Let’s talk about the number one question I get from my clients that have been injured in a car accident. And that is — what is my car accident injury claim worth? Well, there’s a variety of different factors you have to look at to evaluate the value of a motor vehicle accident injury claim.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
It is important to first understand that Kentucky is what is called a no-fault or PIP state. You may have heard this phrase before — no-fault. What this means is that, under Kentucky law, if you have automobile insurance, it’s very likely that you have what is called no-fault coverage which is also known as PIP benefits (personal injury protection benefits).
This basically means that if you’ve been injured in a car accident, your current insurer will pay up to usually the first $10,000 for your medical bills. Please note that most auto-owners in Kentucky have $10,000 in PIP insurance coverage, though some automobile owners purchase additional PIP coverage. This coverage is not only for medical bills though. Per Kentucky law, they’ll also pay up to $200 a week for your lost wages.
So no matter who’s at fault for the accident, your insurance company is obligated to pay for accident-related treatment and lost wages out of PIP coverage. This is a good thing. So don’t be afraid to go get treatment if you’ve been injured in an accident.
Additional Insurance Coverage
After taking the PIP benefits into account, the next factor you want to evaluate for an car accident injury claim is how much insurance coverage is available to you for your injury claim. So you will need to try to get the driver’s insurance company to disclose the policy limits of the other driver. In Kentucky, insurance companies are not required to disclose their insured’s policy limits until after a lawsuit is filed against their insured. It’s also possible that more than one driver has some fault for the accident if several vehicles are involved in the accident so there could be several different insurance policies available to you. Additionally, if you have uninsured motorist coverage and/or underinsured motorist coverage insurance on your automobile insurance policy, you may be able to pursue claims under that insurance coverage as well.
Since there could be multiple policies involved, I would encourage you to reach out to an attorney to investigate this for you. There might be some insurance coverage available to you that you’re not even aware of and thus it’s important an investigation is done.
Damages In A Car Accident Injury Claim
Next, you want to look at what the damages are as a result of the accident. The most common types of damages that you can recover in a car accident claim include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
As far as pain and suffering damages, what we typically do as attorneys, is look at historical data in the local jurisdiction of where the lawsuit would be filed. We look for past jury verdicts for similar cases to yours where the person sustained similar injuries, compare it to your case to then use this data to try to come up with a range of what your case might be worth.
After looking at damages, you want to look at the percentage of fault. Kentucky is what is called a comparative negligence state. This means that you can still recover even if you have some fault for the accident, so long as you’re not 100% at fault for the accident.
So for instance, if you’re in a car wreck and a jury determines that you’re 25% at fault for the accident and the other driver is 75% at fault, you can still recover that 75% of your damages from the other driver’s insurance company. That being said, you would be out that 25% that you’re determined to be at fault for in this particular scenario.
Injuries Sustained In The Car Accident
After determining the percentage of fault, you must look at the nature and extent of your injuries. Someone that’s going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of their life due to their injuries sustained in an automobile accident is a case that’s going to have high-value damages; especially when compared to someone that has suffered minor neck and back injuries as a result of the automobile accident. Minor neck and back injuries can even still have value though, so if you are reading this and you are suffering from neck and/or back pain from an automobile accident, you still may very well have an injury claim worth pursuing.
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If you or your loved one has been in a car accident, reach out today to learn more and share your story. We’ll help you obtain the highest car accident settlement possible in Louisville and surrounding counties. We will do everything we can to ensure that you obtain the financial remedy you deserve. Get started with a free case review.