Understanding Liability in Kentucky
When it comes to auto insurance coverage and injury claims, Kentucky is a "choice no-fault" state. Under the no-fault system, the injured party will turn to their insurance provider to seek compensation for medical bills and other financial losses resulting from the accident, notwithstanding who was at fault.
Furthermore, motorists in the state are required to carry an automobile insurance policy, known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. The PIP benefits pay up to $10,000 for medical expenses, lost income, and other "out of pocket" costs resulting from the car accident injuries.
However, since Kentucky is a choice no-fault state, the injured victim can always "opt-out" of the no-fault car insurance system and choose to file a lawsuit against the party they believe to be at fault instead. Your decision to opt-out of no-fault must be in writing using the Kentucky No-Fault Rejection Form. You will file the form with the state's Department of Insurance.
Insurance Requirements in Kentucky
Additionally, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, motorists are required to maintain minimum "liability" car insurance coverage, which usually applies to the at-fault party in a traffic collision. The minimum liability coverage requirements in Kentucky include:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person in a single accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more people in a single accident
- $10,000 for property damage in a single accident.
State Laws Addressing Claims
The following state laws address the time limit for filing claims or the amount of damages that may be recovered by victims:
Statute of Limitations
Pursuant to Kentucky Revised Statutes Section KRS 304.39-230, a claim by an individual injured in a motor vehicle collision must be brought within two (2) years after the date of injury or the date of the last personal injury protection (PIP) payment. Sometimes, a spouse, parent, or minor child may have a loss of consortium claim (loss of love and affection), and under KRS 413.140, those claims must generally be brought within one (1) year of the date of the injury. An action to recover damages to a vehicle or other personal property in the car accident must be filed within two years from the date of the accident (Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 413.125.
Comparative Fault in Kentucky
Under Kentucky Revised Statutes section 411.182, the Commonwealth of Kentucky is a "pure comparative fault" state. This means that the amount of damages you may be able to recover in an auto accident case is reduced by your percentage of fault. Even if you are found to be 99% at fault for the accident, you may still recover damages.
A wrongful death is a loss of life that occurred due to the negligent actions of another person. The purpose of the wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the surviving family members of the deceased whose death was caused by a negligent party. Pursuant to Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 411.130,
"Whenever the death of a person results from an injury inflicted by the negligence or wrongful act of another, damages may be recovered for the death from the person who caused it, or whose agent or servant caused it. If the act was willful or the negligence gross, punitive damages may be recovered."
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
According to Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 411.130, the wrongful death action shall be prosecuted by the personal representative of the deceased. However, damages recovered through the wrongful death claims are to be distributed to the estate and surviving family members.
Work With Experienced Attorneys
The period following a traffic collision can be confusing to sort through. If the accident was serious, it can affect you financially, physically, and emotionally. You don't have to go through it alone. If you or a loved one have been hurt in an auto accident, hiring experienced Kentucky personal injury attorneys is an important step you should take to protect your rights and pursue rightful compensation.
At Grossman Green PLLC, our attorneys have devoted their careers to handling personal injury cases, including auto accident matters. As your legal counsel, we can help:
- Fight vigorously to protect your rights and represent your best interests
- Provide a comprehensive case review and carry out a detailed, private investigation
- Gather and document all relevant information, including any necessary evidence, medical documentation, and witness statements,
- Work to prove fault and establish liability
- Determine the full impact of your injuries and estimate the value of your case
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance carrier
- File a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, where applicable