A car accident comes without warning and can turn someone's life upside down. It's common for crash victims to need medical attention and take time off from work to recover from their injuries. The mounting medical expenses and the lack of a paycheck can create serious financial hardship.
Fortunately, crash victims have the right to pursue compensation for all damages accrued from a crash. That includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and non-economic damages (pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental trauma, etc.).
Car accident compensation in Kentucky
The insurance companies are responsible for paying for these damages. Kentucky is a "no-fault" insurance state, this means that you can recover medical expenses and lost wages from your own insurance company up to the policy limit of your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. That's because Kentucky drivers are required to purchase PIP coverage at a minimum of $10,000 for medical expenses and lost wages per person per crash. Drivers can purchase PIP coverage with a higher limit if they choose to do so.
You can pursue additional damages if you weren't at fault for the crash. If you can prove negligence (that is, that the other driver caused your accident), you can file a claim or pursue legal action to force the at-fault driver's insurance company to pay for your additional damages, up to the applicable policy limit.
How is negligence proven after a car accident?
The other driver's negligence is proven through a thorough investigation, which a car accident attorney conducts. This includes:
- Reviewing cellphone records to look for evidence of distracted driving.
- Obtaining video footage from nearby surveillance and witness dashcams (if available).
- Getting a copy of the police report.
- Interviewing witnesses and asking them what they saw.
- Hiring a crash reconstruction expert to investigate and take pictures of the crash scene.
- Getting a copy of your medical records
What should I do if I was involved in a crash?
The first thing you should do is report the crash to your insurance company. Keep your comments brief, focus on the facts of what happened and don't say anything that could be construed as admitting fault. If the other driver's insurance company contacts you looking for a recorded statement, it's best to refrain from speaking to them. Anything you tell the other driver's insurance company can be used against you. Let an experienced attorney communicate with them on your behalf.
You should also see a doctor as soon as possible if you haven't already. It's very common for people to feel fine immediately after a crash, then experience pain and discomfort days later. We often see delays in symptoms of whiplash, concussions, soft tissue injuries, internal injuries, and spinal injuries. Your doctor can identify your injury through a physical examination, X-ray, MRI, or CT scan. Getting prompt medical treatment will not only help you recover from your injuries faster, but also create a record of those injuries in case an insurance company later disputes them.
For help with your claim, speak to an experienced car accident attorney at The Whaley Law Firm in Louisville, Kentucky. We have more than 15 years of experience helping injured motorist maximize their compensation. Contact us online or call us for a free legal consultation.