How the Car Accident Settlement Process Works
Millions of drivers access Kentucky’s roadways every single year. Thousands of miles are covered resulting, unfortunately, in thousands of accidents. According to the Analysis of Traffic Crash Data in Kentucky by the Kentucky Transportation Center, just in 2016, there were over 140,000 car collisions resulting in over 37,000 injuries and 830 deaths.
Whether you’re a resident of Kentucky or just passing through, it’s important to understand the car accident laws and settlement process. If you’re in a car accident, you have the right to compensation for your damages; however, you’ll only be eligible for those awards if you follow through with your legal obligations. Keep reading to learn about handling and settling car accidents in Kentucky.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Following a car accident, you should immediately focus on seeking medical attention for any injured parties. Evaluate your physical and mental state and try to remain as calm as possible. If you can, you’ll want to swap contact and insurance information with the other driver, so you can properly report the accident as soon as possible.
In Kentucky, you only have ten days to report the accident to the Kentucky State Police if there was more than $500 in vehicle damage and any injuries occurred. You’ll also want to inform your insurance company of the accident, so they can begin working on your settlement.
Car Insurance Laws and Requirements in Kentucky
Kentucky’s car insurance laws and requirements can be complex because Kentucky follows a no-fault system. Basically, this means your insurance company will pay your injury claim up to a specified limit. Under the no-fault system, drivers can’t sue or be sued unless the accident resulted in at least $1,000 in medical bills, a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, permanent injury, or death.
Kentucky drivers are required to have the following insurance coverages:
- Coverage on all motor vehicles
- Personal Injury Protection
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident
- $10,000 for property damage
Car Accident Settlement Process
When you file a car accident claim with your insurance company, they will open an investigation to calculate fault and the amount of damages. They will then offer you a settlement check. You have the right to file an appeal if you believe the settlement offer is inadequate or if you claim was denied. While most car accident cases are resolved with the insurance company, in rare cases they reach the trial phase.
In regard to your settlement, Kentucky does not place caps on car accident damages. The state also allows you to recover both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages typically include medical expenses, lost wages, and vehicle repair or replacement costs. Noneconomic damages are harder to calculate, but typically have to do with pain and suffering. With Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence rule, a driver is eligible to recover damages even if they were more at fault than the other driver. This system is based on the percentages of fault.
Following the steps above and working with your insurance company will put you in the right direction to receive your compensation; however, if you neglect Kentucky’s statute of limitations you may render yourself ineligible. In most cases, you have one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for personal injury and two years for property damage.
Kentucky car accident cases can be especially complex because of the no-fault system, which is why seeking legal representation from an experienced law firm can improve your chances of walking away with full and fair compensation. Our Lexington car accident lawyers can help you navigate your settlement. Start the legal process today with a free consultation.
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