If you’ve been injured in an accident you believe was caused by someone else’s actions, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim. Understanding what qualifies as a personal injury in Kentucky is the first step to determining if you have a valid claim. The lawyers from Golden Law Office can examine your situation and help you determine how to proceed.
Defining Personal Injury
Personal injury is an element of civil law. When an individual is wrongfully injured, they have the legal right to file a personal injury claim. The claims seek compensation to cover the victims’ economic and noneconomic losses.
The majority of personal injury cases are based on the concept of negligence. This is because the accidents are typically unintentional and the result of careless actions or inactions. There are four main elements involved in proving negligence. First, it needs to be shown that the defendant owed the plaintiff and duty of care. The second element involves proving how that duty was breached. Then, the victim needs to prove they were injured and suffered damages. Finally, a direct correlation between the breached duty and the losses needs to be drawn.
After liability’s been proven, the losses can be calculated. The economic damages refer to factors like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and emotional trauma.
Common Personal Injury Cases
There are a number of situations that can give rise to a personal injury claim. Some of the most common ones we see include:
- Auto Accidents. A significant number of claims are filed for car accident injuries. When a crash occurs, it’s typically because a careless driver neglects to follow the rules of the road. They may be distracted by their cell phone, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or committing reckless actions like speeding.
- Medical Malpractice. Physicians and medical staff are supposed to provide the best care possible for patients. When miscommunication or inexperience is involved, a patient could suffer unnecessary and preventable injuries.
- Nursing Home Abuse. Nursing home residents are supposed to receive the care they need to maintain the best quality of life possible. Factors like understaffing and neglect contribute to instances of physical and emotional abuse.
- Premises Liability. When a property owner fails to maintain their home or business, visitors are at risk of injury. Faulty wiring, torn carpets, broken stairs, and missing hand railings often result in slip and fall accidents.
- Product Liability. Manufacturers and distributors are supposed to ensure the products they release are safe for consumers. Defective products can result in injury to unsuspecting purchasers.
- Wrongful Death. Any of the accident types above could result in fatal injuries. When that happens, the surviving family members have the right to file a claim on behalf of their deceased loved one.
Personal Injury Laws in Kentucky
Understanding Kentucky’s personal injury laws will help you determine if your accident qualifies as a personal injury. The state laws that affect claims involve deadlines and fault determination.
Like most states, Kentucky has statutes of limitations in place. These limit the among of time a person has to file a personal injury lawsuit within the state’s civil court system. In most cases, plaintiffs have one year after the date of the accident to file. If this deadline is missed, the court can dismiss the case without review.
The state operates under a comparative fault rule. This means that a plaintiff’s compensation can be reduced based on their percentage of fault in the accident. If, for example, you neglected to yield properly through an intersection, but you were struck by a speeding, drunk driver, you could be assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. If you’re found to be 15% liable, you’ll only be able to claim 85% of the available compensation.
Depending on the type of claim you file, other laws could apply. Your attorney will be well aware of the laws that impact your area of litigation.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Kentucky
Filing a personal injury claim on your own can seem overwhelming and confusing. That’s why it’s always best to seek legal guidance and representation from a trusted law firm. When you work with Golden Law Office, we’ll handle the paperwork and difficult conversations for you. You’ll be able to focus on your recovery while staying up-to-date on your legal matters.
The sooner you file your claim, the better your chances are of maximizing your compensation. You won’t have to worry about deadlines, and we’ll have ample time to investigate your situation and build a case that proves you were wronged and are owed monetary recovery. To learn more about personal injury law in Kentucky, contact our office today.