When Can I Sue the Other Driver for Damages for a Kentucky Auto Accident?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries and whether you are bound by the limitation on tort actions. In some cases, you may not be able to sue another driver for injuries sustained in a Kentucky motor vehicle accident. Kentucky’s no-fault insurance laws place limitations on tort claims (accident lawsuits). Therefore, your right to sue another driver depends on whether you fall into one of the exceptions to the limitations on tort claims.
Our Kentucky car accident lawyer reviews all facts in your case to determine if you can file an accident lawsuit to recover damages. It is our goal to help you receive full compensation for your injuries. Don’t allow an insurance adjuster to convince you that you don’t have the right to file a claim or a lawsuit. Consult with an experienced lawyer who has your best interest, not the insurance company’s interest, as his sole priority.
PIP Insurance Coverage and Accident Lawsuits
Under Kentucky’s no-fault insurance laws, your right to sue the other driver is restricted. Your first course of payment for damages is under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. Every vehicle, except for motorcycles, are required to be covered by at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. If you are injured in an accident, the first $10,000 of your medical bills and lost income will be paid by your insurance provider or the insurance provider of the car in which you were a passenger. This payment is made regardless of which driver caused the collision.
Under PIP laws, you can only file a lawsuit for additional damages if you fall within one of the exceptions as outlined in Kentucky Revised Statute §304.39-60. Exceptions include:
- Your medical bills total $1,000 or more;
- You suffered a broken bone in the crash;
- Your injury is permanent;
- Your injury resulted in disfigurement or scarring;
- The crash resulted in loss of a body member (amputation);
- The injuries resulted in the loss of a body function (i.e. blindness, loss of hearing, etc.); or,
- The wreck resulted in a wrongful death.
Because many injuries result in more than $1,000 in medical expenses, you probably have the right to a driver for your damages. Our Kentucky attorneys can verify this for you and help you prepare a persuasive case against another driver.
Rejection of PIP Coverage
The other instance in which you can sue another driver for damages is when you have rejected the no-fault insurance coverage. Under the same code section referenced above, you have the right to reject the limitations on your ability to sue under tort law.
You can reject PIP coverage by submitting the required form to the Department of Insurance. However, you will not be eligible to receive any basic PIP benefits if you are injured in a car accident. Your sole source of recovery will be against the other driver, and you must prove the other driver was negligent and at fault for the collision. Furthermore, if the driver can prove that you are partially at fault for the crash, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Before rejecting basic PIP coverage, you should discuss the negative consequences of a rejection versus the potential limitations on your tort rights. Careful consideration should be given to this matter to ensure you are taking the proper step to protect your best interest in the event you are injured in a Kentucky motor vehicle accident.