When a passenger is injured in a Louisville car accident involving a single vehicle he or she can make a liability claim against the driver of the vehicle. If multiple vehicles are involved, claims can be made against all of the drivers. Drivers owe the same duty of care to their passengers that they owe to others who are on or about the roadway. So long as a passenger didn’t contribute to the cause of an accident, it’s difficult to allege that he or she was comparatively negligent.
Injured as a passenger while with Friends and family
Just about all of us don’t drive with strangers as passengers. Those who accompany us are usually friends and family. That’s why injured passengers are often hesitant to file an injury claim against their driver, especially if it is their mother, father, brother or sister. We understand the sensitive issues that arise under those circumstances. What’s important to remember is that if you bring that claim, you’re not dealing directly with your friend or family member. You’re dealing with his or her insurance company. If that insurance company is treating you unfairly after incurring high medical bills and lost earnings, there might not be much of a decision to make.
Injured as a passenger – transportation services
At other times, passengers might be injured in a bus, taxi or ridesharing accident involving a transportation network company like Uber or Lyft. In these types of accidents, friends or family members aren’t involved as drivers, so an injured passenger shouldn’t feel at all apprehensive about bringing a personal injury claim after being injured in an accident.
Kentucky is primarily a no-fault insurance state. Drivers are required to carry $10,000 of personal injury protection insurance that’s payable regardless of fault. The general rule is that a passenger isn’t allowed to file a lawsuit for personal injuries suffered in an auto accident unless he or meets certain threshold requirements. Those aren’t difficult to meet or exceed. They’re met when:
- Medical bills resulting from the accident are $1,000 or more
- Permanent disfigurement resulted
- There was a fracture of a bone that bears weight
- There was a compound, displaced or compressed fracture of a bone
- There was a permanent loss of a body function
For just about anybody who is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, a night in the emergency room is going to exceed the $1,000 threshold right away.
If a claimant is able to prove that he or she has exceeded the threshold limit to go over and above no-fault coverage, other compensation might be available. That compensation might consist of:
- Past medical bills and medical bills reasonably expected to be incurred in the future
- Past lost earnings and lost earnings reasonably expected to be lost in the future
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a normal life
Kentucky statute of limitations
The general rule is that Kentucky only allows personal injury lawsuits to be filed within one year of the date of an accident. That’s a very small window compared to some other states. Should a victim fail to file a lawsuit within that one year period of time, his or her case could be dismissed forever. Don’t sit on your rights. Contact us right away after being injured in any accident.
Contact a Louisville Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a family member were injured in a motor vehicle accident as a passenger, give us a call at (800) 937-8443 and a member of our personal injury team will answer the phone and have you talk with one of our experienced Louisville car accident lawyers, immediately.