In Kentucky, rear-end crashes made up 17% of all two-vehicle collisions in 2020, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Rear-end accidents are common but have the potential to cause life-changing injuries and extensive property damage. If you were in a rear-end crash, you might be wondering, How much is the average rear-end crash settlement? Whom do I sue and how? If you were the rear-end driver, you might be wondering what kind of liability you could be facing. Here are some things to know about rear-end accidents in Kentucky
What Is the Average Settlement for a Rear-End Crash?
There is no average rear-end crash settlement. A reasonable settlement for a rear-end crash depends highly upon the facts of the case. Determining factors affecting the value of your claim include the circumstances of the accident, the drivers’ insurance policies, and the severity of the injuries and property damage.
Kentucky Auto Insurance Laws
Kentucky is a “choice no fault” auto vehicle accident state. The law requires all Kentucky motorists to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If they opt not to carry PIP insurance, they can decline it but must carry a minimum amount of liability coverage. In “no fault” states, drivers making insurance claims after an auto vehicle accident must first seek compensation through their own PIP policy. The insurance company pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses. If the person’s damages exceed the thresholds of the PIP policy, they can then seek compensation from the at-fault party. Generally, the person must have sustained medical expenses greater than $1,000, a broken bone, permanent injury, or death. In Kentucky, motorists can opt to decline PIP coverage. If they do so, they must carry the following minimum insurance:
- Bodily injury liability and uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident;
- Property damage liability coverage of $10,000 per accident; and
- Combined liability coverage of $60,000.
PIP policies apply only to bodily injury claims after an auto vehicle accident. Drivers can seek compensation for vehicle damages from the at-fault party’s insurance.
Comparative Fault Laws in Kentucky
Kentucky’s “pure” comparative fault law means that an auto vehicle accident victim can share some of the fault for the accident and still receive compensation. The law requires Kentucky’s courts to determine each party’s percentage of fault in personal injury claims. An example of this could be if you were the rear driver and your brake light was not working when the driver behind you hit your car. The driver should not have been following close enough to not be able to stop in time. However, they had less warning that you were stopped because of your brake light. The jury decides you were 25% at fault for the accident and the rear driver had 75% of the fault. The amount of your damages would be the amount of your claim less your percentage of fault. So if your claim was worth $100,000 you would receive $75,000, or 75%.
Injuries in Rear-End Collisions
In rear-end accidents, the impact of the crash throws drivers and passengers forward. Sometimes people can hit the dashboard or windshield or be ejected from the car because of the force. Other injuries from rear-end accidents are not so obvious. Rear-end crash injuries commonly happen to the spine and head and can include:
- Herniated discs,
- Traumatic brain injuries, and
- Broken bones in the neck.
These injuries can show up even weeks after an accident. You should always get checked out by a doctor immediately after an injury. Medical expenses add up quickly, and if you end up pursuing a legal claim, you will need documentation of your injuries. The sooner you get medical attention, the stronger your case will be.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Rear-End Collision Claim?
If you suffered injuries in a rear-end car accident, you are probably entitled to compensation. Most personal injury cases settle out of court because settlement is faster and less expensive than a trial. Still, negotiating with insurance companies requires skill and finesse. You can harm your chances at a reasonable settlement for a rear-end crash if you do not know what you are doing. An experienced Kentucky rear-end crash attorney can help protect your interests and achieve the best possible outcome for your claim.
Under Kentucky laws, auto vehicle accident injury victims have two years to initiate a legal claim. However, because drivers usually have to go through their own PIP policies first, the state gives people extra time in case they then need to bring their case to court. If you have PIP insurance, the two years starts to run from the date of your last PIP claim payment. However, if you opt out of PIP insurance, the clock runs from the date of your accident.
Your attorney will investigate the circumstances of your accident. They will build a strong case for you after compiling evidence which includes your medical records and any witness testimony. Your attorney can help you figure out the fair value of your claim by assessing your damages. Damages in a rear-end accident could include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your attorney will handle the negotiations with the insurance companies or take your case to court if a trial is necessary.
Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC Can Handle Your Rear-End Crash Claim
Seth Gladstein is an experienced Kentucky personal injury and accident attorney. The legal team at Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC is experienced with rear-end claims and ready to help accident victims. We can help you get the answers you need about your claim. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.