Drivers and passengers who have been involved in a car accident in Kentucky need to understand the different state laws and insurance rules that could affect any injury settlement or vehicle damage claim.
This page provides a guide to the Kentucky-specific resources on All-About-Car-Accidents.com, beginning with a look at Kentucky’s “choice no-fault” car insurance system, and how an injured person might be able to step outside of those rules to file a claim or lawsuit against another driver. We’ll also look at state laws that could affect such a lawsuit in Kentucky.
After any car accident in Kentucky, the first thing to understand is that the state follows a “no-fault” car insurance system, with an added wrinkle that gives drivers the choice to “opt out” of no-fault when they first purchase their car insurance policy. This kind of system is called “choice no fault,” and it’s also followed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
If you choose no-fault, regardless of who may be to blame for the car accident, you turn first (and often exclusively) to your own car insurance coverage to get compensation for injuries and lost income, up to a certain dollar limit.
Kentucky drivers and passengers who have been injured in a car accident can only step outside of the state's no-fault system -- and pursue a claim directly against the at-fault driver -- if their injuries:
For details on the “serious injury” definition for exemption from no-fault in Kentucky, and for the minimum coverage requirements in the state, check out Kentucky No-Fault Car Insurance Laws.
After a car accident, if your claim is serious enough to let you step outside of Kentucky’s no-fault rules and file a liability claim against the at-fault driver, there are a few state laws that could affect your case, starting with the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit in court (this kind of law is called a “statute of limitations,” and every state has one).
In Kentucky, you have:
If you miss the deadline for getting your lawsuit filed, the court will probably throw your case out without considering it, so it’s crucial to understand how the statute of limitations applies to your situation. Even if you think your case is bound to settle outside of court, you always want to keep open the option of filing a lawsuit.
Learn more about state laws that could affect your car accident settlement or lawsuit in our article Car Accident Laws in Kentucky.
If you were involved in a minor car accident and you are simply making a claim through your own policy in line with Kentucky no-fault car insurance rules, you probably don’t need to hire a car accident lawyer, as long as you’re comfortable handling the claim yourself.
But if you’ve suffered significant injuries and you think your claim meets the threshold for taking a car accident case outside of no-fault in Kentucky, there might be a lot more at stake, and things can get contentious pretty quickly. In that case, it’s probably a good idea to discuss your situation with an experienced Kentucky car accident lawyer.