If you’ve been in a car accident, and someone else was at fault, it’s natural to feel frustrated at your situation. If you sustained an injury which causes your personal life to halt, then the whole experience could leave you feeling even worse. Although it may seem like you simply have to let the person responsible walk, there are ways of getting compensation. If you’re considering this in the great state of Kentucky, then there are a few legal factors you have to be aware of. Here’s a brief guide to making your car accident claim.
The first thing you should know is that Kentucky is a “choice no-fault” car insurance state. This can make pursuing personal injury claims a little tough when compared to other states. A “choice no-fault” insurance structure means that if you’re involved in an accident, the first party you bring it to is your insurance company. This is the procedure no matter which driver was at fault during the accident. There are given quotas which medical expenses have to meet in order for you to bring a claim against the other driver. This may also depend on the potential seriousness of the injuries which happened in the crash. While the majority of drivers in Kentucky are part of the “choice no-fault” system, there is a way around it. When a Kentucky driver first purchases their policy, they’ll be given the option to opt out, and buy traditional coverage instead. Although this can’t really help you if the accident’s been and gone, keep it in mind for the future. When you opt for “tort” or traditional coverage, you’ll be free to pursue a lawsuit or liability claim against the driver who was at fault.
So let’s say it’s too late and you’re stuck with choice no-fault insurance. You can still pursue your claim if your situation meets certain requirements. As I mentioned before, there are quotas your accident has to meet in order for you to escape the normal regulations. In Kentucky, if the medical expenses resulting from the accident exceed $1,000, you can go ahead with your claim. Also, if there’s any permanent disfigurement, permanent loss of a body function, or something as serious, a lawsuit or claim is legal. It may seem that these are the only kind of circumstances where you would want to pursue someone in court. However, just because your injury doesn’t meet the requirements doesn’t mean it will be any less damaging. Remember that if you opt out of a choice no-fault system, you’ll be free to claim against people, but others will be free to claim against you. You should also bear in mind that the choice no-fault system only concerns personal injury. Regardless of the insurance you have, you’re free to mount a vehicle damage claim against any party which was at fault.
If your accident meets the requirements, or you chose to opt out of choice no-fault, then you can go ahead with your claim. There are still a few regulations which might be relevant, however. Each state has its own statutory time limits for mounting a lawsuit. Depending on the kind of case you’re pursuing, time limits may be longer or shorter. Whatever kind of legal action you’re considering, you need to find out about the applicable time limits. Kentucky’s statutes of limitations are among the shortest for any state. If you’re looking to file a personal injury lawsuit, the deadline is one year after the accident. However, if you’re pursuing property damage, the deadline is two years. If your situation falls in the former category, time is of the essence. You need to start all your legal preparation right away! Be sure to choose a local attorney with proven experience in personal injury law, such as Harville Law Offices. It’s no good taking up a personal injury claim, and bringing in a lawyer who specialises in criminal cases!
You might be in a comparative fault situation. This is where there’s been an accident, but the separate entities are partly responsible for the damage caused. When you’re looking into local by-laws, you might hear Kentucky referred to as a “pure comparative negligence” state. This means that if you’ve been involved in an accident, you can claim compensation from any other party which was at fault. As you can imagine, it’s not quite as simple as that. Any compensation which you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Let’s say you had a collision with another driver, and they were found to be 80% at fault compared to your 20%. If the total damages were $10,000, the law states that you’d be entitled to $8,000 in compensation. It doesn’t matter if you’re negotiating with your insurance company or you’re looking for a court suit. You need to understand the comparative fault laws in Kentucky. When your insurance adjuster is looking at your claim, they’ll be considering what would happen if the case was brought to a Kentucky court. Of course, there’s no logical way of calculating the percentage of your fault. How well you come out a comparative fault case depends largely on your ability to negotiate with your insurer, or the skills of your attorney.
These regulations should be all you need to decide on how to proceed. If you do end up pursuing your case in court, then there’s still some work to be done. Take whatever time I available to you to build a close working relationship with your attorney. Work together to gather as much evidence as you can relating to the accident. Once your lawyer’s gone over enough details, they’ll be able to give you an educated guess as to how the case will turn out for you. You should also work together to form a strategy for handling the case. Although it may not feel great to think about it, make sure your attorney keeps you in the loop. It’s understandable that you’re feeling stressed, but the more you know about your case the better off you’ll be.