The answer is yes, Kentucky is a no-fault state, meaning that Kentucky’s auto insurance laws require owners of cars and trucks registered in the Commonwealth to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto coverage, which is commonly known as no-fault insurance. The PIP policy in Kentucky pays for medical expenses, lost wages and out-of-pocket costs of those who are injured in an accident, no matter who is at fault in the car accident.
No-fault insurance is intended to stop smaller injury claims from going to court and to keep auto insurance rates low. While Kentucky requires no-fault insurance, it does not prohibit all car accident lawsuits.
After a car accident, an injured driver files a claim under his or her own PIP policy. Injured passengers file claims under the policy for the car they were in, as well.
A basic PIP policy in Kentucky pays up to $10,000 for medical expenses per person, plus lost wages and survivor’s benefits if someone is killed in a motor vehicle accident. Drivers can purchase PIP policies with higher coverage limits.
A car accident victim with a basic PIP policy is likely to find that $10,000 does not cover the full costs of a serious injury.
After an accident involving serious injuries, it is important to contact an experienced Kentucky car accident attorney to educate yourself about your legal options. Our car accident lawyers at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, PLLC can review the details of your accident at no charge and explain your legal options and how we can assist you. If your insurer refuses to make a proper payout or your expenses exceed your PIP coverage, we can seek full compensation for you.
How Does a Car Accident Claim Work in Kentucky?
Under Kentucky’s “no-fault” system, a car accident victim can claim insurance compensation without having to prove the other driver was at fault for the accident. A policyholder makes a claim against his or her own policy. In theory, the insurer pays the claim up to coverage limits, and all or most of the policyholder’s bills are covered.
However, when a car accident victim’s losses exceed the limits of the PIP coverage, the injured person may need to consider other options. You may need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance.
A Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer car accident attorney can investigate your accident and identify all the insurance policies that may provide compensation for your injuries. We will negotiate aggressively with the insurance companies for full compensation for you and determine whether a personal injury lawsuit is in order.
Kentucky Car Accident Personal Injury Lawsuits
Kentucky law allows accident victims to file a personal injury lawsuit when they have suffered significant losses from injuries in a car accident that someone else has caused. A person injured in a Kentucky car accident can sue an at-fault driver for compensation if certain “thresholds” are met in the accident. They include:
- Medical expenses that exceed than $1,000
- Suffering a broken bone
- Sustaining permanent injury
- Death of a family member.
Under these requirements, many Kentucky residents injured in car accidents have the option of seeking compensation from the at-fault driver. Broken bones are common in car accidents, and the bills for emergency room treatment can easily surpass $1,000.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Kentucky that someone else caused, you may find yourself seeking compensation from your insurer and from the at-fault driver.
How Does Liability Works for Car Accidents in Kentucky?
Kentucky law requires all motor vehicle owners in the state to maintain liability insurance for each vehicle with coverage of at least:
- $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage, and
- $10,000 per accident property damage coverage, or
- $60,000 combined liability coverage.
Liability insurance pays when the policyholder is at fault. Kentucky car owners also must carry uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident, which is applied to cases involving uninsured motorists and unidentified hit-and-run drivers.
Additionally, car owners may reject PIP coverage by filing a Kentucky No-Fault Rejection Form with the KY Department of Insurance. This means the individual would not be covered if injured in an accident but would not be barred from seeking compensation from an at-fault driver, regardless of the value of their loss.
‘Comparative Fault’ and Kentucky Car Accidents
Under Kentucky’s “pure comparative fault” system, any compensation awarded in an injury claim is divided among all parties, according to their proportionate shares of fault for the accident.
For example, you may have been hit and injured by a driver who ran a red light. That’s negligence that puts them at fault for the accident. But evidence shows that you were speeding. The other driver’s lawyer might argue that your excessive speed compounded the severity of your injuries and that, had you not been speeding, you would not have been in the intersection where their client ran the red light.
If the jury hearing the case decided to award damages for injuries in the accident, the jury would then have to determine what proportion of blame to assign to each party in the case. If the jury awarded $100,000 in damages and found that you were 30 percent at fault, then the amount of compensation you would be entitled to receive would be $70,000.
Contact Our Trusted Lexington Car Accident Lawyers Today
Kentucky rules that limit car accident injury claims can make it complicated for an injured person to obtain full compensation. That’s why we urge you to consult a knowledgeable attorney after a car accident to understand your legal rights.
Contact Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, PLLC as soon as possible after an accident to set up a free legal consultation. Our attorneys have the courage to stand up to big insurance companies and demand full compensation. Working with an experienced Kentucky car accident lawyer from the start of your medical recovery and the insurance claim process is the best way to ensure you obtain a just settlement. Call us or fill a contact form online now to have Kentucky Courage™ on your side.