Kentucky's thousands of miles of roadways are used by millions of drivers every year. Whether you're a Kentucky resident or a passerby on a road trip, you should be aware of Kentucky laws and requirements to protect your rights in case of a car accident. While other states allow more time to bring a lawsuit, Kentucky has tight deadline in addition to other limitations. If you were injured in a car accident, read on to learn more about the Kentucky car accident settlement process and timeline.
Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Kentucky?
Yes, you must file a written accident report with the Kentucky State Police within 10 days of the accident if:
- You think the damage to vehicle will exceed $500
- The car accident resulted in injury to or death of any person
Kentucky Car Insurance Laws
Kentucky follows the "no-fault" system when it comes to car insurance and car accident settlement. This means your insurance will pay your injury claims up to a specified limit. Kentucky requires every driver to carry basic personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on all motor vehicles (except motorcycles). Drivers also need to have bodily injury liability insurance, which pays for costs related to any injuries or damages arising out of a car accident. These coverages must meet the following minimum amount:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident
- $10,000 for property damage
Under the no-fault system, drivers give up their rights to sue and be sued. You can't sue the other driver unless the accident results in: (1) at least $1,000 in medical expenses, (2) a broken bone, (3) permanent disfigurement, (4) permanent injury, or (5) death.
You can opt out of the no-fault system and reject the limitations on your rights to sue, which can be done by filing a special form with the Department of Insurance before the limitations become effective. Keep in mind that having the ability to sue others also opens yourself up to being sued.
How Do Car Accident Settlements Work in Kentucky?
Generally, insurance company will open an investigation of your claim once you provide them with necessary information. Insurance company will calculate the amount of damages and issue you a settlement check. If you think the amount is inadequate or if your claim got denied, you can make an appeal with the insurance company's claims supervisor. If you are unable to resolve the dispute, you can file a complaint with the Department of Insurance online or by mail.
What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Kentucky?
Generally, most car accident cases are resolved with the insurance company or during settlement negotiation. They rarely reach the trial phase.
In Kentucky, there are no car accident damages caps. The state allows you to recover both economic and noneconomic damages, which typically include costs for vehicle repair or replcaement, pain and suffering, medical expenses, rental cars, lost wages, and loss of affection or companionship.
Kentucky applies the "pure comparative negligence" rule, which allows you to recover damages even if you were more at fault than the other driver. For example, the total amount of damages is $100,000, and you were 99 percent at fault, and the other driver was 1 percent at fault. You can still sue the other driver to recover $1,000, which is 1 percent of the total amount of damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Kentucky?
You have one year to file a lawsuit for personal injury and two years for property damage. The time starts to run on the date of the accident. If you don't file a claim within this time period, courts will deny your case and you won't be able to recover any damages.
Get Legal Help with the Car Accident Settlement Process in Kentucky
Kentucky is one of the few states that follow the no-fault system, which can make a simple car accident case complex. If you believe you're being inadequately compensated or want to file a lawsuit, contact a skilled car accident attorney in Kentucky today. You should act promptly to sort out legal consequences and options because Kentucky has a strict one-year deadline to bring a lawsuit for personal injury.