Getting into a car accident can result in several costly expenses that may be considered “damages.” Whether you are faced with medical bills from your accident or a loss of wages due to an inability to work, you may wonder if these are damages you can recover.
Your Chances of Being in a Car Accident in Kentucky
According to the Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC), in 2020, there were 119,449 traffic collisions, or 1 in 24 licensed drivers was in a crash, making this an unfortunately common issue. The following injury-related statistics were reported:
- 29,058 total injuries resulted from car accidents
- 1 in 154 Kentucky residents were injured in a traffic collision
- 780 total deaths resulted from traffic collisions
Who Pays for What?
Kentucky is a no-fault state in car accident cases. No-fault does not refer to the blame or responsibility assigned to either driver in an accident but instead refers to the type of auto insurance system established by a state’s laws. Kentucky’s No-Fault Law includes personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and tort rights. Here’s what you need to know about both.
Kentucky requires basic PIP coverage on all motor vehicles except motorcycles. Basic PIP provides up to $10,000 per person per accident for medical expenses, lost wages, and similar “out-of-pocket” costs due to an injury. Higher coverage plans are optional.
Kentucky deems all people who register, operate, maintain, or use a motor vehicle in the state to have accepted limitations on their rights to sue and be sued (also known as tort rights). This means that if you were injured in a car accident, there is a specific financial or injury-related threshold you must meet and exceed to recover additional damages, including:
- $1,000 in medical expenses
- A broken bone
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent injury
4 Types of Damages You Can Recover
1. Medical Expenses
You cannot sue another driver unless you have more than $1,000 in medical expenses. However, your medical bills will likely exceed this threshold if you are seriously injured in an accident. Medical expenses often include the following:
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
2. Property Damages
Property is defined as anything that a person or entity can own. Property damages refer not only to damage to your vehicle but the items within it. When filing a property damage claim for your vehicle or “repairable” items, you must include two estimates from firms that perform repair work on the dollar amount of repairs needed.
3. Pain & Suffering
Pain and suffering refers to physical discomfort and emotional distress that are compensable as noneconomic damages. Physical discomfort and emotional distress include the pain, anguish, inconvenience, and emotional trauma accompanying an injury. Often, physical discomfort and emotional distress are hard to quantify.
However, suppose you are found to have endured physical pain or emotional injury as the result of your accident. In that case, you may be able to recover additional money to account for these damages.
4. Lost Wages or Earning Potential
Lost wages refer to the actual wages or income you have lost due to your temporary or permanent loss of employment. For example, if a hairdresser was injured in an accident and could not see booked clients for a week due to a foot fracture, they might file a claim for a week’s worth of lost wages. If this same hairdresser’s hand was permanently damaged due to the accident, they might file a claim for loss of earning potential due to not being able to work as a hairdresser with only one fully-functioning hand.
How Can A Car Accident Attorney Help You?
Car accident claims have statutes of limitations, meaning they have a deadline to be filed. If you have been in an accident, it is important that you contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. At Katz Law we will help to ensure that all of your paperwork is completed accurately and promptly so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Call our firm today at (270) 778-0020 for a free consultation or fill out this short form.