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A Brief Guide to Kentucky Car Accident Laws

Published on Sep 12, 2017 by Thomas Law Offices.

Kentucky has thousands of miles of roadways used by millions of drivers every year.  Thomas Law Offices encourages and desires for every driver in Kentucky to reach their destination safely.  But in the unfortunate event a car accident does occur, it is important to understand Kentucky’s car accident laws so that you can protect your rights and help you and your family return your life to normal.

How Long Do I Have To File an Accident Report or Car Accident Claim in Kentucky?

While other states allow more time to bring a lawsuit, Kentucky has a tight deadline, so it is important to act fast.  You have 10 days to file a written accident report with Kentucky State Police, and you must do so if you think the damage will exceed $500 or the car accident resulted in injury to or death of any person.

You have one year to file a lawsuit for personal injury and two years to file a lawsuit for property damage.  The clock for these deadlines starts ticking on the date of the accident.  Failure to file your claim within the time guidelines will result in the courts denying your claim and you being unable to recover any damages.

How Will My Insurance Pay for My Kentucky Car Accident Claim?

Kentucky is a “no-fault” state, which means your car insurance will pay your injury claims up to a specified limit.  All drivers in Kentucky are required to carry basic personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on all vehicles.  Drivers must also have bodily injury liability insurance to cover any costs related to injuries or damages resulting from a car accident.  The specific coverage requirements for Kentucky drivers are a minimum of $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 for property damage.

Under the no-fault system, you cannot sue the other driver unless you retain at least $1,000 in medical expenses, a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, permanent injury, or death.  You can opt out of the no-fault system by filing a form with the Department of Insurance.  This action will remove the limitations on your rights to sue, but it will also give others the right to sue you in return.

After an accident, your insurance company will begin an investigation of your claim.  At this time, they will calculate the total amount of damages and issue you a settlement check.  If the claim is denied or you feel the settlement check is an inadequate amount, you have the right to an appeal.  If you are unable to resolve the dispute by appeal, you may then file a complaint with the KY Department of Insurance.

What Damages Can a Kentucky Car Accident Victim Recover?

Kentucky has no limit for the maximum amount a person can be awarded in car accident damages.  Kentucky allows you to collect money for vehicle repair or replacement, rental cars, medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of affection or companionship.

Kentucky also follows the pure comparative negligence rule, which allows even the driver who was more at fault to collect damages.  Fault in a car accident in Kentucky is assigned to all of the drivers involved based on percentages.  For example, if you were assigned 90% fault in a car accident, and the other driver was assigned 10%, you can still sue the other driver to recover 10% of the total damages.

What if the Crash Involved a Rideshare Driver?

Kentucky rideshare accidents can be additionally complicated since drivers who work for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are technically independent contractors and carry two types of insurance. Any type of claim involving a rideshare driver or vehicle may require legal assistance to ensure injured victims get the compensation they need to recover.

Thomas Law Offices Can Help

Finding someone who will fight for your best interests is key to recovering the maximum amount of damages you need to pay for your recovery.  Thomas Law Offices understands Kentucky’s complicated state laws and will build your case to win you the money you deserve.  For a free, no-obligation consultation of your case, contact our legal team today.

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Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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