A car accident is inconvenient, disruptive, and can be expensive. If the crash caused severe injuries, it could be life-altering. When you were in a wreck that caused an injury, contact a Florence, Kentucky car accident lawyer immediately. Working with a local attorney could be beneficial even when you do not believe your injury is serious and the insurance company is cooperative.
People who try to handle car crash claims without professional help often leave money on the table. Our legal team could help you get the maximum payout you are entitled to receive.
Understanding the Choice No-Fault System in Florence
Kentucky’s no-fault insurance system requires all insurers to offer drivers personal injury protection (PIP) of at least $10,000 to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and incidental costs associated with vehicle collision injuries. A passenger can turn to the driver’s PIP to reimburse these expenses. There may be a deductible before the $10,000.00 pays.
An injured driver’s PIP pays their medical costs. Kentucky Statute § 304.39-110 also requires vehicles to carry liability insurance to cover property damage and bodily injury when the injured person’s PIP is insufficient. The other driver’s insurance would pay for property damage when they are at fault. A car crash lawyer in Florence, Kentucky could assist an injured person in filing their claim for PIP reimbursement and property damage.
PIP covers medical expenses up to the policy limit and other economic losses. However, it does not compensate pain and suffering, and an injured person cannot sue the at-fault driver for their injury-related losses unless they have legal grounds to go outside the no-fault system. There are two ways for people involved in accidents to bypass the no-fault system.
When a driver purchases insurance, they may opt out of the no-fault system in writing to the Department of Insurance. If they do so, they may sue an at-fault driver who causes an accident. In addition, a driver who opts out of no-fault can be sued if they are responsible for a wreck.
When everyone in a driver’s household opts out, at least one family vehicle must have guest PIP to cover passengers and others who might be injured in an accident involving someone in the family. However, family members may not turn to the PIP to cover their own losses.
Severity of Injuries
An injured person could pursue a legal claim against an at-fault driver when their crash-related medical expenses exceed $1,000 or other conditions are met. An experienced Kentucky car accident attorney can help you navigate through the PIP system. In addition, certain severe injuries allow someone to sue the at-fault driver regardless of the medical costs. Qualifying injuries include simple fractures of weight-bearing bones, complex fractures of other bones, permanent injuries including disfigurement, and permanent loss of a bodily function.
Damages Available in Crash-Related Lawsuits
Taking an at-fault driver to court could provide an injured person with significant compensation unavailable through the no-fault system. When an injured person can prove another driver’s failure to use reasonable care was the direct cause of their injuries, they could collect damages.
The responsible driver could be liable to pay the injured person’s unreimbursed medical care, lost wages, and incidental expenses. The injured person also could seek non-economic damages for their emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, physical pain, and diminished quality of life.
A Florence attorney is always prepared to take a car collision case to trial, but doing so is usually unnecessary. Insurance companies for at-fault drivers typically prefer to settle cases before they reach the trial stage. Our legal professionals could negotiate a favorable settlement in most vehicle accident cases.
Benefits of Working with an Accident Attorney
Contacting our legal representatives soon after a crash is always a good idea. They can explain the no-fault claims process, help an injured person document their damages, secure evidence, and collect witness statements. They can also protect a person against actions that might diminish their rights.
For example, an insurance company might approach an injured accident victim to offer a quick settlement of their claim. Speaking with a car wreck lawyer in Florence before accepting any offer from an insurance company is critical, as these settlements require the claimant to give up further rights to compensation.
Similarly, giving a recorded or written statement to an insurer without the benefit of legal advice is unwise. It is easy to inadvertently say something an insurance company could construe as taking responsibility for an incident. The insurer could then use the statement to reduce an injured person’s damages or deny their claim.
Discuss Your Claim with a Florence Car Accident Attorney
Recovering from injuries sustained in a vehicle crash can be a long and stressful process. A Florence car accident lawyer can take some of the burdens off your shoulders, giving you the time and space to focus on healing.
Car wreck liability laws can be complicated, and you should not try to handle a claim without speaking to our attorneys. Reach out today to discuss your situation with our knowledgeable legal team. We are here to help.