PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION
If you have been injured in a truck or auto accident in Kentucky, you are entitled to recover Personal Injury Protection Benefits (PIP) also known as No-fault Benefits. PIP Benefits are paid by the automobile insurance company covering the vehicle you were occupying when injured (generally your own automobile insurance carrier if injured while driving/riding in your own vehicle). If you were driving/riding in a company vehicle or a truck driver driving your employer’s truck, the Employer’s automobile insurance carrier is responsible for payment of PIP benefits.
Under Kentucky law, in the case of a truck or auto accident, the PIP carrier is responsible for payment of medical expenses and/or up to $200.00 per week in lost wages, up to a maximum of $10,000.00. You may designate what portion of the $10,000.00 you wish to be used to pay for medical treatment and which portion to be paid for lost wages.
Unless specifically rejected, PIP coverage is mandatory on all automobile insurance policies in Kentucky but is optional on motorcycle insurance policies. If you are a motorcyclist, you may want to check with you insurance agent to determine whether you have purchased PIP coverage as part of the policy.
CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER DRIVER WHO CAUSED THE ACCIDENT
If the accident was the fault of another driver and your medical bills exceed $1,000.00, you have a right to make a claim against the driver who caused the accident. If unable to settle the matter, you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages which resulted from the accident.
Damages include things such as:
- Medical Expenses
- Estimated Cost of Future Medical Treatment
- Lost Wages
- Estimated Loss of Future Earnings
- Pain and Suffering
If you are injured in an automobile or truck accident, it is important you notify the police and make sure a police report is completed, go to the emergency room or your physician immediately and report all your symptoms and injuries to the physician, take pictures of your injuries and of your damaged vehicle, and be sure not to give a recorded statement to the insurance company until you have consulted with an attorney.
UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED COVERAGE
If your injury was caused by an uninsured driver, you may recover Uninsured Motorist Benefits (UM) from your own automobile insurance company. UM coverage is mandatory for all automobile policies.
If your injury was caused by a driver who had coverage, (i.e. the minimum amount required in Kentucky), but not nearly enough coverage to cover your total damages, you may recover Underinsured Motorist Benefits (UIM) from your own automobile insurance company if you have elected to purchase UIM coverage as part of your insurance policy. Unlike Uninsured coverage, Underinsured Coverage is optional.
I highly recommend all Kentuckians carry Underinsured Motorist coverage as all too often the person who caused the accident carries only the minimum liability amount, ($25,000.00), and medical treatment for serious injuries can quickly exceed that amount.
If you have been injured in an automobile, truck, or motorcycle accident and would like to discuss your entitlement to any of the above-referenced benefits, please contact my office for a free consultation.
FAQ – AUTOMOBILE / TRUCK ACCIDENTS
Q How long do I have to file a claim after being involved in a motor vehicle accident?
The Statute of Limitations for a Kentucky motor vehicle or truck accident is two (2) years from the date of accident or last payment of PIP / No-fault benefits.
Q Do I automatically have the right to file suit against the person who caused the accident?
No, there is a threshold of $1,000.00 in medical expenses incurred by you before you can file suit against the person who caused the accident.
Q If I’m involved in an accident in Kentucky, who pays for my medical treatment?
Kentucky is a No-fault State, which means you must first look to the automobile coverage on the vehicle you were occupying when injured (usually your own auto insurance if driving your own car). No-fault, also called Personal Injury Protection or PIP, pays for the first $10,000.00 of medical expenses or lost wages.
Q Should I report all symptoms I’m experiencing to my doctor, or just the most severe symptom?
Report all symptoms fully to your doctor to make sure each is documented. Your most severe symptom in the days following your accident (i.e. a headache) may resolve, but the Shoulder soreness you were experiencing may linger and progress with time. If your physician only documents the headache, the opposing party might argue, without documentation of Shoulder symptoms, you have failed to prove the Shoulder problem was caused by the accident.
Q Should I take pictures of my car / myself?
Yes, as soon as possible take pictures of the damage to your vehicle. Many times, if the car is totaled, you will no longer have possession of the vehicle after settling the property damage portion of the claim with the insurance company. Therefore ,you may no longer have the opportunity to take pictures of the damage resulting from the accident. Also, take pictures of any injuries which are visible. While years later, your body may have recovered, and bruises and cuts / scrapes are no longer visible, it is important to memorialize the effect the injury.