Personal Injury FAQs
Although most people are aware they can file a personal injury claim if they’ve been hurt in an accident, most of them don’t know how to begin the process, how long it takes, or even what the law specifically says. If you have been injured in an accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed by medical bills piling up, losing income from not being able to work, mounting property damage expenses, or working through the stress and trauma of recovery.
While working with a qualified personal injury attorney can help significantly in these cases, you should also educate yourself about the basics. After your research, if you’re left with more questions and would like to speak with a lawyer, reach out to Slechter Law Firm, PLLC, serving clients in Louisville and throughout the state, including Lexington.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Kentucky
The first question you should be able to answer is, “Is Kentucky a fault state?” because this will directly impact your next steps. States determine their own laws regarding insurance claims and are either “no-fault” or “at-fault” states. Kentucky is a no-fault state, meaning after an accident, both parties must first file a claim under their own insurance policy regardless of who was responsible for the accident occurring. Only after this first claim has been made and paid out can you then pursue additional compensation with the at-fault driver either through an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injuries
What should I do after an accident?
The single most important thing you can do after an accident is make sure you are safe and that you get the medical care you need. Not only is your health and safety the number one concern, but you’ll also want to start compiling documentation right away including medical bills, doctor diagnoses, and any instructions or recommendations for follow-up care. This documentation can be vital for your personal injury case.
What if I was partially at fault?
You can still seek damages from the other party even if you were partially to blame for the accident. This is due to the state’s pure comparative negligence law which says that fault can be shared in an accident. However, your final settlement will be affected by this. For example, if you were in a car accident and a judge determined that you were 30% liable for the crash, your total payout would be reduced by 30%. So, if the settlement was for $10,000, you would only receive $7,000.
I don't feel hurt. Should I still see a doctor?
It is always in your best interest to see a doctor, especially if you’ve been involved in a car wreck. Injuries sustained from collisions like this can take several days to show up and it’s not uncommon for victims to feel fine directly after the crash, only to wake up days later with back or neck pain indicating a whiplash injury. Only a doctor has the expertise to thoroughly evaluate your condition. Additionally, if you wait too long to see a doctor, it’s possible that an insurance adjuster will view this in a negative light and conclude that you weren’t actually hurt.
Should I talk with the insurance adjuster?
You may talk to the insurance adjuster, but you should be very careful what you say. It’s okay to give them basic information about you and the accident (ie. where it happened, who was involved, or what time of day), but you should never try to take or place blame or describe why it happened. You should also never agree to give a statement until you’ve spoken with your attorney.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Kentucky is only one year. This can pass by very quickly, especially given that you’ll first have to file a claim with your own insurance provider, and only then can you pursue a claim with the other party. This process can take months and if you’re not prepared and organized, you could miss your filing deadline and forgo your chance of receiving compensation.
Do I need to hire a personal injury attorney?
There’s no state law saying you must work with an attorney to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, the vast majority of accident victims find they get a higher final settlement when working with a lawyer. Furthermore, you’ll have someone you can turn to with any questions and someone who will help you gather evidence, investigate the incident, and negotiate on your behalf.
Speak With an Experienced Attorney
If you’re anywhere in the Lexington or Louisville, Kentucky area and would like to explore your options for filing a personal injury claim, reach out to the team at Slechter Law Firm, PLLC.