Kentucky Car Accident Laws: The Basics
Car accidents are unfortunate incidents that can lead to severe physical, emotional, and financial distress. Drivers need to maintain a solid understanding of Kentucky car accident laws, which can help them navigate the aftermath of such an event. In this post, we’ll look at various aspects of Kentucky car insurance laws, including no-fault coverage, negligence-based claims, and legal deadlines. We’ll also discuss how an experienced car accident attorney can guide victims through this challenging process. Armed with this information, accident victims can take effective steps toward recovery and justice.
Accident Reporting in Kentucky
Kentucky has specific laws regarding reporting car accidents. According to these regulations, drivers must report an accident if it results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500. That means involved parties must document nearly all minor or major accidents. The reporting process involves filing a written accident report with the Kentucky State Police within ten days of the incident. This strict timeline emphasizes the importance of acting promptly following a car accident.
Is Kentucky a No-Fault State?
Navigating insurance claims after a car accident can be complicated, particularly in Kentucky, which operates under no-fault laws. After an accident, individuals seek compensation for their injuries and damages from their personal insurance carrier, regardless of who caused the accident.
Every driver in Kentucky is required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This insurance coverage is designed to pay for medical costs and other out-of-pocket losses incurred by the insured driver or passengers, regardless of fault. Additional mandatory coverage includes:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person per accident,
- $50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident, and
- $10,000 property damage liability.
The ability to sue is limited under KY car accident laws and the no-fault system. Examples of qualifying cases involve significant medical expenses, broken bones, permanent disfigurement, permanent injury, or death. However, drivers can opt out of the no-fault system by filing a written declaration with the state Department of Insurance.
Understanding Damages and Claims in Kentucky Car Accidents
The aftermath of a car accident often entails substantial financial strain due to medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. However, Kentucky law provides various types of compensation, or damages, that victims can claim in the wake of an accident. Potential compensation in an accident claim can include the following:
- Vehicle repair or replacement,
- Rental car reimbursement,
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Disfigurement, and
- Mental anguish.
Determining and proving the value of these damages can be a complex process, which is where an experienced Kentucky car accident attorney can provide invaluable assistance. A seasoned attorney can help victims correctly calculate their total expenses, gather necessary evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and ultimately try the case in court.
Kentucky’s Comparative Negligence Rule
In applicable car accident cases, Kentucky operates under a pure comparative negligence rule. This rule acknowledges that multiple parties may share fault in an accident. Each driver involved may be assigned a percentage of responsibility. Any compensation awarded is adjusted based on this percentage. For instance, if a jury finds the defendant to be 80% at fault for the accident, the victim will receive 80% of their damages. The reduction of 20% represents the percentage of fault the plaintiff has.
This rule underscores the need for thorough investigation and evidence gathering to establish fault accurately. Insurance companies will do anything possible to put as much blame on the victim as possible to reduce or eliminate their payout.
Kentucky Auto Accident Statute of Limitations
Understanding the legal timelines involved in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is crucial. The statute of limitations for a Kentucky car accident is typically two years from the day the accident occurs. That means accident victims only have two years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries and damages caused by the accident. This deadline may differ in some instances, such as cases where PIP benefits are paid. An experienced car accident lawyer can help guide victims through this process, ensuring they file the necessary reports and documents promptly to preserve their rights.
The Role of a Car Accident Attorney in Kentucky
While hiring an attorney for a Kentucky car accident claim is not always required, having legal representation can be beneficial, especially in scenarios involving significant injuries or complex negotiations with insurance companies. An experienced Kentucky car accident attorney will have the resources and knowledge to conduct a comprehensive investigation and build a strong case for trial.
The skilled attorneys at Flint Cooper understand the complexities of Kentucky car accident laws. They will work diligently to protect your rights. Some firms will push to settle pre-litigation, but Flint Cooper is fearless when it comes to taking a case to trial. Contact us today for a free consultation. We will help guide you through the intricate legal landscape of Kentucky car accident law.
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.