According to the car insurance industry, an individual will file a car accident claim about every 18 years. Getting your license at 16 means, you might get into an accident by the time you are 34. Good news is the chances are these crashes won't be deadly. But, there is still a chance that you could experience severe injuries, lost wages, and have large medical bills.
If you want to file a personal injury accident in Kentucky, you need to follow these steps.
1. Stop at the scene of the car accident.
After an accident, you need to call 911 and let the operator know. They will send the proper authorities. Be specific about the location, describe the scene, and let them know if anyone is injured. Those details will let them know to send police, ambulance, or a firetruck.
Legal Responsibilities After a Collision in Kentucky
Drivers involved in a car accident in Kentucky need to stop immediately. They are also required to give the other driver their name, address, registration number, and license number.
2. File a Report with the Police
Any car accident that involved injury, death, or damage to property of more than $500 must be reported to the police within ten days of the crash. All reports must be made to the Department of Kentucky State Police. However, you do not need to file this report if an office is called to the scene. They will submit it on your behalf.
3. Take Pictures
Quickly following the accident, you'll want to gather evidence. Taking pictures is crucial, and you have a short window of time. Police, ambulances, and firetrucks show up and cover evidentiary support. Cars can get towed away, and so on. As soon as you complete the previous two steps, take pictures to help you build a successful claim.
4. Contact Your Insurance Provider
All Kentuckians are required to have auto insurance. Contact your provider and inform them of the crash. Insurers are legally obligated to cover damages and provide legal support at no extra cost. To benefit from this support, the accident must be reported.
*You are required to contact your insurance whether or not you caused the accident.
5. Understand the Exceptions to Kentucky's No-Fault Insurance.
Kentucky is a no-fault state, meaning every driver is responsible for using their insurance to pay for damages and medical bills. However, the no-fault insurance will allow you to file a personal claim if the at-fault driver caused injuries and medical bills of more than $1,000 and must be one of the following:
- Bone fracture
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent injury
6. Know Kentucky has a Pure Comparative Statute
The Pure Comparative Statute means each driver holds some responsibility for the accident. Even if the other driver was 90% to blame for the accident, the other driver could assume 10%. What does that mean? If you were to take out a personal injury case and claim $20,000 in damages, medical bills, lost wages, etc. It's possible that you might only be awarded $18,000 because you were 10% responsible for the accident.
7. Follow the Rules of the Officer
Either the Kentucky Highway Patrol, sheriff's deputies, or local police might show up at the scene. Regardless of who gets there, you must follow their instructions. Officers usually secure the scene until they are done with their investigation. If they ask you questions about the accident, be as detailed as possible. But, you will want to refrain from admitting fault. You are obligated to stay there until the officer permits you to leave.
8. Be Aware of Kentucky's Statute of Limitations
Each state allocates a specific period to allow victims the opportunity to fail a personal injury claim. In Kentucky, you have one year to the date of the accident to file the claim. That being said, you should never let the statute of limitations expire.
9. Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Kentucky's car insurance laws are not cut and dry. The state has a complex network of laws to protect drivers as or when they are involved in a car crash. You need to hire the right attorney familiar with the state's judicial system and regulations.
Hiring a Car Accident Attorney in Kentucky
If you've been injured in a car accident in Kentucky, you need a reliable attorney. Contact the offices of Bart Durham Injury Law to schedule a FREE consultation. Together we can discuss the details of the crash and determine whether or not you have a case. You pay nothing until we win!