Hit-and-run drivers can leave behind a lot of destruction and pain. The damages in a hit-and-run accident can be physical, financial, mental, and emotional, and victims should be compensated justly for all harm caused.
But what is the average settlement for a hit-and-run accident in Kentucky? The answer to this question depends on the specific circumstances of each accident, but this article can help you understand what you can expect to recover.
Regardless of the value of your personal injury claim, hiring an experienced lawyer can maximize your damages. Attorney Seth Gladstein of Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, is highly experienced and passionate about recovering the best for his clients. He has won high awards and settlements for clients in complicated cases, and he is ready to fight for you.
Damages You Can Recover in a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawsuit
In general, there are three types of damages you can recover in a lawsuit against a hit-and-run driver:
- Economic damages,
- Noneconomic damages, and
- Punitive damages.
Economic damages are relatively easy to prove. However, proving noneconomic and punitive damages can be complicated.
Economic damages reflect everything you have lost and can expect to lose financially as a result of your accident. They can include:
- Past, present, and future healthcare costs;
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs;
- Other property repair or replacement costs;
- Costs for home and vehicle modifications to address health-related limitations;
- Lost wages;
- Lost earning capacity; and
- Other accident-related expenses.
You can prove your economic damages through receipts, invoices, medical records, and wage history documents.
Noneconomic damages compensate you for your pain and suffering. While money is no cure-all, the dollar amount you receive for pain and suffering should reflect the mental anguish, physical pain, and change in the quality of life you have experienced since an accident. These damages can be hard to accurately quantify. An experienced personal injury lawyer can calculate an appropriate dollar amount to justly compensate you.
Punitive damages can be the hardest to prove because you must reach a higher standard of proof to receive them. To receive punitive damages in a personal injury case, you must prove by clear and convincing evidence that:
- The defendant acted oppressively, meaning they intended to cause you cruel and unjust hardship;
- The defendant acted fraudulently, meaning they acted deceptively with the intent to cause you harm; or
- The defendant acted maliciously, meaning the defendant intended to cause you harm or acted with awareness and flagrant indifference to the likelihood of causing death or bodily harm.
There are no guarantees, but you might have a greater chance of winning punitive damages in a hit-and-run case.
It is illegal for a driver who causes damage to you or your property to leave the scene of the accident without assisting you and providing you with proper contact and vehicle information. Hit-and-run drivers can face criminal penalties, including felony convictions. These factors in a hit-and-run case could rise to the level of oppressive, fraudulent, or malicious activity. Speak to your lawyer about this possibility.
Common Injuries After a Hit-and-Run Accident
In the wrong hands, a car is a dangerous tool, and that tool can cause unspeakable damage. Florida Physical Medicine notes that the most common injuries victims suffer in car accidents are:
- Bone fractures,
- Musculoskeletal damage, and
- Emotional damage.
You might endure all these injuries after one car accident. You should seek medical attention immediately after a crash to make sure all your medical needs are addressed and documented. Staying on top of your care and maintaining good records of your medical needs increases your chances of receiving a higher and more appropriate settlement amount.
Average Settlement Amounts
Seeking the “average settlement amount” for car accident cases is not that helpful when calculating the value of your case. Each accident case is unique and should be treated as such. You give yourself the best chance of accurately calculating your case’s value by keeping good records, being diligent with your healthcare, and speaking to an experienced attorney. However, we can take a look at the costs of many types of car accidents in Kentucky.
In 2018, the following types of accidents on Kentucky public roads resulted in the following average economic costs:
- Accidents with no observable injury – $12,000;
- Accidents with possible injury – $23,400;
- Accidents with suspected minor injury – $28,500;
- Accidents with suspected serious injury – $98,400; and
- Accidents involving fatality – $1,704,000.
Keep in mind that these figures include wage loss, administration costs, medical costs, property damage, and employer costs. Also, these amounts do not include damages for pain and suffering or punitive damages. These figures can give you just an initial idea of what kind of settlement amount might apply in your case.
You should also be aware that a hit-and-run driver might have only the minimum liability insurance coverage required in Kentucky. Kentucky drivers do not have to have liability coverage that exceeds:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to one person;
- $50,000 for bodily injury to all people involved; and
- $25,000 for all property damage.
A driver has the option of fulfilling Kentucky’s minimum liability insurance law by carrying $60,000 of coverage for all damages (bodily and property). The law also reduces your damages by your percentage of fault in an accident. If your damages exceed the limits of a hit-and-run driver’s policy limits, your attorney can help you win the compensation you deserve.
Our Firm Can Help You Recover
If another person’s irresponsible behavior harms you, you need to be properly compensated. Attorney Seth Gladstein of Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, knows how to win the maximum compensation for your case. Seth has recovered millions on behalf of accident victims, and he has almost 20 years of experience. You are not alone and you are not without remedy when you suffer harm in an accident. Reach out to us online or call us for your best chance at just compensation.