Help! If I’m Partially At-Fault, Can I Still Sue in Kentucky?
Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on September 30, 2021
Some accidents aren’t completely black-and-white. If you’re a pedestrian, illegally jaywalking across the street, and are hit by a driver who’s texting, who’s to blame? Maybe you both are! In legal terms, this is called comparative negligence.
If you’re ever involved in an accident and are partially at fault, you may wonder if you can still sue. The short answer? It depends on where the accident occurred. In the state of Kentucky, pure comparative negligence laws allow an injured person who is partially or even almost totally at fault in an accident to still recover a portion of compensation. The amount of money you may be able to recover is based on the percentage of “at fault” you were, meaning that you’ll get less compensation if you were “more responsible” for the accident. That percentage is determined in court, based on the circumstances of your case. You can be up to 99% at-fault and still get compensation!
So, What About Insurance?
Many accidents don’t make it all the way to court, thanks to Kentucky’s no-fault insurance laws, which work to place responsibility of compensation on insurance companies rather than responsible parties. This means that unless you’re involved in a major accident, you’ll likely be paid by your insurance provider for damages like medical care, car repair, lost wages, etc.—not by the other person(s) involved in the accident. These benefits are known as “personal injury protection” (PIP) and will pay up to $10,000 for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. You can choose to “opt-out” of PIP if you wish, but otherwise, PIP will generally cover your accident.
If you want to sue the other person involved in the accident, you must meet certain thresholds in order to bypass the Kentucky no-fault laws. These criteria state that you must have over $1,000 in medical bills or a permanent physical injury (such as broken bone, disfigurement, paralysis, etc.) in order to make a legal claim. You must also build a strong case in order to receive the compensation you deserve.
How To Build Your Legal Case
Consulting a qualified and experienced lawyer can help you determine if you have a case, but the real work begins right after the accident occurs. Gathering evidence can help you build your case and establish your right to compensation. This includes taking as many pictures you can take of the accident scene, vehicles involved, injuries incurred, your surroundings, the street signs, and any other relevant details. Photos are essential to cementing your claim. Also hold on to medical bills, receipts, and any print or digital documentation of the events. Call the police, ambulance, or a third party as witnesses.
For additional guidance and help, you can also contact an experienced workplace harassment and personal injury attorney like the team at Cooper and Friedman PLLC. Our team has over 60 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of people across the state of Kentucky. We’ll help you build a case, file a complaint, and pursue legal action. For additional information or to schedule a free legal consultation with a workplace harassment lawyer, call 502-459-7555 today.