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How to Prepare for a Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer Consultation

Injured employee visiting lawyer for advice on insurance. questions to ask a car accident attorney

When preparing to consult a Kentucky car accident lawyer, it’s important to know your legal rights, collect sufficient evidence to support a case, and prepare a list of relevant questions to ask a car accident attorney.

To schedule a free consultation with a Kentucky car accident lawyer to discuss a case, call Young, Reverman & Bolotin at 513-400-0000.

Understanding Your Legal Rights

Car accidents frequently occur in Kentucky, many of which result in injuries and fatalities. According to a 2022 collision report from the Kentucky Transportation Center, the state observed thousands of accidents that year, resulting in 29,451 injuries and 762 fatalities.

In cases involving negligence, many victims or their loved ones are able to file car accident claims or lawsuits seeking financial compensation from liable parties. Kentucky is a no-fault state, meaning in most cases, drivers’ personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage will cover the damages regardless of who was at fault. However, some drivers may opt out of this coverage due to Kentucky’s “choice no-fault” status, and you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against liable parties if you or a loved one sustained serious or fatal injuries.

If you have the grounds for a car accident claim or lawsuit outside no-fault insurance, get help from a car accident lawyer who can handle your case and help you recover total compensation.

The Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Kentucky

Although you may have the right to sue for a car accident in Kentucky, these cases, like other civil suits, have a statute of limitations. This statute gives accident victims a limited amount of time to file a claim or lawsuit against liable drivers or other parties.

So, what is the statute of limitations for car accident claims? In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for car accidents is two years from the date of the injury, a victim’s death, or the last no-fault insurance payment that victims received. This limit means if you fail to file before two years have passed, you may be unable to recover compensation. On the other hand, there are exceptions to the statute that may apply to your case, which an attorney can help you confirm.

Gathering Evidence

Before consulting an attorney to discuss a car accident case, you should gather as much evidence as you can to present in your consultation.

There are many pieces of evidence to use in these cases, including:

  • Medical records, receipts, and bills, including those for emergency and ongoing care
  • Police reports, which motorists will need to generate by calling the police if an accident results in injuries or over a certain dollar amount of property damage
  • Photos or video footage of the accident scene and injuries
  • Receipts for property repairs or replacements
  • Witness statements from those who were present at the accident scene
  • Proof of lost income

These and other forms of evidence could help prove that another party was liable for your accident. An attorney can organize this evidence into a supported claim or lawsuit.

If you’re unable to obtain evidence at any point, an attorney may help you by contacting doctors, police departments, or other resources to help collect it.

Preparing Questions for the Lawyer

With the aforementioned aspects in mind, the next step is to prepare questions for a consultation with an attorney. The following are some key questions to ask car accident attorneys:

Do You Have a Focus on Car Accident Cases?

One of the main questions you may want to ask is what kind of experience the attorney has with car accident cases. You’ll need to find a lawyer who has a track record of successful car accident claims or lawsuits, which can show how skilled the attorney is. The attorney should be willing to discuss prior experience with car accidents and success stories, especially involving cases similar to yours.

You could also check the attorney’s website for testimonials or other websites for reviews that can give you a better sense of whether the attorney is a good fit for your case.

Do I Need an Attorney to Handle My Case?

You might also want to know how to settle a car accident claim without a lawyer, which might be possible if the attorney decides not to handle your case. Ask whether your case warrants representation, and find out if it might be possible to settle a claim on your own.

However, cases involving large sums of compensation and serious injuries will generally need the help of an attorney, as insurance companies and defending attorneys will work harder in these instances to refute your claim or lawsuit.

Even if the attorney you consult with ultimately turns down your case, he or she may refer you to another attorney who might be a better fit.

How Much Will My Case Be Worth?

You’ll also want to learn how much compensation you could recover for your case. While the attorney may not be able to give you a definitive answer during an initial consultation, he or she could give you a better idea of the final settlement amount based on the details of your case or similar cases.

Another question you can ask is, “How are car accident settlements calculated?” To help you better understand this process, it’s important to consider the main types of compensation these cases may involve.

Car accident claims may result in settlements for the following types of compensation:

  • Economic Damages: These are damages that account for the financial losses resulting from an accident, including medical bills, lost income, property damage, and accommodations for disabilities.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These damages depend on the level of personal suffering that victims experience following an accident, including physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and trauma.
  • Punitive Damages: Another type of damage you may recover is punitive, but car accident cases rarely involve them. Courts may award these in a trial setting if a defendant’s behavior is grossly negligent or malicious in nature, making an example of the defendant in the process.

While non-economic damages are harder to quantify than economic damages, your attorney could use a certain formula to calculate them and add them to your total settlement.

If you wish to file a wrongful death suit, you may also be able to recover additional economic and non-economic damages, such as the costs of funerals or burials and loss of consortium or companionship resulting from the victim’s death.

In addition to the types and extent of the damages involved, other factors that might influence the outcome of your case include the severity of your injuries, the development of disabilities, the availability of insurance coverage, and the degree of liability.

How Much Will It Cost to Hire You?

Also, ask about the total cost of hiring the attorney. The majority of car accident lawyers charge a contingency fee, meaning that they’ll only charge clients if and when they reach a settlement. This fee would take a portion of your settlement to cover the costs of legal services.

However, this payment model also means that most attorneys will want to ensure clients have a viable case before representing them, as they rely on clients’ successes to earn payment for their services.

A good lawyer will detail the kinds of costs you can expect, including a contingency fee or flat rate and any extra costs that might come up, such as those to cover the costs of hiring expert witnesses or acquiring other forms of evidence.

What Trial Experience Do You Have?

While most car accident cases settle during the claims process or otherwise before going to trial, you may need to take your case to court if you’re unable to settle initially. The attorney you speak with should be able to detail trial experience and help determine the likelihood that your case will go to trial. A dependable trial attorney will have ample experience in the court setting.

When Should I Seek Treatment for Injuries?

At the time of the consultation, you might still need to receive medical care to identify and diagnose existing injuries. In every accident case, it’s critical to seek immediate medical attention, even if injuries appear minor. Doing so will put you on the path to treatment and help prove that the accident caused your injuries.

Knowing the Questions to Ask Car Accident Attorneys

With the right questions and other means of preparation ahead of a car accident attorney consultation, you can facilitate a more successful experience, and the attorney can more easily determine whether he or she can represent you.

Contact us at Young, Reverman & Bolotin to consult one of our experienced Kentucky car accident attorneys today.

Jay A. Bolotin is a partner at the injury law firm of Young, Reverman & Bolotin. Serving the people of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, Jay dedicates his career to helping clients in the tri-state area obtain financial compensation after suffering serious injuries. He focuses his practice on cases involving car accidents, trucking accidents, dog bites and animal attacks, and other types of personal injury incidents.

Years of Experience: More than 25 years
Registration Status:: Active
Bar Admissions: Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Cincinati Bar Association