What You Need to Know About Auto Accident Compensation

On behalf of The Berger Firm Sept. 25, 2018

Kentucky is known for many fine things, including the Kentucky Derby, outstanding racehorses, mint juleps, rolling bluegrass hills and rollicking bluegrass music. Unfortunately, it likewise is known for its notorious narrow country roads. Should you suffer injuries in a car crash on one of them or on one of our far more driver-friendly highways and freeways, you will be glad to know that not only can you sue the negligent driver who caused your wreck, but Kentucky also places no cap on the amount of damages you can receive.

Before you can file a personal injury lawsuit, however, you must meet certain threshold requirements. Your injuries must result in one of the following:

  • $1,000 minimum medical expenses

  • One or more broken bones

  • Permanent disfigurement

  • Permanent injury

  • Death

Comparative Negligence

Bear in mind that Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that while there is no cap on the amount of damages a judge or jury could award you, (s)he or they will reduce that amount by the percentage of fault you contributed to the accident. Consequently, if your raw award amounts to $100,000 but the judge or jury holds you 30 percent responsible for the accident as opposed to the defendant’s 70 percent, your net award will amount to $70,000.

Damage Types

Personal injury damages come in two types: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages are those on which you can place a precise dollar amount. Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are those intangible things on which no one, not even you, can place a dollar figure. You can, nevertheless, recover both economic and noneconomic damages, resulting in an award that includes the following:

  • Your medical and prescription expenses

  • Your pain and suffering

  • Your disfigurement

  • Your lost wages

  • Your loss of consortium with your spouse, i.e., your loss of his or her affection, care, companionship, etc.

Statutes of Limitation

Under Kentucky law, you must bring your personal injury suit within one year of the date of your accident. If you sue for property damages only, you must file your suit within two years of the date of your accident. Your property damage suit could result in your receiving a replacement vehicle of approximately the same value as the one damaged in the wreck, plus your costs for an interim rental vehicle.