How Is Liability Determined in Kentucky Car Accidents?

The aftermath of a serious car accident weighs heavily on victims and their families. Hospital stays, medical appointments, and missed work are stressful physically, financially, and mentally. Determining who is liable for any accident-related expenses can be overwhelming.

Kentucky allows motorists to choose between car insurance plans that directly affect accident compensation. The following is an outline of Kentucky’s policies on car accident liability. 

For information about a specific claim, consult an experienced Louisville car accident attorney.

What Is a “Choice No-Fault” State?

Kentucky is a “choice no-fault” state. In a “choice no-fault” state vehicle owners may choose between “no-fault” car insurance or traditional “fault-based” car insurance.

With “no-fault” car insurance plans, drivers seek compensation for medical costs and property damage from their insurance coverage regardless of fault for an accident. “No-fault” insurance is known as personal injury protection or PIP. 

PIP benefits in Kentucky pay up to $10,000 per claim. Vehicle owners may purchase a higher PIP policy if they choose.

Liability becomes an issue when a car accident exceeds $1,000 in medical expenses or if the injured party experienced one or more of the following as a result of the accident:

  • Permanent disfigurement;
  • Fracture of a weight-bearing bone;
  • Compound, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone;
  • Any permanent injury; or
  • Permanent loss of any body function.

The above only applies to bodily injury. A separate claim may be filed against an at-fault driver for property damage regardless of the amount.

Opting Out of No-Fault Insurance in Kentucky

Kentucky vehicle owners may choose to opt out of “no-fault” car insurance and choose a traditional “fault-based” car insurance policy. This means the policyholder may pursue legal action against an at-fault driver whether or not any injury or expense thresholds are met in an accident. 

Choosing a “fault-based” insurance policy allows the other driver to sue the policyholder in return. If a driver declines PIP benefits, Kentucky still requires that the driver have the following minimum insurance coverage: 

  • Bodily injury liability coverage of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident;
  • Property damage liability coverage of $10,000 per accident; or
  • $60,000 combined liability coverage; and
  • Uninsured motorist coverage equal to the minimum bodily injury limits.

Legal liability is imperative in “fault-based” insurance car accidents. 

Determining Liability in a “Fault-Based” Car Accident

Determining liability for a car accident begins at the time of the crash. Therefore, it is important accident victims do the following to protect themselves and their future legal rights:

  • Call for medical and police assistance right away;
  • Take photographs of any damage, the crash area, injuries, and debris;
  • Write down the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses;
  • Collect information from the other driver(s) and passengers;
  • Never admit fault for the accident;
  • Find out where to obtain a copy of the official police report.

Only do the above if it is safe to do so. An uninjured bystander or passenger may be able to collect the information if the driver is unable to do so.

Contact an Experienced Louisville Car Accident Attorney 

Do not volunteer information or sign any insurance documents without speaking to an experienced Kentucky car accident attorney like those Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC. Contact our skilled attorneys who will meet with you at no cost to discuss your car accident claim.

The Louisville personal injury attorneys at Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC have a track record of success securing compensation for victims of personal injury accidents. We know how important accident compensation is to move you past your injuries and forward with your life and healing.