Louisville, Kentucky Lawyer Helping Victims With Vehicle Accident Injury Claims
According to insurance claim statistics, the average driver will be involved in about five accidents during their lifetime. With roughly 400 collisions reported in Kentucky every single day, it is easy to see how the numbers start to add up. Unsurprisingly, more than half of these accidents involve collisions with other moving vehicles.
Kentucky law entitles accident victims to financial compensation from negligent drivers and other third-parties that are responsible for the accidents. This may include a defective part manufacturer, a truck driver’s employer, or even the state or local government agency tasked with maintaining the road where the accident occurred. With even minor accidents having the potential to cause serious, life-changing injuries, it is important for accident victims to identify all possible sources of compensation for their injuries and other losses.
Experienced Representation for Auto Injuries & Vehicle Collisions
At Gladstein Law Firm, we help injury victims obtain compensation for their losses through insurance settlements and litigation. We provide personalized, attentive, and experienced representation focused on maximizing our clients’ financial recoveries for their losses. We regularly handle cases involving:
While most auto accident claims settle, we are not shy about taking the insurance companies and other responsible parties to court. When we take your case, our sole priority is helping you obtain the largest possible settlement or verdict as quickly as possible. If the insurance company makes an offer, we will help you weigh your options so that you can feel confident about the outcome of your case. If we need to take your case to trial, we will fight vigorously to ensure that justice is served.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Kentucky
To help you deal your situation and make smart decisions that can help your claim for damages, we have compiled a list of the basic steps you should take after being involved in an accident. This assumes that you are not too injured to move. If you are seriously injured, your health is your top priority, so wait until the EMTs arrive before taking an action. Otherwise, following a car accident, you should:
- Check yourself and passengers for serious injuries, and call 911. Even if you do not appear injured, you should seek medical attention. Symptoms from many traumatic injuries may not appear for days or even weeks following a collision.
- If you are able, get your car off the road, taking care to avoid traffic on the road.
- Call your insurance company. At this point, all you want to do is report the damage to your vehicle. You should avoid making any statements about why or how the accident occurred.
- Gather identifying information from all parties involved, including: names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, license plate numbers, VINs, and insurance details.
- Take pictures of your injuries, the damage to each of the vehicles involved, and the scene of the accident.
- Ask for the responding police officer’s information, including: name, jurisdiction, ID number, and phone number. You should also obtain a copy of the police report.
- After you leave the scene, call a Louisville car accident attorney at Gladstein Law Firm to discuss your case with a Louisville personal injury lawyer.
As we mentioned, it is important that you avoid discussing the details of the accident with your insurance company. If there is a dispute, the insurance company may try to use your words against you. In the aftermath of an accident, people often have a tendency to take blame or assume they were at fault in the collision. However, the law may say otherwise. It is best to speak with an attorney before you talk to your insurance company so you can avoid saying anything that may prevent you from obtaining maximum compensation. At Gladstein Law Firm, we can work with the insurance companies on your behalf so that you can stay focused on your recovery.
What Our Clients are Saying
After gaining a decade of experience defending against personal injury claims, Seth Gladstein decided to turn the tables and use what he had learned to help negligence victims recover for their losses. Since founding Gladstein Law Firm in 2011, Seth has helped numerous clients obtain compensation for injuries suffered in vehicle collisions and other accidents. Here is what one of his clients had to say:
“Seth just successfully settled a case for me, and if you are looking for a compassionate, trustworthy, responsive and tenacious attorney, I cannot recommend Seth Gladstein higher.”
This is just one example of numerous accolades and recommendations. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident, Gladstein Law Firm can help you win the compensation you deserve.
Seeking Damages for Kentucky Car Accident Victims
Following a serious accident, you are likely to miss time from work, face expensive car repair and medical bills, and suffer from emotional distress. You may also suffer additional damages, such as physical pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses. In fact, most people do not realize the full scope of their losses arising from a vehicle collision. At Gladstein Law Firm, we can help make sure that the responsible parties are held accountable for the full amount to which you are entitled.
Games Insurance Companies Play
Most car accident claims (well over 90 percent) are resolved through private settlement. Unless you are an experienced negotiator with a strong command of Kentucky personal injury law, going up against an experienced insurance adjustor at the negotiating table will be like a high school football team playing the Dallas Cowboys. We know how to level the playing field for you.
Following are some common tricks played by insurance adjustors to defeat or minimize your claim.
- Scouring your Facebook account, looking for recent photos of you looking “healthy”
- Issuing a quick, “lowball” settlement offer while you are still in the hospital and then setting an artificial deadline for you to accept it
- Demanding unlimited access to your medical records and then going on “fishing expedition” looking for pre-existing injuries
- Taking a recorded statement of a Q&A session with you in which they try to trap you into making damaging admissions
- Many more sharp negotiating tactics
About Founding Partner Seth Gladstein
After four years with a prominent New York law firm and another six with a top Louisville law firm, Seth Gladstein grew sick and tired of representing personal injury defendants seeking to avoid paying claims against them. He experienced a change of heart and decided to dedicate the rest of his professional career representing the interests of injured victims, not defendants.
Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC is the result. Mr. Gladstein has spent too long at the defendant’s side of the table to fall for any of the tricks that defendants and insurance companies like to play. He is ready and able to put his unique experience to work for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit?
In Kentucky you have:
- two years from the date of the accident to file a motor vehicle personal injury lawsuit
- two years from the victim’s date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit
- two years from the date of the accident to file a property damage lawsuit
Certain exceptions apply (if you were a minor on the date of the accident, for example).
Is my claim barred if the accident was partly my fault?
No. Under Kentucky’s “pure comparative negligence” system, your damages will be reduced in exact proportion to your percentage of fault (a 40 percent deduction if you were 40 percent at fault, for example). If the accident was mostly your fault, however, or if the defendant’s damages are much higher than yours, you could still end up with a net loss if the defendant counterclaims against you.
Will I lose my claim if the accident was partly my fault?
It depends. If the court assigns you a percentage of fault for the accident, your damages will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault, and you may have to pay a certain percentage of the defendant’s damages. If your fault was high enough, you could end up with a net loss.
Is Kentucky a “no-fault” auto insurance state?
Yes, Kentucky has been a “no-fault” state since 1975. You are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection insurance, which is designed to cover your own damages, and you cannot sue the at-fault driver unless your damages or injuries reach a certain level.
Does being a “no-fault” state mean I cannot sue the at-fault driver?
Not necessarily. Under Kentucky’s no-fault auto insurance system, you can exit the no-fault system and sue the at-fault driver if:
- Your medical expenses exceed $1,000
- You suffered a bone fracture, permanent injury or disfigurement, permanent loss of bodily function or loss of a body part
- You are filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased victim
What is the minimum auto insurance required by law in Kentucky?
Your auto insurance must cover no less than:
- $25,000 maximum per victim
- $50,000 maximum per accident (no matter how many victims of the accident)
- $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection
- $10,000 in property damage.
What should I know about auto repair claims?
- You should obtain a repair estimate (the defendant will do the same)
- You are entitled to reimbursement of your repair expenses
- You are entitled to select the repair shop and the parts used
- If your car is totaled (the estimated repair cost exceeds the value of the vehicle), you are entitled to recover the pre-accident value of your vehicle and any incidental expenses (sales taxes, etc.) involved in buying another one
Should I go to court or settle out of court?
A settlement is obviously preferable to a full blown trial for most car accident victims. Nevertheless, only a credible threat of a lawsuit is likely to motivate the defendant to make a decent settlement offer. Consequently, the best way to avoid a trial is to prepare thoroughly for one.
Does Kentucky offer punitive damages?
Yes, Kentucky offers punitive damages under certain circumstances, although many courts are reluctant to award them. The defendant must have exhibited recklessness or gross negligence (more than just ordinary negligence). A DUI accident, for example, might qualify for punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages.
The insurance company offered me a check. Should I just take it?
No. By taking the check without any kind of reservation, you are in effect accepting the check in full satisfaction of your claim. If the insurance company is offering it to you without any kind of negotiation, they are almost certainly trying to “lowball” you with an amount that is only a fraction of your claim’s true value.
I believe the accident was caused by a defective auto part. What are my options?
You can file a product liability lawsuit against the part’s manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer alleging:
- a design defect
- a manufacturing defect
- a failure to warn
You don’t even have to prove negligence to win.
If I settle and the amount turns out to be insufficient, can I come back for more money later?
No you can’t. Any settlement agreement will include a clause that prevents you from re-negotiating the same claim or taking it to court. If your injuries are likely to require long-term treatment, it is critical that you accurately calculate and claim all of your future medical expenses.
Is there a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit?
Yes. In a Kentucky car accident claim, you have two years from the date of the accident or the date of your last PIP insurance premium payment. If you miss the deadline, your claim will become worthless immediately.
If I miss the statute of limitations deadline for filing a lawsuit, can I still negotiate an insurance settlement?
No. The only bargaining leverage you have in settlement negotiations is the ability to win a lawsuit and thereby force the insurance company to pay. Once you lose that leverage by missing the statute of limitations deadline, the insurance company will have no motivation to settle with you.
Will I win automatically if the other driver was breaking the law at the time of the accident?
Not automatically. If the driver was breaking a safety law, however (texting and driving, for example), proving this will certainly increase your odds of winning. Nevertheless, Kentucky law provides no absolute guarantee.
Can I sue the manufacturer if I was injured because my car’s airbag malfunctioned?
Yes you can. You need to be able to prove:
- that the airbag was defective and unreasonably dangerous, and
- that it contained a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or defective warnings.
If you can prove these elements, you will be able to claim damages for the extent to which the failure of the airbag to deploy worsened your injuries.
Can I file a claim against a pizza restaurant for their driver’s negligence?
You probably can, because most pizza drivers are considered employees of the company, not independent contractors. As such, the company is financially liable for their driver’s negligence. This legal principle could come in handy if the driver has insufficient insurance and personal resources to pay a settlement or verdict.
Can I file a claim against Uber for their driver’s negligence?
No, because Uber drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. You should be able to file a claim against the Uber driver’s insurance policy, however. Uber offers its drivers a generous insurance package.
Do I have to speak with the other driver’s insurance company?
No – and you shouldn’t. The other driver’s insurance company will only be waiting for you to say something that they can use against you to deny your claim or reduce its value. Any contact with the other driver’s insurance company should be undertaken by your personal injury lawyer.
Call (800) 991-0474 to Speak with Louisville Car Accident Lawyer, Seth Gladstein
To get started with your auto accident injury claim, call us at (800) 991-0474 or send us an email today. The initial consultation is free, and since we work on contingency, you do not pay anything unless we win your case. If you can’t make it to our offices in Louisville, we will come to you.