Where will the money come from to pay my bills?
An accident can require you to deal with many problems, and many layers of insurance, that you may never have known existed before you were injured.
- The liability insurance that is carried by the person responsible for the accident;
- The no fault/PIP insurance that attaches to the vehicle in which the injured party was traveling (or by which the injured party was struck if a pedestrian or cyclist).
- A typical auto accident victim in Kentucky will have immediate problems with medical expenses, pain and suffering, inability to work and/or to carry on usual daily activities, damage to automobile and future needs. The possible sources of recovery available in such a situation include:
- The personal assets of the person responsible for the accident, if insurance is inadequate;
- The health insurance of the accident victim or the family of the victim;
- The underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage of the accident victim and the victim’s family members;
- Many other insurance and personal assets are available in unique situations, such as the policies that cover corporate employers of accident victims and of those responsible for accidents.
What do I have to pay for you to take my case?
We handle injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means it costs you nothing to contact us. If we take your case, we only get paid once there’s an award (e.g. verdict or settlement) at the end of the case. In accordance with KBA regulations, we must inform you that case and court costs may be the responsibility of the client. However, our firm has a Fee Free Guarantee for injury cases. There’s information about this at the bottom on our Home page.
Criminal cases are typically handled on a hourly or flat-fee basis. You’ll want to speak directly with one of our lawyers about your case, so we can determine how much your specific case would cost. Handling traffic tickets and DUIs are much different than defending high-level charges at trial.
What is no fault/PIP insurance?
- If you have been injured in an accident in Kentucky, and the driver of the vehicle that you were riding in—even if it is you—has insurance, then in most cases, you will have what is called “no fault” or PIP (personal injury protection) insurance.
- This insurance is in addition to the insurance that allows you to recover from the person who is at fault for the accident, and it is immediately accessible, without any determination about who is at fault.
- It will pay, with minimum insurance, up to $10,000 of your immediate expenses such as medical bills, lost earnings (up to a limit per week) and other out of pocket expenses such as prescriptions and transportation.
- We can help you get set up with that insurance immediately, and we will charge you nothing whatsoever for that assistance if we take your case.
10 Things to do after a Car Accident
Over six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. Fortunately, most of them involve only property damage – damage to the vehicle as opposed to the occupants. But one in three accidents involve personal injury to the driver or passengers and out of that number, two out of every ten accidents lead to fatal injuries. If you are involved in an automobile accident, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and your interests. The following is a list of the top ten things you should do if you are in an automobile accident:
CALL THE POLICE. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. If anyone is injured, dial 911 for an ambulance.
Don’t move your car unless you have to because of danger. The position of the vehicle after impact will allow the police to better understand who was at fault.
MAKE AN ACCURATE RECORD. When the police arrive, make sure you tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you do not know certain facts, tell that to the officer. Do not speculate, guess or misstate any of the facts. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure, say you are not sure, rather than no. Often, the pain and injuries from motor vehicle accidents become apparent hours after the actual collision. You should also make sure statements made by other persons involved in the accident are accurate as well.
TAKE PICTURES. If you happen to have a camera in your vehicle, or a cell phone equipped with a camera, you should take pictures of the vehicles if there is visible damage. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. However, you should in no way interfere with the on-going police investigation. If you cannot take pictures at the scene of the accident, take them as soon as possible after the accident.
EXCHANGE INFORMATION. Typically, the investigating police officer obtains this information. However, if the police do not respond to the accident, you should obtain the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike. You should also obtain information about insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as well so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future. If police respond to the accident, the investigating officer usually will provide all drivers with a police report number. You can use that number later to obtain the police report. If the accident occurs on a state highway, you must request the report from the state police.
REPORT THE ACCIDENT. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage. In Kentucky this is called “PIP” or Personal Injury Protection. This will cover your first $10,000 in medical bills. PIP benefits are available to all the occupants of the vehicle. Your insurance rates should not increase as a result of submitting claims for PIP coverage.
SPEAK UP. If you think the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, tell the police officer and they can perform a sobriety test.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Most of our clients report feeling the most pain a day or two following an automobile accident. Unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain a serious and permanent injury to your spinal cord. If you lost consciousness or were dazed for even a short period of time following the collision, you may have suffered a concussion or closed head injury. This can cause cognitive and behavioral changes if left untreated.
KEEP A FILE. Keep all your accident-related documents and information together. This information should include a claim number, the claim’s adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult your attorney. Your attorney can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. It is important that you have received legal advice before providing such a statement. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless the attorney recovers compensation for your injuries.