Personal Injury Law or Tort law is a branch of civil law that compensates victims in money for accidents or social wrongs. The injured person filing for a lawsuit is called the “plaintiff,” while the person who caused such injuries is the “defendant.” In cases where the accident resulted in wrongful death, the family of the deceased may represent him instead. Workers’ compensation is also included in personal injury cases but it seldomly results in lawsuits.
The purpose of those who file for personal injury lawsuits is generally to recover compensation with the personal injury claims including the lost income they may have incurred due to the personal injuries after the accident and medical expenses.
In order to prove personal injury cases and get compensation, the courts take many factors such as who the negligent person was, how was he negligent or careless, and up to what degree was the negligence.
Who is at fault?
In a personal injury case, knowing who is at fault is essential for it will be the determining factor for who will be the one to pay compensation or any other sort of damages to the other. Some states require the individual filing personal injury case to be the one not at fault. However, the state of Kentucky allows the filing of the case even if you know that you are partially or primarily at fault. However, the degree of compensation will depend on the degree of negligence you are responsible for.
Comparative Fault Rules
The Kentucky law requires courts to apply the comparative fault in lawsuits. It is a rule where the percentage of the negligent parties involved will be directly proportional to the compensation paid. For example, if the injured person is 70% at fault for his negligence in the accident, the amount paid to him will only be 30%.
Auto Insurance Laws in Kentucky
Kentucky is a “no-fault” state that requires injured people to first claim compensation from their own insurance coverage before filing for a personal injury lawsuit. In order to file for one, the person should first exceed his personal injury protection (PIP) benefits or suffer a “serious injury” that may include permanent disfigurement or permanent loss of body functions.
Dog bite or attack cases
Unlike in most states where the dog owners are protected the first time their dog bites or attacks another, dog owners in Kentucky are “strictly liable” to the bites, attacks or damages to a person, livestock, or other property regardless of the history of the animal.
Damage Caps in Kentucky
Some states set limits for damages in personal injury cases. Kentucky, however, is not one of them. There are no damage caps or limits for economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are compensation received as a result of monetary loss suffered because of the personal injury. These include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, loss of earning capacity, vocational rehabilitation, household services, and out-of-pocket costs.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are losses compensated you for pain and suffering, discomfort, anxiety, disfigurement, emotional distress, loss of love, care, affection, companionship, and death.
Time limit for Filing Personal Injury Cases
There is a “statute of limitations” in Kentucky which sets a deadline on when a person can file for a personal injury lawsuit. The deadline given by the law is one year after the date of the accident in most cases. If you fail to file a lawsuit during that time, the case will most likely be dismissed. However, there are exceptions in the general rule which includes:
- The age of the injured person. If the injured individual sustained a brain injury, an “infant of unsound mind” or under the age 18 years or has been declared as incapacitated, the lawsuit may be filed within one year after the incapacity has been removed.
- The location of the defendant. If the defendant is not present in Kentucky at any point in time or is concealing himself within the state, the prescription period of one year will not start until the defendant reveals himself.
Got into an injury accident? Get yourself an injury lawyer!
When facing personal injury charges in Kentucky, consulting a personal injury lawyer well-versed in handling injury cases is important especially if you’re not certain of your specific situation. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you explore the legal rights you may have, seek fair compensation you may be entitled to, personal injury protection and other legal services available to you, as well as represent you in injury lawsuits if the case goes to trial. Call us at Farmer & Wright, PLLC now for a free consultation.