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How long do I have to file a claim after a car accident in Kentucky?

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Your life can change in an instant when you are in a car accident. You could be traveling in your car, with few concerns. Suddenly, if another vehicle hits your car, your world can change. You will face stress and financial and personal uncertainties. There are repairs to be done on your car and you might have injuries, or worse, someone could have died.

If you or someone in your life was in a car accident, you should remember the statute of limitations – the length of time you have to file a claim. There are specific guidelines that are important to know.

Kentucky’s guidelines to file a claim

Kentucky follows a no-fault system for vehicle accidents. No-fault means, regardless of who caused the accident, you typically will have to file a claim with your own insurance company under your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.

There are a few exceptions to the no-fault rule. They could include no-doubt liability claims, which could include rear-end collisions, some left turn accidents, or proving the other driver violated state driving laws or the rules of the road.

There are strict guidelines and deadlines to file your claim. If you miss your deadline, it is unlikely that you will be able to file a claim. The person you are filing the claim against can notify the court that you missed the deadline. Unless there is a legitimate reason to extend the filing deadline, the court will probably dismiss your case. If that happens, you cannot recover any damages.

The deadlines are:

  • Written accident reports. You have 10 days to file the report with the Kentucky State Police Department. This is required if you believe your damages will be more than $500, or the accident caused an injury or a death.
  • Personal injury claims. Must be filed within one year of the date of the accident.
  • Property damage claims. These claims must be filed within two years from the date of the accident.

A lot of lawsuits come up when an injured person’s needs exceed both drivers’ coverage. Drivers are required to carry $25,000 per person for bodily injuries, with a $50,000 maximum to cover the injuries suffered by everyone in the accident. There is a $10,000 maximum for property damage.

As a no-fault state, there are additional limitations on your claim. You must have at least $1,000 in medical expenses, and you must have suffered one of the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • A permanent injury
  • Amputation
  • Loss of body function
  • Death of a loved one

What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP is the claim you make against your own insurer. It provides for payment of your medical bills and lost earnings. PIP coverage is required for all vehicles, except motorcycles, in Kentucky. Motorcyclists must carry compulsory liability insurance, which covers other people’s injuries or property damage if you were found at-fault after an accident.

Loss of consortium

Loss of Consortium happens if a spouse loses the services, financial aid, companionship or conjugal relationship with their partner after a wrongful death. A parent whose child has died and a child who has lost a parent after a wrongful death might also have one of these claims. You have one year to file a Loss of Consortium claim.

Deadlines require a timely response

Do not wait to file a claim after a car accident. Even if someone died in the accident, you only have a year to file. With all the rules, regulations and guidelines, there can be uncertainties on who you can sue. An accomplished motor vehicle accident attorney can help you investigate. They can find out who is responsible and if there are multiple negligent parties. The process can take time. Remember, the clock starts ticking right after the accident.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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