How Much Are You Entitled to Recover for Your Car Accident? Find Out for Free
If you, your spouse, or your child has been injured in a car crash, you need to make smart decisions. There are steps you need to take to protect your legal rights, and there are also many costly mistakes you need to avoid.
One of the most important steps you can take is hiring an experienced Louisville car accident lawyer to represent you. No matter what happened, and no matter who you think may be to blame, you should not try to handle your situation on your own. The stakes are just too high. The insurance companies will take advantage of you, and you will stand very little chance of recovering the financial compensation you deserve.
We Help Car Accident Victims and Families Recover Just Compensation
Louisville car accident attorney Seth Gladstein has over 20 years of legal experience, including more than a decade of experience representing accident victims and their families. Before founding Gladstein Law Firm, he worked for large defense firms on the other side of serious personal injury cases. Today, he uses the insights gained from this experience and his extensive knowledge of Louisville car accident laws to fight for his clients—and his track record speaks for itself.
Car accident cases are complicated. There is simply no other way to put it. But, there is a path forward, and you can recover the financial compensation you deserve with an experienced lawyer on your side. From identifying the liable party (or parties) to negotiating for a favorable settlement, Seth Gladstein will handle your case for you, and he will rely on his experience to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
We Handle All Types of Car Accident Cases in Louisville
After a motor vehicle accident, your costs will begin to add up quickly. Between your repair bills, medical bills, and loss of income, the costs can quickly become overwhelming. It is easy to feel stressed, frustrated, and confused, and many auto accident victims find themselves facing financial strain due to factors beyond their control.
Then, there are the non-financial costs of suffering serious injuries in a collision. For many victims of motor vehicle accidents, these include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, permanent scarring and disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. Injury victims of motor vehicle accidents can find their injuries all-consuming, and this can further add to the difficulties of navigating the recovery process.
No matter what costs or struggles you are facing, we are prepared to fight for the financial compensation you deserve. Louisville car accident attorney Seth Gladstein will provide personalized legal representation focused on recovering just compensation for your losses. He takes this same custom-tailored approach to every car accident lawsuit and case our firm handles, including cases involving:
Most of our clients’ cases settle. We have had significant success negotiating insurance settlements for our clients, and we work to resolve our clients’ personal injury claims via settlement whenever possible. When you choose our firm to represent you, Seth Gladstein will work to quickly obtain a favorable settlement on your behalf.
But, there are no guarantees. No law firm can guarantee that it will help you obtain a settlement—or that it will help you obtain any financial compensation at all. Sometimes, the insurance companies put up a wall, and we have no choice but to take our clients’ cases to court. In addition to his settlement experience, Louisville car accident attorney Seth Gladstein has significant courtroom experience as well. If going to court is what it takes to recover the financial compensation you deserve, he will not hesitate to fight for just compensation at trial.
What You Should Do if You (or a Loved One) Has Been Injured in a Car Accident
Car accident victims are often surprised how frightening, confusing, and overwhelming the first few minutes after a car wreck can be. Everything happens so fast, and all of a sudden you are left wondering how in the world you are going to pick up the pieces. Fight often gives way to anger, and confusion gives way to panic. You need help, but all of a sudden you feel very, very alone.
We are here for you. Whether it has been minutes, hours, or days since your (or your loved one’s) car accident, we can guide you forward. Seth Gladstein will explain everything you need to know, and he will help you make informed decisions every step of the way.
The most important thing you can do after a car accident in Louisville is call a lawyer for help. But, if possible, there are some additional steps you should take as well. For example, if you are able to do so, you will typically want to:
Call 911 from the scene of the accident. Answer the dispatcher’s questions as thoroughly and accurately as possible, then wait for the police to arrive. If you (or anyone else) needs emergency care, ask for an ambulance to be sent to the scene.
Document the accident scene. If it is safe to do so, use your phone to document the accident scene. Take lots of photos and videos—and try to capture as many details about the scene and the vehicles involved in the collision as possible.
Gather as much information as possible. Obtain the other driver’s insurance information if you can, and write down his or her license plate state and number. If any witnesses stopped to help, ask for their names, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Ask for a copy of the police report. Before you leave the scene of the accident, ask for a copy of the police report. This will include important information that you will want to share with your Louisville car accident attorney.
What if you didn’t take any of these steps after your (or your loved one’s) car accident? Even if you didn’t do anything but go home or go to the hospital, that’s okay. We can still help you. But, in this scenario, it is especially important that you take action promptly, and we strongly encourage you to contact us for a free initial consultation as soon as possible.
What Our Clients Say . . .
When you have a car accident claim, your choice of legal representation matters. While there are several ways you can make an informed decision, one of the best ways to research a lawyer is to review his or her client reviews. Here are just a handful of our numerous five-star reviews:
“The attention and service that the Gladstein Law Firm provides is second to none. During unfortunate circumstances, they helped in areas where I would have otherwise been overwhelmed. . . . Seth is top-notch in his field. Highly professional and highly recommended!” – Neil S.
“Mr. Gladstein and his staff surpassed expectations. They were professional, timely, detail-oriented, and focused on my specific situation. I highly recommend their services!” – Megan G.
“I couldn’t have asked for a smoother process for such an unforeseen series of events. I reached out to their office when I needed their help and someone got back with me almost immediately. . . . Mr. Gladstein provided excellent legal counsel and made sure I understood every step of the process. They work diligently to get the best outcome for their clients and will not stop until you are satisfied. I would highly recommend their law firm to family, close friends, and anyone who experienced something similar to I. I am forever grateful for their service to me as a client!” – De Aundre B.
“When tragedy strikes it’s hard to know where to turn. Having Gladstein Law Firm helping us through this gave us . . . piece of mind knowing that [they] were taking care of us. We always had someone to call at any time . . . . We have walked away from this tragedy with what we feel was the best outcome possible. Thanks for making us feel like part of the Gladstein Law family.” – Carl M.
“Gladstein Law Firm had my back 100% from the start of my settlement and was a pleasure to work with. . . . The amount of dedication they showed was top notch and I couldn’t recommend them any higher.” – Tony W.
What To Expect from the Insurance Companies After Your Car Accident
Despite what they say, the insurance companies are not on your side. While your goal is to recover just compensation as quickly as possible, their goal is to avoid paying you for as long as possible—and to pay as little as possible when (and if) they eventually pay.
To this end, they will deploy a variety of tactics and strategies during the claims process. As a car accident victim (or as the spouse, partner, or parent of a car accident victim), you need to make sure these tactics and strategies do not compromise your financial recovery. Here are some examples of what you can expect from the insurance companies:
1. Trying to Get You On Record
If you call to report your car accident, one of the first things the insurance companies will do is try to get you on record. While you only need to provide basic information to initiate a claim (i.e., where and when the accident happened), the insurance companies will try to get you to say much more. The reason is simple: They want to be able to use your own words against you.
2. Scouring Your Social Media Profiles
The insurance companies are increasingly using social media to deny car accident claims. If you post comments or photos suggesting (or even arguably suggesting) that you aren’t seriously injured or aren’t taking your recovery seriously, they will use this against you.
3. Omitting Important Information
While the insurance companies are obligated to handle claims in good faith, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will tell you everything you need to know (and bad-faith insurance tactics are common). For example, the insurance companies may try to get you to accept a minimal rental car reimbursement without telling you that you are entitled to a higher daily rental rate.
4. Demanding Access to Your Medical Records
Another thing the insurance companies won’t tell you is that you aren’t required to sign a medical release. They want you to sign a release so that they can go digging through your medical files and try to find an excuse to claim that you have a pre-existing injury. You don’t have to do so, and you shouldn’t fall for this tactic.
5. Pressuring You to Accept a Lowball Settlement
If you have a claim, you may receive a settlement offer relatively quickly. If you do, the offer will almost certainly be for far less than you deserve. In this scenario, the insurance companies want you to settle before you know how much you are entitled to recover—and before you hire Louisville car accident lawyers to fight for more on your behalf.
What to Expect from Us During Your Car Accident Case
So, that’s what you can expect from the insurance companies. Now, what can you expect from us? We are committed to seeking maximum compensation for our clients. We do what it takes to win, and we keep our clients updated and informed throughout the process.
With this in mind, here is what you can expect when you choose our firm to represent you:
1. One-On-One Legal Advice
You will work with experienced car accident lawyer Seth Gladstein one-on-one throughout your case. He will explain what you can expect each step of the way, carefully calculate the damages you are entitled to recover, negotiate on your behalf, and help you make a smart decision about when (and if) to settle.
2. Access When You Need It
We know that you can’t always call or send an email during normal business hours, and we know that you have questions while you are lying awake at night. You can get in touch with us 24/7; and, if we can’t take your call or respond to your message immediately, we will do so at the first available opportunity.
3. Custom-Tailored Legal Representation
We provide all of our clients with custom-tailored legal representation. This means that we will seek just compensation based on your current and future losses. Seth Gladstein will carefully assess the long-term impacts of your (or your loved one’s) car accident, and then he will use his experience to seek an amount that truly reflects “just” compensation for your losses.
4. Transparent Contingency-Fee Representation
We represent all of our car accident clients on a contingency-fee basis. In short, this means that you pay nothing unless you win. We are fully transparent about our legal fees; and, if we receive a settlement offer on your behalf, we will let you know exactly how much you would take home so that you can make an informed decision.
5. Relentless Devotion to Your Recovery
We are relentlessly devoted to protecting our clients’ rights. We understand the lifelong impacts of serious accident-related injuries, and we are committed to ensuring that we achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. Regardless of the value of your claim, we will give it the full time and attention it deserves.
What Claim(s) Can (and Should) You File After a Car Accident?
When most people think about filing a car accident claim, they think about dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. But, while this is a possibility, it is also just one possibility of many. As a car accident victim (or the family member of a car accident victim) you could have multiple claims for financial compensation—and you may need to file multiple claims to recover the full compensation you deserve.
So, what claim(s) can (and should) you file after a car accident? Depending on the facts of your case, Louisville car accident attorney Seth Gladstein may advise pursuing one or more of the following:
Claim Under the Other Driver’s Auto Insurance Policy
In many cases, seeking just compensation after a car accident does involve dealing with the other driver’s auto insurance company. While Kentucky’s “no fault” insurance law limits these claims in some circumstances, it is still possible to file fault-based claims for broken bones and other serious injuries.
If you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you can expect it to put up a fight. But, while filing a successful claim is difficult, it isn’t impossible, and you can recover just compensation with an experienced Louisville car accident attorney on your side.
Claim Under Your (or a Family Member’s) Auto Insurance Policy
Regardless of whether you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you may also have a claim under your (or a family member’s) auto insurance policy. If you or a member of your household has any of these types of auto insurance, you may be able to use this insurance to help cover the costs of your car accident:
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance
Collision and comprehensive insurance
Towing and labor insurance
Rental car reimbursement insurance
Personal injury protection insurance is mandatory in Kentucky. This is “no fault” insurance that provides coverage (or is supposed to provide coverage) regardless of who is responsible for your accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance covers your injuries when you have a fault-based claim and you can’t fully recover your injury-related costs from the at-fault driver, and the other types of insurance listed above provide coverage for your repair bills and other vehicle-related costs and losses.
Even when you are dealing with your own insurance company, it is important to have an experienced Louisville car accident attorney on your side. Just like the at-fault driver’s insurance company, your insurance company won’t pay without a fight, and you won’t receive the financial compensation you deserve if you fail to assert your legal rights effectively.
Was the other driver working at the time of your car accident? If so, you may have a claim against the driver’s employer or rideshare company.
In Kentucky, companies are liable for their employees’ negligent acts committed within the scope of their employment. When employees drive for work, this includes their negligence behind the wheel. Accidents involving delivery drivers, construction workers, sales representatives, and other employees who drive on the job can all give rise to claims against their employers.
While rideshare drivers aren’t classified as employees (they are classified as independent contractors), rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft still carry insurance that covers their drivers’ accidents. If you were injured in a car accident involving a rideshare driver and his or her personal insurance coverage isn’t enough, then Louisville car accident lawyer Seth Gladstein may be able to help you file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurer.
Claim for a Vehicle Defect or Maintenance Issue
What if your car accident wasn’t the result of driver negligence? Instead, what if an issue with your car (or another driver’s vehicle is to blame)? In this scenario, you may have a claim against:
The vehicle’s manufacturer
A component manufacturer (i.e., a tire or brake pad manufacturer)
The dealership that sold or serviced the vehicle
A repair or maintenance shop that serviced the vehicle
Vehicle manufacturers can be held liable for accident-related injuries in cases involving vehicle defects. A vehicle (or component) is considered “defective” if it is unsafe when it leaves the factory. Some types of vehicle defects (i.e., defective tires and brakes) can cause accidents, while others (i.e., defective airbags) can be responsible for victims’ accident-related injuries.
If a vehicle (or component) is unsafe due to negligent maintenance or repairs, then the dealership or shop that worked on the vehicle may be liable. Here, too, companies can be held liable for their employees’ negligence—in this case, the negligence of technicians who failed to perform a proper service or repair.
Claim for a Road Defect or Maintenance Issue
Road defects and maintenance issues can also be to blame for car accidents in some cases. These can range from faulty road design to improper road construction and failure to conduct necessary road maintenance. In some cases, road defects and maintenance issues can also play a partial role in causing an accident (i.e., if a pothole causes a speeding driver to lose control); and, in these situations, accident victims may need to pursue multiple claims to obtain a full financial recovery.
Seeking just compensation for a car accident involving a road defect or maintenance issue may involve filing a claim against the government. Claims against the government are subject to special rules and requirements (including a much shorter deadline); so, if you think you may have a claim, it is especially important that you contact an experienced Louisville car accident attorney promptly.
Claim Against a “Dram Shop” or Other Third Party
Depending on the circumstances that led to your car accident in Kentucky, you may have a variety of other “third party” claims as well. These are claims against entities (i.e., businesses or government agencies) that were not directly involved in the collision.
For example, if you got hit by a drunk driver, you may have a claim under Kentucky’s “dram shop” law. This law allows accident victims to sue bars, liquor stores, and other establishments in some cases. There are other possibilities as well; and, to make sure you are seeking just compensation by all means available, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Filing a Claim After a Car Accident in Louisville
How long do I have to file a car accident claim in Kentucky?
Under Kentucky’s statute of limitations for car accident claims, you have two years to file a claim in most cases. This is a strict deadline—if you miss it, you won’t be able to file a claim even if you suffered serious injuries that were someone else’s fault.
But, while you may have up to two years to file a claim, you will want to take action as soon as possible. Key evidence can disappear quickly, and memories can start to fade surprisingly soon. Hiring a Louisville auto accident lawyer promptly will help give you the best chance of securing the financial recovery you deserve.
Do I have to speak with the other driver’s insurance company?
No, you don’t have to speak with the other driver’s insurance company after a car accident—and you should not do so. Aside from reporting the accident to your insurance company, you should avoid talking to any insurance adjusters or claims representatives after a collision. Their job is not to help you, so it is best to let your lawyer do the talking on your behalf.
Can I file a claim after a car accident that was partially my fault?
Yes, even if your car accident was partially your fault, you can still file a claim under Kentucky law. This is because Kentucky follows the rule of “pure comparative negligence. Under pure comparative negligence, when you are partially at fault in a car accident, the amount you can recover is reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. So, for example, if you were 25% at fault and your losses total $100,000, you would still be entitled to recover 75% of your losses, or $75,000.
Will I lose my claim if the accident was partially my fault?
No, you won’t lose your claim just because the accident was partially your fault. Or, at least, you shouldn’t lose your claim just because the accident was partially your fault. While being partially at fault may reduce the amount you are entitled to recover, it does not bar your claim entirely. If the insurance companies are trying to deny your claim by blaming you for your own injuries, you should seek help from an experienced Louisville car accident lawyer promptly.
Can I still negotiate an insurance settlement if the statute of limitations for my car accident has expired?
Unfortunately, no. As we mentioned above, the statute of limitations establishes a strict deadline. Once it expires, your claim is over. You are no longer entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, and this means that the insurance companies have no obligation—and no motivation—to pay. In this scenario, they will most likely deny your claim outright, and they will most likely be within their rights to do so.
2. How Auto Insurance Works After a Car Accident
What does it mean that Kentucky is a “no fault” auto insurance state?
In states like Kentucky that have a “no fault” auto insurance system, your first source of financial recovery after a car accident is almost always a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) policy. Your PIP coverage applies regardless of fault—meaning that you don’t need to be able to prove that the other driver caused your car accident in order to obtain coverage. Personal injury protection covers your medical bills and loss of income up to your policy limit (minus your deductible).
Since Kentucky is a “no fault” state, does this mean I can’t sue the other driver?
Even though Kentucky is a “no fault” state, it is still possible to sue the other driver in some cases. In addition to requiring PIP insurance, Kentucky law also requires that drivers carry bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance, which is the type of insurance that covers accident victims’ injuries when the insured driver is at fault in an accident. To file a BIL claim in Kentucky, you must be able to show that either: (i) your medical expenses exceed $1,000; or, (ii) you suffered a bone fracture, permanent injury or disfigurement, permanent loss of a bodily function, or loss of a body part.
What is the minimum auto insurance required in Kentucky?
Kentucky law requires that all drivers carry three types of auto insurance: PIP, BIL, and property damage. The minimum coverage limits for each type of mandatory auto insurance are:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – $10,000 per accident
Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) – $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
Property Damage – $10,000 per accident
As you might imagine, these minimum coverage amounts won’t nearly provide full compensation for the costs of many car accidents. Fortunately, many drivers opt to purchase additional BIL coverage; and, if you have opted to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, you may be able to use this to increase your financial recovery as well.
Am I entitled to have my car repairs covered under insurance after an accident?
If the other driver was at fault in your car accident, you are entitled to have your car repairs covered under the driver’s property damage policy. If this coverage isn’t enough (or if the driver is uninsured), then you may be able to file for collision or comprehensive coverage under your policy if you have this type of coverage available.
Will I automatically win if the other driver was breaking the law at the time of the accident?
No, you won’t automatically win your insurance claim if the other driver was breaking the law at the time of the accident. However, this can help with proving your legal rights. Things like speeding, distracted driving, and running red lights and stop signs are against the law for a reason; and, when drivers violate the law, they can—and should—be held accountable. If the driver who hit you was breaking the law, your Louisville car accident lawyer will be able to use this to your advantage.
3. Maximizing Your Financial Recovery After a Car Accident
Should I settle my car accident claim with the insurance companies or go to court?
Whether you should settle your claim depends on the settlement offer you receive. Does it represent just compensation for your losses? If so, then accepting will likely be your best option. However, if it doesn’t represent just compensation for your losses, then you may need to rely on your lawyer to take your claim to court.
Can I sue for punitive damages after a car accident in Kentucky?
Car accident victims can sue for punitive damages in some cases. While the grounds for seeking punitive damages are limited, this is certainly an option you should discuss with your Louisville car accident lawyer. Unlike many other states, Kentucky does not place a cap on punitive damages.
The insurance company offered me a check—can (and should) I accept it?
Deciding whether to accept an insurance check after a car accident requires a clear understanding of the long-term financial and non-financial costs of your injuries. As a result, you should not accept an insurance check unless and until you are confident that it truly reflects just compensation for all of the costs you will incur as a result of the collision.
If I accept an insurance check and it doesn’t cover all of my costs, can I go back for more?
No, once you accept an insurance check, your claim is over. Even if the check doesn’t cover all of your accident-related costs, you can’t go back for more. Again, you shouldn’t settle until you know how much you are entitled to recover, and this requires the involvement of an experienced lawyer who has your best interests in mind.
4. Filing a Claim Outside of Auto Insurance
How do I file a claim for a car accident caused by a vehicle defect in Kentucky?
If you suffered accident-related injuries caused by a vehicle defect, you may have a claim against your vehicle’s manufacturer, the manufacturer of the defective component, or the dealership that sold you the car. Unlike auto insurance claims, product defect claims do not require proof of negligence. Instead, these claims are governed by the law of “strict liability,” which holds companies responsible for putting defective vehicles on the road regardless of whether they were negligent in doing so. Like auto insurance claims, product defect claims require experienced legal representation.
Can I sue the manufacturer if I was injured because my car’s airbag malfunctioned?
If you were injured because your car’s airbag malfunctioned, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for a product defect. Over the past several years, tens of millions of cars sold in the United States have been recalled due to defective airbags. As a result, airbag malfunctions are a very real concern; and, if you have a claim for an airbag defect, you are not alone. Louisville car accident lawyer Seth Gladstein handles these claims as well.
Can I file a claim against a restaurant for a delivery driver’s negligence?
As a general rule, employers in Kentucky can be held liable for their employees’ negligence committed within the scope of their employment. This is known as “vicarious liability.” As a result, if you got hit by a negligent delivery driver who works for a restaurant, you may have grounds to sue the restaurant for just compensation.
Rideshare drivers aren’t classified as employees of Uber and Lyft in Kentucky. As a result, vicarious liability doesn’t apply in rideshare accident cases. However, Uber and Lyft both carry insurance that covers their drivers’ accidents; so, if you can’t recover your losses under the driver’s insurance policy, Louisville car accident lawyer Seth Gladstein may be able to file a claim with Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance company on your behalf.
Can I file a claim against the government if I was injured in a road construction accident?
Government agencies and contractors can be held liable for road construction accidents in many cases. If you were injured in an accident caused by construction debris in the roadway, inadequate construction zone markings, or any other issue related to a road construction zone, you should be sure to discuss these details with your lawyer during your free initial consultation.