Car Accidents Attorney in Hazard, Kentucky
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how shocking it can be, even if you manage to escape unscathed. However, many people aren’t as fortunate. They have to contend with bodily injuries, damage to their vehicle, and the emotional trauma that can come after an event like this. In such situations, it can be hard to know what steps to take to make sure you and your family receive the care you need. Working with a local personal injury attorney can help.
From my office in Hazard, Kentucky, I can help you sort through your insurance claim and if necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit. Over the last 10 years, I’ve worked to establish my firm, the Law Office of Kyle S. Hall, to serve the community I’m a part of and make sure you get fair compensation that allows you to get back on your feet. Call me today for help in Hazard or in surrounding counties, including Letcher, Knott, Leslie, or Perry.
Kentucky is a No-Fault Insurance State
When navigating any insurance or personal injury claim, it’s essential to understand how state law will affect your individual case. No state treats car accidents—and personal injury cases in general—in exactly the same way. Kentucky is considered a no-fault insurance state, meaning that in a car wreck, your own insurance can potentially pay benefits, on your behalf, to cover medical costs and other expenses related to a car accident. This type of coverage is known as "Basic Reparations Benefits" or "Personal Injury Protection" (PIP).
All drivers in Kentucky are generally required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP per accident. So, instead of filing a claim solely with the at-fault driver’s insurance, both drivers would first have to submit a claim with their own provider. This practice has its benefits, including getting a faster payout and minimizing the finger-pointing—but it can often leave victims of accidents with outstanding medical and personal property bills that aren’t covered. PIP only covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injury such as ongoing therapy or assistive devices like a wheelchair. Because of the limited nature of this coverage, it may be necessary to also file a claim against the at-fault driver and in some cases to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you do decide to pursue a lawsuit with the at-fault driver, the court will need to determine responsibility, or fault. Kentucky operates under a pure comparative fault rule which states that negligence can be shared by both parties involved in the accident. The portion of fault you hold will be represented by a percentage, and whatever damages you’re awarded may then be reduced by this same percentage. For example, if it is determined that you were 30% responsible for the accident and the total awarded damages were $100,000, you would only receive $70,000 to reflect your share of the fault.
Proving negligence in a case like this can be tricky, especially if there weren’t any witnesses to the crash except for the two people involved. This is when hiring an experienced car accident attorney can make all the difference. I can help you gather evidence, organize supporting documents, and present your case to the court to clearly present the facts and seek to minimize any argument that you were potentially at fault.
Deadline for Filing Suit Against At-Fault Drivers
Most Kentucky personal injury lawsuits must be filed within one year. This is known a "statute of limitations", meaning that any lawsuit filed after this date will likely be dismissed by the court. However, Kentucky also has a special statute of limitations that can apply to those who’ve been in a car crash. In any Kentucky motor vehicle collision, you would have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim or two years from when you received your last no-fault insurance payout, whichever is longer. This allows you to receive medical treatment, receive compensation for some of that treatment from your own insurance provider, and then seek further compensation if needed without worrying about your statute of limitations running out.
Note that this time frame only applies to filings with the court for personal injury lawsuits and not your insurance claim. Each insurance provider will have its own regulations for when you need to file a claim, but it is usually quite short.
Car Accidents Attorney in Hazard, Kentucky
If you’re recovering from an accident, the last thing you want to worry about are the complicated legal details. If you need an attorney to help negotiate a settlement with your insurance company, or for assistance filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, contact me at the Law Office of Kyle S. Hall. I’m proud to be a small business owner in Hazard, Kentucky, and I am committed to helping my clients work through every phase of the legal process.