If you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident in Kentucky caused by a negligent driver, you’re likely facing significant challenges like medical expenses and time away from work. Contact a Kentucky car accident lawyer today. Our lawyers at Young, Reverman & Mazzei are committed to helping accident victims pursue the financial compensation they need and deserve, to recover from their injuries and move on with their lives. Call us today at 859-261-5403 or contact us online for your free initial consultation.
Why Should I Hire a Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer?
Unless you’re really knowledgeable about your state’s personal injury laws and the legal claims process, chances are you’ll find it difficult handling the case alone. Since the claims process is quite complex and involves many vital decisions and considerations, it’s quite easy to make a mistake that ends up jeopardizing or even disqualifying your case in court, especially if you lack sufficient litigation experience.
An experienced Kentucky car accident lawyer can not only help you file your claim before the statute of limitation expires, but also help you avoid the common pitfalls with the claims process and the aggressive strategies of the defendant and the insurance companies. With our professional legal counsel, you will dramatically increase your chances of recovering the maximum compensation possible for your damages. With this in mind, it’s in your best interest to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer?
At Young, Reverman & Mazzei, we handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t be charged any fees unless we obtain a successful verdict or settlement on your behalf, a point at which we would recover our fee. In case we aren’t successful in handling your case, then you won’t have to part with any cash for our services.
How Long Do I Have to File an Accident Report or Car Accident Claim in Kentucky?
Although other states do allow for more time for filing a lawsuit, Kentucky has a rather tight deadline. You have only 10 days to file an official written accident report with the Kentucky State Police, and this is crucial if you think the damage could exceed $500 or if the car accident caused injury or death to any person. For this reason, it’s vital to act fast.
You only have a year to file a claim for personal injury and 2 years to file a claim for property damage. The clocks for these start on the date of the accident, and failing to file your lawsuit within these timelines might have the court denying your claim and prevent you from receiving any compensation.
How Will My Insurance Pay for My Kentucky Car Accident Claim?
Since Kentucky is a no-fault state, your car insurance can only pay your claims up to a specific limit. All drivers in Florence, Kentucky, are required to have basic personal injury protection coverage for all their vehicles. The drivers also need to carry bodily injury liability insurance to cover any costs that relate to damages or injuries that result from a vehicle accident. The minimum requirements for Kentucky drivers are a minimum of $25,000 for body injury per person, $10,000 for property damage, and $50,000 total for bodily injury per accident.
Under the no-fault rule, you can’t sue the other driver unless you have at least $1,000 in medical expenses, permanent disfigurement, a broken bone, permanent injury, or death. You have the option of opting out of the no-fault system by filing a form with the Department of Insurance. Keep in mind that this action will remove any limitations on your rights to file a lawsuit, but also give others the right to sue you in return.
After the accident, your insurance company will start investigating your claim. During this period, they will estimate the total amount of damages and offer you a settlement check. If you deny the claim or you feel that the amount is inadequate, you have the right to appeal. In case you fail to resolve the dispute via an appeal, you can then file a complaint with the Department of Insurance.
What Kind of Damages is a Kentucky Car Accident Victim Eligible to Recover?
Kentucky doesn’t have a maximum limit on the sum a victim can recoup in compensation for personal injury claims. The state allows you to collect money for vehicle replacement or repair, medical expenses, rental cars, lost wages, pain, and suffering, along with the loss of companionship or affection.
Kentucky applies the comparative negligence rule, which lets the driver at fault collect damages. For car accidents, fault is assigned to all of the involved parties based on percentages. For instance, if you are assigned a 90% fault in a car accident and the other driver is assigned 10%, it’s possible to sue the other driver and recover the 10% of the total damages.
What if the Crash Involved a Rideshare Driver?
Rideshare accidents can be particularly complicated as the drivers who work for rideshare companies such as Lyft and Uber are technically independent contractors, and they carry two types of insurance. Claims that involve a rideshare driver might require great legal assistance to make sure that the victims are awarded the compensation that they need and deserve to recover.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
Even if we do everything to avoid accidents, collisions can still happen. Being involved in a car crash can be quite terrifying, but you can successfully make it through a difficult time by keeping a cool head and following a basic crisis plan. This way, you can soon recover and move forward with your life.
When you’re involved in a car crash near Florence, follow the steps outlined below:
- Get yourself to a safe space. Pullover to the side of the road if you can move your car and you’re blocking traffic. Turn the hazard lights on.
- Prioritize safety and health for yourself and the people around you. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. If you’re unaware of how severe the injuries are, or if the accident was serious, call 911 regardless. The responding officer will be able to decide if it’s necessary to file a police report.
- Collect the contact information of the driver in the other car. Avoid speaking to the other driver about who was at fault for the accident. Additionally, don’t mention fault at all during this time. Keep in mind that anything you say could be used against you later.
- Take photos and videos. Smartphones are great at capturing evidence. Take photos of the accident scene including road debris and any skid marks, the other driver’s license plate, the damages your cars sustained, and any serious injuries.
- Collect the contact information of any witnesses who might be willing to speak on your behalf. While you might end up not needing a witness, having one is awfully helpful. Try to get their account on what they think happened.
- Make the necessary calls. Inform your insurer as quickly as possible about the accident. It’s also recommended to contact a personal injury lawyer at this point. Quick timing is vital when it comes to filing these kinds of lawsuits.
- Keep records of everything. You want to keep records of all the paperwork regarding the accident. Obtain a copy of the police record, along with copies of everything from medical records, prescriptions, referrals, treatment records, doctor’s notes, car insurance claims, along with records of time spent away from work. All of these can be potentially useful in court.
How is Kentucky’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Applied to a Wrongful Death Car Accident Case?
As a state, Kentucky has a no-fault coverage, which is also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which means that your insurance company will pay for your medical expenses, similar out-of-pocket costs resulting from the accident, and the lost wages, no matter who is at fault for the accident. Nonetheless, this doesn’t apply in cases where someone died.
If someone lost their lives due to another’s negligence, wrongdoing, or recklessness, the victim’s survivors might be able to sue for monetary damages by pursuing wrongful death claims. In certain situations, Kentucky uses a wrongful death statute that allows the relatives to bring a lawsuit for compensation when a loved one wrongfully loses their lives due to another person’s or entity’s negligence.
If the death was a result of recklessness or negligence, the ramifications for the responsible party can be quite severe. The person who’s deemed responsible for the death could be liable for legal action. The survivors of the deceased have the right to sue for damages such as funeral expenses, medical bills, lost income, loss of companionship, and more.
What are some of the Main Causes of Car Accidents in Kentucky?
The following are some facts obtained using 2015 data from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety:
- 1,418 collisions from 2015 were directly caused by alcohol impairment. 162 of these resulted in fatalities. Every single one of these accidents would have been avoided.
- 13% of all vehicle accidents in Kentucky in 2015 involved people who didn’t wear their seatbelts, including passengers and front-seat drivers.
When the police come to the scene of a car crash, they have the option of indicating up to three factors per driver that played a role in the crash. for the year 2015, the following are the top 10 contributing factors reported for traffic collisions in Kentucky that caused injuries and/or fatalities, along with the percentages for how each factor appeared:
- Inattention – 39.5%
- Failing to keep the automobile under control – 13.7%
- Failing to yield properly – 11.6%
- Misjudging the clearance – 7.2%
- Following too closely – 6.6%
- Being distracted – 5.4%
- Driving fast for the prevalent conditions – 4.0%
- Alcohol was involved – 3.0%
- Disregarding the traffic control – 3.0%
- Oversteering or overcorrecting – 2.6%
As you can see, most of these factors, including distraction, inattention, alcohol involvement, failing to yield properly, or following too closely are all factors that can be prevented. Simply driving cautiously, not getting distracted, wearing seat belts, paying attention to the road at all times, and following the traffic rules correctly, most of Kentucky’s car accidents could have been avoided in 2015. The same thing can be said every day and every year. Before you get behind the wheel, remind yourself to take all the proper precautions to avoid being involved in a dangerous car crash.
Should I Speak Directly to an Insurance Adjuster?
In general, all insurance adjusters have the interests of their respective insurance companies in mind, not yours. In fact, they’re specially trained to minimize the settlement amount they pay out and preserve their profits. Don’t accept a settlement amount from them without consulting your lawyer. It’s highly likely that any offer they’ll make will be unfair.
Don’t forget that you aren’t obliged to speak to the insurance adjusters on the defendant’s side. They will most likely try to get in touch with you not long after the accident, to take advantage while you’re still in shock and vulnerable. Anything you tell them will be recorded, and it can be used to refute or reduce your settlement. It’s advisable to consult your Kentucky car accident lawyer before you answer any questions or sign any documents from them.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover in a Car Accident Case?
You have the right to seek compensation for any related vehicle repairs from the defendant’s insurer. You can choose the repair shop along with the parts to be used for the repair. The insurance company of the party at fault will most likely assess the repair costs, and you should do the same. Many auto accidents will give you a free estimate free of charge. In case the costs to repair are more than your vehicle’s value right before the accident, then you can recover the value of your car pre-accident along with the fees and sales taxes associated with the purchase of a similar vehicle.
The compensation that you will receive will depend on the circumstances of your accident, as well as how proficiently you and your Kentucky car accident lawyer handle the claims process. Experienced lawyers will give you the best chances of getting a full and fair compensation amount. You can potentially recover damages like medical expenses, scarring, and disfigurement, lost wages, pain, and suffering, reduced earning capacity, and more. Kentucky does not impose a cap on economic or non-economic damages, unlike tort reform states, which means that you can recover as much as it was justifiable.
Skilled Legal Representation for Your Kentucky Car Accident Claim
Having an experienced Kentucky car accident lawyer by your side is one of the key decisions that you can make if you’ve suffered serious injuries in a car crash. Young, Reverman & Mazzei was founded in 1972 and has amassed an extensive record of success in personal injury cases, including those associated with motor vehicle accident. Our team of lawyers always strive to recover the maximum compensation possible for personal injury victims as quickly as possible. We also have the expertise and resources to take your claim to court if the settlement offers won’t cut it.
We provide all our clients with free, no-obligation consultations, which helps you understand your available legal actions before filing a lawsuit. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we won’t get paid unless we are successful at resolving your claim. Get in touch with us at 859-261-5403 or leave us a message online to see how we can help you.