Kentucky drivers are unfairly blamed for auto accidents too frequently - the state ranked third in a survey about bad driving, only beat by North Dakota and Montana. But that doesn’t tell the whole story; often, the victim had nothing to do with the accident.
There are many factors in a car accident, and often they lead to huge medical bills and other expenses. It can also lead to time away from work and lost wages, making it even more difficult to pay your expenses.
At Morgan & Morgan, we understand that these accidents can be terrifying and stressful, and that you need time and the means to recover, both physically and emotionally. That’s why our Louisville office provides free consultations for you, and our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis - we don’t get a fee unless we win you compensation.
If you have been in a car accident, and are unsure of what the next step is, our Louisville car accident attorneys can help you evaluate your options. Contact us by filling out our case review form to get started.
How Common Are Car Accidents in Louisville?
Unfortunately, incredibly common. So much so that, according to the state, in 2015 one in 16 Kentucky residents was involved in a car accident. Accidents are on the rise.
In 2015, they went up 7.1 percent, and in Jefferson County alone, the increase was almost 10 percent. That same year, injuries in the county went up over 2 percent; deaths from car accidents went up over 20 percent. The numbers show a serious risk on the road; with that risk level, if something should happen, you deserve the chance to get compensated for a personal injury or wrongful death.
Car Accident Claims in Kentucky
Kentucky law requires that all drivers have proper auto insurance before using their cars on the road. PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, insurance helps drivers receive money after a car accident, regardless of whose fault the accident was.
In Kentucky, PIP insurance can provide up to $10,000 for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses caused by the accidents. Many times, however, PIP insurance is not enough to cover the compensation you need to recover. This can be especially true when a catastrophic injury occurs as a result of the accident. In addition, PIP insurance doesn’t cover property damage and mental health services. In these cases, Kentucky residents may also have the option of filing a lawsuit.
Generally, victims who have PIP insurance accept limitations on their right to sue the other party. However, if their injuries meet a certain threshold, they are allowed to sue the offending party without violating any rules. Kentucky’s injury threshold is a $1000 in medical expenses, broken bones, permanent disfigurement or injury, and death.
If your injuries qualify, you may be free to sue the insurance company of the person that caused the accident. Kentucky is a pure comparative state, which means that a plaintiff may be able to recover compensation even if he or she was, in some part, at fault for the incident. However, it’s important to remember that the amount of compensation you could possibly receive depends on how much you were at fault for the accident.
If you have been severely injured in an accident that you suspect was someone else’s fault, you may be able to pursue a negligence lawsuit against them. If you lost a loved one in an accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the perpetrator.
What is Negligence?
A large part of proving that you have a case in a car accident lawsuit is showing that the other party involved in the crash was negligent. For the other driver to be negligent, they have to have acted in a way that other people that showed reasonable levels of care would not do. Was someone texting while driving, causing an accident? Maybe they ran a red light, or a stop sign. It could even be as simple as not giving proper right of way.
These acts and more are negligent acts, and our ability to help prove that they caused the accident go a long way in you getting fair compensation from the other party’s insurance. There are also accidents that are caused by negligence where recklessness is involved.
An example would be if someone drove under the influence of alcohol and caused an accident. This is reckless negligence, and in instances like these, you may be eligible for additional compensation called punitive damages. Punitive damages are a form of compensation that is meant to discourage other people from acting in that same reckless manner.
Compensation You Can Recover in a Lawsuit
The victim of a car accident can file a lawsuit to recover compensation for two types of damages: economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are damages that you can measure in terms of money. This can mean medical bills from a hospital stay, expenses for future doctor’s visits, and additional expenses insurance often doesn’t cover, such as rehabilitation or the cost of an in-house nurse or aide.
It can also mean lost wages for any time you had to miss at work; if the injuries from your accident leave you unable to do your job for an extended period of time, there is also the potential to be compensated for that time in terms of earning capacity. Noneconomic damages are the damages that are not measured in terms of money. This can mean both physical and emotional suffering. While some states cap noneconomic damages, Kentucky does not. This means there is no limit to what you may be able to receive in the lawsuit.
Contact Our Louisville Office
If you want to file a lawsuit against the other party in your car accident, we may be able to help. The lawyers at Morgan & Morgan’s Louisville office have years of experience handling car accident claims and can navigate the complicated laws and processes required to represent you in court. Contact Morgan & Morgan by filling out our free, no-obligation case review form today.