Anytime you suffer a personal injury due to someone’s negligence, the insurance company will want to pressure you into accepting a quick settlement. Do not say or sign anything from the insurance company without talking to an experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyer first. Remember, insurance agents work for big companies, not for you.
At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, our personal injury attorneys work for you. Firm partners Roy Collins and Dan Yeast worked for insurance companies for years, so we have an inside perspective on how they operate. We give you the Kentucky Courage you need to fight aggressive insurers and demand the fair compensation you deserve.
Contact us now to schedule your free consultation. Our lawyers are ready to discuss your case and answer all your questions.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Personal Injury Claim?
It may seem like you have a cut-and-dry personal injury case. After all, you were hurt, and someone else was at fault. You should be compensated, right?
Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Under Kentucky personal injury law, there are four elements you must prove in order to have a successful claim. These include:
- Duty of care: Most of the time, people have a responsibility to behave in a reasonable manner to keep everyone else safe. For example, all drivers must act in a manner that keeps everyone else on the road safe. In personal injury law, though, there are some exceptions to this, such as property owners who don’t have a duty of care toward trespassers.
- Breach of duty: When individuals do not act in a reasonable manner, they have breached their duty of care. This is commonly referred to as acting negligently. This is a simple concept, but proving negligence is often very difficult and requires the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
- Causation: This means that you must prove that someone else’s negligent actions caused an accident. Even if a person acted negligently, you still must be able to show that action contributed to your accident.
- Damages: Personal injury lawsuits are meant to provide compensation that will make accident victims whole again. If there are no injuries or losses, there is nothing to compensate for, and so there is no personal injury claim.
These four elements of proof sound fairly straightforward. Facts quickly become twisted in personal injury claims, though, and you may not know what evidence to look for to prove your claim.
At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, our experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyers can help you craft a strong case and demand the full compensation you need to recover.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
For years, our dedicated legal team has been standing strong for Kentuckians who were unjustly injured in accidents that could have been prevented. We handle a broad range of personal injury cases, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Boating accidents
- Maritime injuries
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Product liability claims
- Birth injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
It takes courage to fight back when an accident has left you with serious injuries or claimed the life of a loved one. Our Kentucky personal injury lawyers provide the support you need to hold those responsible accountable for what they have done to you and your family.
Types of Damages You Could Recover in a Personal Injury Claim
When you file a personal injury claim, your goal is to recover total compensation for all your injuries and losses, both now and down the line. In a personal injury lawsuit, this compensation is known as damages. There are several common types of damages. These include:
- Medical expenses: These costs often make up the bulk of personal injury claims. You can claim both current medical expenses and future medical costs. Our attorneys may work with experts to accurately estimate what your future medical costs could be.
- Lost income: Accident victims are often so severely injured that they cannot return to work. Sometimes this is for days or weeks, while other times individuals can never work again. You can claim all this lost income in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Reduced earning capacity: Sometimes, individuals can return to work, but it’s not the same line of work they once enjoyed, and it may not pay as much. When this is the case, you can demand compensation for that reduced earning capacity within your claim.
- Pain and suffering: Personal injury claims are meant to make up for all the losses accident victims suffer. This includes the physical pain and suffering you experience due to your injuries.
- Emotional distress: In addition to physical pain and suffering, accident victims often feel emotional distress. If someone was in a bad car accident for example, he or she may have nightmares about it for a long time after the crash. You can pursue compensation to account for this level of distress.
- Loss of consortium: These damages are meant to compensate for intangible losses such as the loss of companionship or the loss of an intimate relationship with a spouse. Our attorneys can help you put a value on this type of loss.
These are just a few of the most common types of damages available in a personal injury claim. A Kentucky personal injury lawyer from our firm can advise on all the damages available if you’ve been hurt in an accident. We will work tirelessly in pursuit of the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations on Injury Claims in Kentucky
Every state has a statute of limitations, and Kentucky is no different. A statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file your accident claim. Kentucky’s statute of limitations is different in one aspect from other states, as it is much more complicated:
- For most personal injury claims in Kentucky, the statute of limitations is just one year.
- When the personal injury claim involves an auto accident, however, the statute of limitations is extended to two years.
- To make things even more complicated, because Kentucky is a no-fault auto insurance state, the clock may start ticking at the time of the last no-fault payment.
It’s very important to pay close attention to the statute of limitations in accident claims. If you file your claim after that statute has expired, you will likely be barred from receiving compensation at all. That’s why it is crucial to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Kentucky as soon as possible.
How Our Kentucky Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help with Your Case
Many accident victims think that they can file a personal injury case on their own, and it’s true that it is a possibility. However, a personal injury lawyer brings experience and resources to a case beyond what an injured accident victim has on their own.
If you’ve been hurt, a Kentucky personal injury attorney will:
- Accurately evaluate your claim
- Collect evidence to determine and prove fault
- Deal with the insurance companies to protect your rights
- Ensure you receive the proper medical treatment
- Gather and organize medical reports and invoices to prove your injuries
- Hold insurance companies and at-fault parties accountable for paying the compensation you deserve
- Negotiate effectively with the other side
- Take the case to court, if needed
- Handle every aspect of your personal injury claim
Although there is no law stating that you must hire an attorney to represent you in your personal injury claim, you better believe that the insurance companies will have attorneys on their side. When your health and your future are on the line, an attorney can ensure you are fighting on a level playing field.
Steps to Take to Protect Your Rights After an Accident
There are many actions you can take after an accident that will help protect your rights. The most important steps you can take to help your personal injury claim include:
- Collect evidence: It’s important to collect as much evidence as possible after an accident. Take pictures of the scene, speak to eyewitnesses, and write down any important information about the accident. Your memories may fade over time, so this will prove to be very important.
- Gather information and report it: You should collect information from anyone who was involved in the accident. If you were in an auto accident, exchange information with the other driver and report it to the police. If you fell in a store, get the information of the supervisor or store owner and ask to submit an accident report.
- Seek medical help: Your health is the most important concern after any accident. Also, if you don’t get medical help, the insurance company or at-fault party may claim that you couldn’t have been that hurt because you didn’t see a doctor after the accident.
- Keep a journal: Again, your memories will fade over time and you may forget important details. Keeping a journal will ensure you don’t forget these and will make your claim even stronger. Be sure to note how you are feeling each day, as well as how your life has changed since your accident.
The most important thing you can do after any accident, particularly one in which you believe someone else was at fault, is to contact an attorney. A lawyer will be able to tell you what steps to take to ensure your rights are protected.
We Can Answer All Your Questions About Personal Injury Claims
After any accident, you’re going to have a lot of questions. Below are some of the most common questions our attorneys hear, and the answers to them.
Are there time limits after I’m injured to file a personal injury lawsuit?
Most personal injury lawsuits must be filed one year after the accident. Lawsuits after auto accidents must be filed within two years, while claims against the government must be filed within 60 days of the accident.
Why should I hire Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer?
Our legal team has the necessary experience and resources to pursue the full settlement you deserve or fight for a favorable verdict for you in court. We have a network of medical experts, engineers, investigators, and other experts who can substantiate your claim and help you seek the maximum recovery possible.
How much is my personal injury claim worth?
Unfortunately, there is no way to determine how much your claim is worth without examining the facts of the case. The easiest way to get a rough estimate of what your case is worth is to first determine the tangible costs, such as lost income, medical expenses, and property damage. One of our attorneys can help determine the value of intangible losses such as loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and more.
Should I sign a release from the insurance company?
Insurance companies want you to sign a release shortly after your accident, before you even know the full extent of your injuries. If you sign this release, you are barred from filing another claim or lawsuit in the future. Never sign anything the insurance company gives you without first speaking to an attorney.
The insurance company is offering to settle. Should I accept the money?
You should always be suspicious about any settlement offer the insurance company makes. They are in the business of making money, and to do that, they want to avoid paying out large settlements. Insurance companies rarely have your best interests in mind and, as such, will make lowball offers hoping that you’ll be happy to receive anything at all. Don’t accept any settlement offer from an insurance company without first speaking to one of our attorneys.
The insurance company is asking for a recorded statement. Should I give one?
Absolutely not. Even if the insurance adjuster tells you that you are required to give a recorded statement, you are not. If they tell you they will close your file if you don’t provide it, they are lying. If you do provide this to the insurance company, they will use it against you in the future to reduce, deny, or delay your claim.
If I have to pay a lawyer a part of my settlement, does that mean I will get less for myself?
No. Our job is to maximize the value of your case. If you are not represented by an attorney, the insurance company will not make a fair settlement offer and you will receive much less in compensation. Our attorneys have the experience and resources to give your case the best chance of success and to push for the most amount of compensation possible.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Sometimes injuries are so severe they are categorized as catastrophic. When this is the case, accident victims can typically never return to work, and they face months, if not years, of medical treatment and expenses. The most common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Back injuries
- Spine injuries
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Burn injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Broken bones
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
If you’ve suffered any of these injuries, it’s important you speak to a Kentucky personal injury lawyer right away.
Choose the Personal Injury Lawyers with Kentucky Courage
Some attorneys only handle personal injury cases. Not our attorneys. We handle personal injury, workers’ comp, and Social Security Disability.
Sometimes you may deserve more than just compensation for your personal injury case – like benefits for workers’ comp and Social Security Disability. We’ll make sure you are pursuing all the benefits you deserve in addition to any settlement from your personal injury case.
Let our experienced team of Kentucky personal injury lawyers help you demand the money you deserve. We’ll work closely with you to understand the circumstances of your injury and make sure any insurance companies offer you a fair deal. Contact our lawyers today for a free consultation, and get the help you need.