Once you have received treatment for the injuries you suffered in a car crash, your mind may turn to how you will pay the medical bills and other expenses created by the accident. Even if you are fortunate enough to look forward to a full recovery, your financial future can still be clouded by the significant medical debt that often accompanies a bad car accident.
In Kentucky, the state’s Motor Vehicle Reparation Act provides that your initial medical expenses from a car accident are covered by your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. If someone else caused the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and seek money for costs and losses, including pain and suffering, not covered by PIP.
The Kentucky aut0 accident attorneys of Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer can review the circumstances of your accident and come up with a legal strategy for pursuing full compensation for you, no matter the insurance coverage your claim falls under. We’ll bring the Kentucky Courage needed to fight large corporations and push insurers to pay what you fully deserve after a serious car accident.
KY’s No-Fault PIP Insurance and Medical Bills After a Car Accident
Kentucky’s auto insurance program is a no-fault system requiring auto insurance policies to automatically include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This means that accident victims are initially compensated by their own PIP insurance policy, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. No-fault insurance laws are meant to keep small accident claims out of court.
After a car accident, the injured driver and any injured passengers in the car should file claims under the PIP policy for the vehicle. A basic PIP policy in Kentucky pays up to $10,000 for medical expenses per person. PIP also pays $200 a week for lost income, or 85% of normal income that is less than $200 a week. Individuals may have private health insurance and/or Medicare or Medicaid, as well.
In most cases, the car owner only needs to notify their insurer and the insurer will pay medical bills and lost wages to anyone injured in the car. The insurer obligated to the person at fault for the accident will reimburse other insurance companies that made payouts through PIP policies.
There are options for PIP coverage that pay more than $10,000. But most people get the minimum amount of PIP coverage.
You can also opt out of PIP by sending a completed No-Fault Rejection Form to the Kentucky Department of Insurance. Doing so means that to obtain any compensation after a car accident, you would have to prove fault.
Most Kentucky car owners have the standard PIP coverage. But, if you’ve been in a serious car accident, you know that $10,000 does not go far. For example, if you needed emergency room care, a CT scan, surgery, a hospital stay and rehab, your PIP policy is unlikely to cover all your medical bills.
Suing for Medical Bills Payment After a Car Accident Settlement
Kentucky law provides further legal options if someone else was at fault for a car accident that involved serious injuries. If certain thresholds of injury were met in a car accident, you can sue the at-fault party and seek compensation. The at-fault person may be the driver of another car or truck, the driver of the vehicle you were in, or an entity, such as the employer of a delivery driver who hit your vehicle.
If you still have costs and losses from a car accident, then you may have a right to sue the at-fault party if you have suffered:
- Medical expenses that exceed than $1,000
- A broken bone
- Permanent injury
- Permanent disfigurement
- Death of a family member.
As you can see, in most serious car accidents, the accident victim may have the option to seek compensation in addition to PIP payment. But it is important to file for PIP benefits and obtain the full payment available under that policy.
If you are currently dealing with a car accident injury in Kentucky, we suggest you speak to an attorney at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer about your options and the possibility of pursuing a car accident injury claim.
After a car accident in Kentucky, compensation for your first $10,000 in medical costs and income losses should come from your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. But if you have additional costs and losses, and someone else caused the accident, you may have a right to seek additional compensation. The attorneys at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer can help you understand your options.
Losses in a personal injury claim and the compensation paid for them are commonly referred to as “damages.”
In Kentucky, you may recover damages for the cost of:
- Medical bills, including the need for ongoing or future medical treatment
- Lost income, including losses due to disrupted income and lost earning capacity
- Damage to your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement or impairment
- Loss of consortium
- Death of a family member.
Damages are intended to make a person injured through no fault of their own financially whole and to compensate for suffering. In certain special cases, the injured party may recover punitive damages, which are payments meant to punish the at-fault party for acts that were intentional or grossly reckless, but oftentimes these damages are not covered by Insurance.
As your attorneys, Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer can investigate to gather evidence of fault in your accident and obtain medical reports and bills to demonstrate the full extent of your damages. With this evidence, we can demand that insurers for the at-fault party pay you all of the compensation you deserve.
Most car accident cases can be settled through our aggressive negotiations, which we base on a solidly constructed claim. When an insurer refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement, we will be prepared to file a lawsuit. If we must go to court, we will do so with a persuasive case backed by expert testimony and evidence.
As we make the case for compensation for you, we’ll also deal with the insurance companies’ paperwork and other needs so that we can protect your rights. As your attorneys, we can:
- Ensure that you receive proper medical care
- Help arrange repairs to your vehicle
- Notify creditors of an ongoing claim to forestall bill collection efforts.
Our intent is to handle every aspect of a personal injury claim including all communications with the insurance companies so you can concentrate on your medical recovery.
‘Comparative Fault’ and Kentucky Car Accidents
Kentucky law applies another legal doctrine that has an impact on car accident claims, which is known as “comparative fault.” Under the comparative fault rule, damages awarded in a lawsuit may be reduced in proportion to an individual’s share of fault in an accident.
In a car accident in which a driver ran a red light and hit you, that driver would be at fault for the accident and compelled to pay damages to you. But what if you were speeding? Lawyers for the insurance company might argue that if you had not been speeding, you would not have been in the intersection where their client ran the red light. They might claim that your excessive speed compounded the severity of your injuries.
If the jury decided the other driver was mostly at fault and you were due an award of damages, it would then have to decide how much blame for the accident you deserve. This would be conveyed as a percentage, such as 10%, 25%, 40%, etc., and your damages would be reduced by that amount.
For example, if a Kentucky civil jury awarded $100,000 in damages and found that you were 25 percent at fault for the accident, then you would be eligible to receive $75,000. You damages would be reduced by 25 percent.
Contact a Kentucky Car Accident Attorney Today
Kentucky law allows those who are injured through the negligence of others to obtain compensation after a car accident. But insurance company rules are meant to limit claims and reduce insurance company payouts. That’s why legal assistance is usually required for individuals who are seriously injured to recover fair compensation. Fighting an insurance company after a car accident requires courage, the kind of Kentucky Courage we can provide you.
Contact Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer as soon as you are able after an accident for a free consultation about how we can help you. Our experienced Kentucky car accident lawyers are ready to fight to help you obtain a just settlement. Call us now at (877) 809-5352 or contact us online.