How to Start Your Car Crash Injury Case in Kentucky

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gavel of justice with car crash in backgroundKnowing which steps to take after a car accident can be challenging, especially if you’re facing high medical bills and time off work. Should you file a lawsuit or an insurance claim to get compensation? If you file a lawsuit, do you sue an insurance company, an at-fault driver, or someone else? Our law firm explains how to proceed with a car accident claim in Kentucky and what victims can do to get started.

Stage One: Demanding a Settlement to Your Kentucky Car Accident Claim

The majority of car accident claims settle without the need to file a lawsuit. Most victims start by filing an insurance claim to recover their losses from an insurance company. As a choice no-fault state, Kentucky drivers can use their own insurance to pay for car accident damages or file a claim against an at-fault driver. Either way, you will file a claim with an insurance company that will want to pay out as little as possible.

If your insurance claim was denied or the insurer refuses to pay the total amount you’re owed, an attorney can help with the claims process. Your next steps toward compensation include the following:

  • Meeting with an attorney. In your free consultation with an injury attorney, you will explain the details of the accident to the attorney, and they will determine whether your claim is viable. They will also explain how they get paid for their services and what to expect as your claim progresses.
  • Investigating the claim. If you decide to work together, your attorney will begin the investigation to gather vital evidence related to your case. This can include medical records, photos of your injuries, police reports, witness statements, expert opinions, and more. The investigation should prove who caused the crash, who is liable for your injury costs, and the extent and severity of your injuries.
  • Calculating damages. Your attorney will work to accurately value your economic and noneconomic damages related to the crash. This involves the treatment you have undergone and will need in the future and how the accident has affected your ability to do your job, care for your family, or live your life.
  • Sending a demand letter. Your attorney will prepare a letter outlining how much you’re owed, why the insurer is responsible for the costs, and how much compensation you demand. This letter will be sent to the liability insurance provider.
  • Negotiating with insurers. Insurers will usually contact you (or your attorney) to make an offer in response to the demand letter. This offer may be much less than you requested, so your attorney must begin negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. Nearly all cases are settled out of court.

Stage Two: Taking Your Kentucky Car Accident Case to Court

If you cannot reach an agreement with the at-fault party, you and your attorney may need to file a lawsuit to settle the matter. Under Kentucky’s statute of limitations, you must file your injury lawsuit within one year of the accident date. Your claim does not officially start until you file the complaint in court.

The court process has filing deadlines that must be met and fees that must be paid, so if you still need to get a lawyer, you should hire one as soon as possible. Your attorney will help you in the next vital stages of:

  • Filing the complaint. Your complaint should be filed in a Kentucky Circuit Court if you seek damages of $5,000 or more. You must provide the court with an original copy of your complaint, a civil summons or a warning order affidavit for the defendant(s) named in the lawsuit, and a check for filing fees payable to the court clerk.
  • Starting discovery. Discovery is an official investigation into the facts of the case. During discovery, your attorney will collect depositions, request documents and information from the defense, and exchange evidence with the defense’s counsel.
  • Going to trial. Your attorney may present evidence, question witnesses, or ask you to testify before the court. At trial, you always risk losing the case or winning and having your damages reduced under Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence laws.

Speak to an Injury Attorney Today to Get Started

A Louisville car accident attorney at Gray and White can help if you’re hurting after a car accident. Contact us today or call 1-888-450-4456 to schedule a free case consultation or read through our complimentary guide, Critical Information to Know Before Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Kentucky