Does Kentucky Require Personal Injury Protection Insurance? Is it a No-Fault State?
Yes, Kentucky is a no-fault state for insurance purposes. Therefore, all drivers are required to carry minimum no-fault insurance, commonly known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This requirement does not apply to motorcycles. PIP pays medical bills and lost wages up to $10,000 per person, regardless of who is at fault.
In other words, if you cause an accident, your insurance provider pays your medical bills and lost wages pursuant to your PIP coverage. While this type of coverage pays damages more quickly than a fault system, it does have its negative elements such as limiting your right to file a car accident lawsuit against the other driver.
The no-fault insurance system Kentucky adopted can be confusing and difficult to understand. When you are injured in a car accident, it is important that you understand all your rights regarding recovery of damages. Our Kentucky car accident attorneys review your case and advise you, in a way that makes sense, your rights regarding compensation for your injuries. Don’t let an insurance adjuster complicate matters and delay payment. Let our Kentucky auto accident attorneys cut through the legal jargon for you and protect your right to full compensation for your damages.
Limitations on Your Right to Sue
Under Kentucky Revised Statute §304.39-060, your right to sue (tort rights) is limited by the no-fault insurance system. Anyone who operates a vehicle in Kentucky is presumed to have accepted these limited rights to sue. As discussed above, if you are injured in an automobile accident, you file your claim against the insurance coverage for the vehicle you were in at the time of the accident. If you are a pedestrian, you file your claim against the vehicle that caused your injury. If the vehicle you were in doesn’t have insurance, you can apply under your PIP policy or a PIP policy of a household member.
In a fault state, a victim would be required to file a lawsuit against the other driver to collect damages. Your right to sue and another person’s right to sue you is limited in Kentucky. You are only permitted to sue the other driver if your medical bills total $1,000 or more, or you suffer a permanent injury, are disfigured, or suffer a broken bone. The limit is also waived in the event of a wrongful death. Because most car accidents result in more than $1,000 in medical bills, it is easy to overcome the limitations on the right to sue.
Can I Reject the Limitations on My Right to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Yes, you can reject the limitations, but your rejection must be in writing. You must complete a special form and file it with the Kentucky Department of Insurance. However, rejecting the limitation on tort rights means that you are unable to receive basic PIP benefits. Furthermore, victims of an accident you cause can sue you without meeting the threshold requirements. In addition, your liability insurance may cost more when you reject PIP coverage.
PIP and Motorcycles
A motorcyclist can choose to purchase PIP insurance, but it is not required for motorcycles. However, if a rider doesn’t carry basic PIP coverage, the rider nor passenger is permitted to receive PIP benefits from any source. Furthermore, the motorcyclist is still bound by the limitations on the right to sue even if he doesn’t purchase basic coverage. If the rider decides to reject the no-fault policy, he cannot recover the first $10,000 in damages from the at-fault party.
Need More Information?
You can obtain additional information about Kentucky’s no-fault insurance system by downloading a copy of the Auto and Home Insurance Guide provided by the Kentucky Department of Insurance. You may also get more information by contacting our Kentucky car accident attorney.