Common Misconceptions About Kentucky Car Accident Claims
You’ve been in a car accident in Kentucky, and you aren’t sure what you should do next. All you know is that you are injured, tired, and sore. You are missing work. Your medical bills are piling up.
Friends, family, coworkers, and total strangers may be giving you advice that, while well-meaning, is far from accurate. The information volunteered is only making you more confused and anxious. You can ease your worries and find solutions by talking to personal injury attorneys Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter.
Slechter Law Firm, PLLC helps car accident victims, just like you, navigate the process of filing a personal injury claim. They serve clients in Louisville and throughout Kentucky, including Lexington.
Kentucky Car Accident Claims: Common Misconceptions
To help begin lowering your stress levels, read on to learn the truth about these common misconceptions about car accident claims in Kentucky:
The at-fault driver’s insurance always pays for injuries and damages.
Although this may be true in some states, Kentucky is a no-fault state for car accidents. Generally, your insurance coverage will pay for your injuries and damages if coverage limits are sufficient. The personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in your auto insurance will compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, costs for hiring people to clean your house or for transportation when you can’t drive, and other damages.
Since Kentucky is a no-fault insurance state, I can’t file a claim against the at-fault driver.
You can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage if you opted out of no-fault insurance in writing. That is because Kentucky is a “choice” at-fault insurance state.
You can also pursue compensation from the at-fault driver if your medical expenses exceed $1,000, or if the car accident caused permanent disfigurement, permanent injury, or permanent loss of a body function, the fracture of a weight-bearing bone, or a displaced, compressed, or compound bone fracture.
You can still take advantage of your PIP benefits, but you can also file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
If the accident was minor, there’s no need to file a police report.
Is it necessary to report the accident? Any Kentucky car accident that injures someone or causes property damage in excess of $500 must be reported. Law enforcement and emergency responders will be dispatched to the scene when someone calls 911. The appropriate law enforcement agency will investigate the incident and file a crash report. Among other things, the report will help establish who is to blame for the car accident.
There are penalties and fines for not reporting a collision that fits the criteria. Moreover, there must be a crash report to file a claim against your PIP coverage or to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage.
The accident was partially my fault, so I can’t file a personal injury claim.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident? That is a common question, but contrary to popular belief, you can still recover compensation.
Kentucky observes the doctrine of pure comparative fault. What that means is that even though someone is partially at fault for a car accident, they can recover damages from another driver who bears fault. In fact, you can be more at fault than the other driver and still pursue a claim, although because that driver will likely pursue one against you, you will generally only file a claim if you are less at fault than they are.
Any financial recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault assessed to you. For the sake of example, let’s say you are 30% at fault and the other driver is 70% at fault for the crash that injured you. If your damages are valued at $50,000, your recovery would be reduced to $35,000. The reduction represents your 30% fault.
I don’t need to hire a car accident attorney to file a personal injury claim.
It is true that you do not need to hire a car accident attorney to file a personal injury claim, but it is usually not a wise decision to pursue a claim without one.
Experienced personal injury attorneys, like Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter, know how to fully investigate the crash, which is critical to assignment of liability. They know how to document your injuries and damages and value them fairly. They know how to negotiate with insurance companies who will go to extremes to avoid paying injury victims what they deserve. If your claim cannot be settled, they know how to build your case and present it in court.
Understand Your Options After Kentucky Car Accident
If you want to fully understand the options you have to pursue compensation following a car accident, you need to work with the facts. Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter work directly with their clients, offering the expertise of a large personal injury law firm with personal representation.
Get the facts. Call Slechter Law Firm, PLLC in Louisville, Kentucky, today to schedule a free case consultation.