First and foremost, get medical help immediately. That cannot be emphasized enough. Do not call your attorney from the scene; instead, call an ambulance if you need emergency help. After you’ve sought emergency help and your most basic personal injury needs have been met, the next step is to document your damages, including taking photographs of your property damage. If you are not so injured that you can’t function on the scene, I would also recommend taking pictures at the scene of the vehicle placements and of the other vehicle. If you’ve sustained injuries to your body that are visible (i.e., cuts, lacerations, bruising), definitely take pictures of those and note the date they were taken. Bruises and cuts, for instance, heal over time, so we want to see how or if they have healed.
Finally, consider hiring a lawyer and contacting them before setting up either claim. I don’t speak for every attorney, but I know that, personally, I’d prefer my office call in both claims rather than the person who was injured in the wreck try to call them in. If you’re not used to dealing with personal injury claims, you may inadvertently say something that could harm your case. Many things can be taken out of context. We know how to avoid damaging your case. Therefore, if you are even considering hiring a lawyer (and I think you should), let the law firm file your claims on your behalf.
Kentucky is a pure comparative fault state, and what that means is that if you are at fault at all, your damages will be reduced by the percentage you are at fault. Let’s say that you were in a wreck and the insurance company has discovered that you were 10% responsible. If your damages were going to be, say, $100,000, they will reduce that by 10%, so instead of being awarded $100,000, you will be awarded $90,000. The word “pure” in front of comparative fault is important because that means you can recover even if you are mostly at fault. Let’s say you are the person who is 90% at fault instead of 10%; you can still recover for your injuries. Again, your damages are going to be reduced by the percentage you are at fault. So, if you are 90% at fault but your damages are $100,000, you are only going to walk away with $10,000. That amount is before medical bills, attorney’s fees, and such come out of it.
In Kentucky, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the loss or two years from the last PIP payment, whichever is longer. In either case, it won’t exceed four years. Let me explain what a PIP payment is. In the state of Kentucky, if you are in a wreck, your own auto insurance is going to cover the first $10,000 of medical bills. (But don’t worry—they are going to get their money back from the at-fault party, and they can’t raise your rates for using that coverage when you are not at fault.) Those payments are called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) payments. If, for example, you had a wreck on January 1, 2021, the standard statute of limitations would be January 1, 2023. However, if your insurance company made the last PIP payment on June 1, 2021, that extends your statute of limitations from January 1, 2023 to June 1, 2023. It’s best just to ask a personal injury attorney what your statute of limitations is in your case.
Most people don’t know that in the state of Kentucky, you do still need to state your claim to the insurance company, whether you are at fault or not. Your own auto policy will also probably state that you have a duty to inform them that a wreck has taken place, again, whether you are at fault or not. That being said, the people who are at fault often avoid calling their insurance company because they are thinking about their rates being raised.
The reason you would need to report it to your insurance company is because of a coverage called PIP insurance, meaning your insurance company is responsible for covering the first $10,000 of medical bills in your case, no matter who is at fault. They will get their money back from the at-fault party, so you don’t have to worry about your rates going up if you are not at fault and you’ve only used your PIP insurance. However, your insurance company would need to be notified.
All that being said, again, if you are considering hiring an attorney, it’s best that you just wait to have your attorney’s office call in those claims for you to avoid inadvertently saying something that may come back to bite you later.
The venue for the lawsuit is where the accident took place, which in this case would be Kentucky. So, although they may be traveling back home after their emergency care and getting most of their follow up treatment done in their home state, they would want to contact a licensed attorney in Kentucky to handle the wreck that occurred in Kentucky.
First and foremost, seek any emergency medical care that you need. When it’s safe for you to travel, you can do your follow-up care at home. In terms of hiring an attorney, you would need to contact an attorney in the area where the wreck took place. If, for instance, it took place in Florida, you are going to want to contact a Florida licensed attorney.
I always tell my family, my friends, and current and past clients to feel free to call us for anything. Even if you know your wreck took place in a state where we can’t handle your case, still give me a call. I know attorneys all over the country who handle a wide variety of practice areas, from family law to bankruptcy to auto wrecks. If I know somebody where you got injured, I am happy to put you in touch with them personally so that you’ve got someone you can trust, instead of just getting the lawyer nearest to your wreck location.
For more information on Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kentucky, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (502) 791-8389 today.