’t be able to seek compensation for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.
If your medical expenses are greater than $1,000 or you suffer another type of damage identified above, you can elect to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy. This type of claim allows you to seek all damages not covered by your PIP insurance. Your attorney can help you negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or file a lawsuit if necessary.
Kentucky No-Fault Insurance and Comparative Negligence Laws
Kentucky’s liability laws are governed by a legal theory called comparative fault. This means that if you meet the requirements to file a lawsuit after an accident, your damages may be reduced based on your percentage of fault in the accident. And the percentage of fault is usually determined by a jury. So to give you an example, if a jury determines that you were 40% at fault in an auto accident, you could receive only 60% of your total damages from the other party’s insurance. Additionally, if the other party suffered sufficient damages to file a lawsuit, they could seek 40% of their damages from your insurance company.
How Can Flint Cooper Help You?
As you can see, Kentucky’s laws surrounding auto insurance and car accidents can be a bit complex. If you choose Flint Cooper to represent you in your car accident matter, we promise to help you navigate the oftentimes complex legal system so that you can get the justice and compensation that you deserve.
Our attorneys have helped numerous clients move forward with their lives after an accident, and we are available to help you as well. In addition, because we know how expensive car accidents can be, we work on a contingent basis. This means that you do not have to pay us our legal fee until we win or settle your case for you. If we don’t recover compensation for you, then you don’t have to pay us. To schedule a free consultation, you can reach out to us online or by phone at 1-866-536-0722. There are important legal deadlines to meet in every car accident case, so please don’t hesitate to contact us today!
About the author:
Greg is a personal injury attorney at Flint Cooper, a law firm specializing in complex litigation. Greg specializes in wrongful death, semi-truck accidents, automobile collisions, maritime claims, and many other areas of personal injury. He has extensive experience litigating claims in state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies.