Young woman on the phone after a car accident

Common Misconceptions
About Car Accident Claims

Caleb Bland Law, PLLC April 23, 2022

In Kentucky, there were over 156,000 traffic collisions reported in 2019. Of these, the vast majority of victims experienced property damage and nearly 17% of victims experienced some kind of injury. With so many people affected by auto accidents in Kentucky, it’s important to sort out fact from fiction when it comes to filing car accident claims.

After a traumatic event, you deserve knowledgeable guidance and financial assistance to help you get back on your feet. If you’re looking for legal counsel after a car wreck, call us at Caleb Bland Law, PLLC. Our office is in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, but we’re able to serve individuals throughout the entire state, including Radcliff, Shepherdsville, Bardstown, Brandenburg, Leitchfield, Hodgenville, and Louisville.

Five Common Misconceptions
About Car Accident Claims

It’s always the at-fault driver’s insurance
that pays for damages/injuries.

This isn’t always true. Kentucky is a no-fault state, meaning that your insurance provider can pay out on a claim regardless of who is found liable for the accident occurring. In practice, this means that you’ll typically first seek compensation through your own insurance policy. The state has minimum insurance requirements that each driver must hold like personal injury protection (PIP), and this must be used to cover your initial medical bills, lost wages, or other out-of-pocket expenses that result from an injury. PIP can cover both the driver and any passengers, as well as a pedestrian or bicyclist who was injured. Depending on the severity of the accident, however, this may not be enough to cover all your expenses.

Since Kentucky is a no-fault insurance state, I
can’t seek compensation from the at-fault driver.

You can eventually seek compensation from the at-fault party, but only after you make a claim through your own insurance. In many cases, your own PIP car insurance won’t be enough to cover all your damages, and you’ll have the option to file a claim against the at-fault driver if you meet certain requirements. This typically happens when someone is seriously injured or when the victim is seeking compensation for property damage, as PIP only covers expenses related to injuries.

If the accident is minor, it’s not necessary to file a police report.

It’s almost always a good idea to file a police report after an accident, even for minor accidents. Legally, you’re required to file a police report within 10 days of the accident if there’s more than $500 in property damages or if it resulted in an injury or death. The damages that occur from car crashes can often be hard to determine, and as you file claims (and potentially lawsuits), you’ll want as much documentation as possible. At first, it can be hard to know whether the damage to your car will exceed $500 (though repair bills can quickly add up, even for a minor fender bender), and some injuries can take days or even weeks to make themselves known. If an officer arrives at the scene of the accident, be sure to take down their name and contact information to obtain a copy of their report. If you file after the fact, retain two copies of the report—one for your own use and one to send to your insurance company.

I was partially at fault for the accident,
so I can’t file a personal injury claim.

Kentucky is a “pure comparative fault” state, which means that fault can be shared by both parties involved in the accident. This means that even if you were responsible for a portion of the accident, you can still seek compensation from the other driver—no matter what percentage of liability you hold. For example, if you are found to be 75% responsible for an accident occurring, you can still seek compensation for the remaining 25% from the other driver. So, if the final settlement would have been $10,000, you’d still be able to receive up to $2,500.

I don’t need to hire an attorney to file a personal injury claim.

While it’s true you aren’t legally obligated to hire a personal injury attorney, many people who’ve been involved in car accidents find them indispensable in handling the process and achieving fair financial compensation. The days and weeks following an accident can be very difficult as you try to navigate your way through doctor’s appointments, car repair quotes, and insurance settlements. An experienced lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance adjusters and will ensure you’re building a strong case. They can help you gather evidence and will work within state-specific laws to improve your chances of a favorable settlement.

Getting the Skilled Legal Help You Need

If you’re in the Elizabethtown, Kentucky area, and are looking for a reputable law firm to help you file or follow up on a car accident claim, contact Caleb Bland Law, PLLC to schedule a consultation. We are proud to serve clients anywhere in Kentucky, including Hardin, Meade, Grayson, Breckinridge, Nelson, LaRue, Hart, Bullitt, and Jefferson County.