How long does one have to file a personal injury action in Kentucky?
Persons under the age of eighteen (18) have until a year after their eighteenth birthday to file a personal injury claim which accrues during their minority. Persons over the age of eighteen (18) have one (1) year to file personal injury claims except for claims arising from automobile accidents. Personal injury claims arising out of automobile accidents must be filed within two (2) years of the accident or last date of payment of Basic Reparations Benefits. Basic Reparations benefits are benefits payable from the insurance policy of the injured party for medical bills, replacement services, or lost wages.
How do I know if I have a meritorious lawsuit?
In order to know your legal rights or whether an incident gives rise to a legal action one should first counsel with an attorney. The offices of J. Andrew White & Associates give free consultation for the purpose of determining whether the client has a legal right and cause of action to be pursued.
Is it moral and honest to pursue a claim for damages?
The newspaper and other media frequently speak of "frivolous claims." A frivolous claim is a claim that lacks factual or legal merit. If one has a claim for damages that is valid, the only place that one can pursue that claim is through the lawful channels, i.e. our judicial system. Hence, there is nothing disreputable or dishonest about pursuing a valid claim through the Court System.
Some billboards and advertisements claim that someone injured in an auto accident is entitled to $10,000 automatically. Is this true?
Simply put, "no." There is quite a bit of confusing advertising that misrepresents the purpose and provisions of Kentucky's Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (also known as the "No-Fault" Act). Kentucky Law provides that each policy of insurance sold in Kentucky be accompanied by a coverage known as "Basic Reparations Benefits." Basic Reparations Benefits and Added Reparation Benefits are sold in units of $10,000. As stated above, this coverage is for lost wages, medical bills, and replacement services. One can recover an amount of Basic Reparations Benefits from his or her own policy for loss actually experienced. Lost wages are capped at a maximum of $200 per week. There is no automatic $10,000 payable to the insured as is sometimes implied.
Will an action or claim against my own insurance company for Basic Reparations Benefits or other damages increase my insurance rates?
Kentucky Law does not permit your insurance company to increase your rates for an accident that is not your fault. KRS 304.20-045(1) states:
(1) No insurer shall increase the premium on an automobile liability insurance policy solely as a result of a claim for an automobile accident filed by an insured if the insured was not at fault nor contributorily negligent. (emphasis added)
Hence, a claim for Basic Reparations Benefits made by an insured for an accident not his or her fault should not increase one's premiums. The same hold true for claims made for uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage.
If someone hits me who does not have insurance, will I still have some way of recovering from my damages?
This is a very good question that is frequently posed. Kentucky insurance policies generally include underinsured and/or uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is for a party who is injured by someone who failed to purchase the required insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage addresses damages of someone who is injured by a party that has insufficient insurance coverage.