Do’s and Don’ts After an Injury
In 2020, there were over 100,000 car crashes in the state of Kentucky, according to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. Of these, 2,644 people sustained serious injuries. This data highlights just how common accidents are and how many people they can affect. If this were to happen to you or someone you love, would you know what to do?
Unfortunately, many people can’t answer basic questions about incidents like this. You may be wondering things like, “What should I do if I sustain an injury in an accident?” or “What if I’m injured but don’t have insurance?” These are critical concerns and ones that you should be able to address immediately.
For help with this and to speak with a personal injury attorney, contact our team at Caleb Bland Law, PLLC. We’re located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky but can serve those throughout the area including Hardin, Meade, Grayson, Breckinridge, Nelson, LaRue, Hart, Bullitt, and Jefferson County.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Kentucky
In Kentucky, you have either one year or two years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury claim. For incidents like dog bites and slip-and-fall accidents, the statute of limitations is one year; however, for most car accidents you’ll have two years to file a claim.
Furthermore, Kentucky follows a “choice no-fault” model for car crashes which dictates how accident victims must seek compensation. Specifically, this usually means you must first file a claim under your own policy (regardless of who was at fault), and have your personal injury insurance (PIP) cover your bills.
When you enter into a personal injury claim:
Don’t leave the scene of an accident until you've exchanged information. It’s imperative that you get the contact information for the other driver as well as their insurance information. If you can, also get contact information for any witnesses who may have seen the accident take place.
Don’t talk about the case. The only person you should be discussing details of your case with is your attorney, and this includes friends. Of course, you can give them basic information about it and let them know that you’re okay and pursuing a claim, but don't share details, especially over social media.
Don’t talk to the insurance adjuster about certain details of your case. If you're wondering if you should talk to an insurance adjuster, the answer is not as simple as it may seem. You can and should speak to the adjuster, but you should only give them basic information (such as your name, contact info, and profession) as well as where the accident happened, when it happened, and who was involved. You should never try to explain why it happened or whose fault it was. Additionally, you should never agree to give them a statement before consulting with your attorney.
Don’t accept the first deal you’re offered by the insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to rush people through the claims process and get them to agree to a settlement as fast as possible. This will almost always be for less than you deserve, so you should always reject their first offer. Many people won’t have a clear idea of the extent of their injuries until several days or weeks have gone by, and if you agree to a low amount you could be left with mounting medical bills down the road that you’ll be responsible for paying.
Don’t neglect your injuries. Your physical well-being is the most important thing to focus on and you should get medical attention immediately, even if you’re uninsured or underinsured. Be sure to keep documentation of all diagnoses and bills, as well as a record of all doctor’s visits. If you’re worried about being able to pay bills, you can always tell your provider you were in an accident and are in the middle of negotiations for damages and once this is resolved, you'll pay the bills.
DO contact a personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you through this difficult time and ensure you’re staying on top of all deadlines and have enough evidence to support your case. They can also negotiate on your behalf with adjusters.
DO keep records of everything. This includes police reports, photos or videos, medical expenses, and your written account of everything you can remember leading up to the accident and following the accident. Include with this a description of how this is affecting your work and ability to draw a paycheck, as well as your daily life.
Protect Your Health & Your Rights
There are a lot of things you’ll want to do in the days and weeks following an accident. An attorney can help. If you’re already struggling to recover from your injuries and emotional trauma, get the support of an attorney so that you can focus on your recovery. If you’re in the Elizabethtown, Kentucky, area and have recently been injured in an accident, call us at Caleb Bland Law, PLLC to schedule a consultation.