Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kentucky
Even if you meet the basic requirements to bring a claim, it’s always best to consult with an experienced Louisville car accident lawyer. Our legal team can provide a no-cost, personalized case evaluation that considers the strength of your claim and your chances of getting compensation.
Personal injury cases are based on the legal theory of negligence. Although collisions are commonly called “accidents,” most result from someone (or something) not performing as they should. Negligence is the lack of attention or diligence that a reasonable person would have under similar circumstances. The negligent person you are suing for compensation is called the defendant.
According to our Louisville car accident attorney, there are four components to successfully proving negligence:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care. Drivers have a responsibility to act in a way that doesn’t harm others.
- The defendant breached the duty of care. Actions, inaction, or carelessness can all be ways in which the duty of care is breached.
- You suffered an injury and incurred damages. Your claim would likely be denied if you suffered no injuries or financial losses.
- There is a direct link between the defendant’s actions and your losses. Your losses must be caused by the defendant’s lack of care.
Multiple parties could share fault for an injury, including an at-fault driver, a company or organization, or a government entity. You could be assigned some portion of the blame as well. However, you could still receive damages under the law even if you played a part in causing your own injury.
Kentucky operates under a comparative fault rule for injury lawsuits, meaning your compensation will be reduced based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you were over the stop line at an intersection but were hit by a distracted driver, you could be 10% liable, while the other driver could be 90% at fault. Ten percent will be subtracted if you’re awarded $50,000, and you will only receive $45,000.
Once you have shown that the defendant caused your suffering, you must show evidence of the extent of your injuries. This can include medical documentation from your emergency room treatment, follow-up care, and notes on your accident-related symptoms. Your car crash attorney can help you calculate the amount of your past medical bills and the amount you might have to pay for future medical care.
Damages are the financial costs and direct losses resulting from an accident. These can be difficult to calculate without the help of a skilled car accident lawyer but generally include:
- Medical bills, prescription medications, and out-of-pocket costs
- Lost wages and future earning losses caused by disability
- Scarring or disfigurement from the crash
- Property damage, such as repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Pain and suffering resulting from the injury
- Lost enjoyment of life caused by the accident
Statute of Limitations
Finally, you will have to bring a car accident claim before the statute of limitations expires. Kentucky’s statute of limitations on personal injury cases is relatively short, giving victims just one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If the claim isn’t filed within this timeframe, the court can dismiss it regardless of the damage caused or the degree of the defendant’s negligence.
Let Us Help You After a Car Accident in Louisville
At Gray and White Law, we take all legal matters off your plate and do everything we can to ease your burden while your case is pending. Contact us today or call 888-450-4456 to schedule a free case consultation or read through our complimentary guide, Critical Information to Know Before Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Kentucky.