Being involved in a fender-bender on a Kentucky interstate or city street can certainly bring your day to a halt. Thankfully, the majority of accidents seen daily across the Bluegrass State involve property damage only and don’t often involve major injuries.
If you aren’t hurt or suffer only minor injuries, you’re biggest worries will be getting your smashed-up vehicle fixed or replaced and making sure you don’t foot the bill. This can be a tough task, even when you weren’t to blame for the accident. Insurance companies can still contest your account of events simply to get out of paying for your damages.
Reporting Your Damage in a Kentucky Accident
If your accident didn’t involve a serious injury, or perhaps took place in a parking lot, you may not have dialed 911. In cases where no law enforcement officer responds to the scene, it’s important to know that you still have to report your accident in certain circumstances.
You must file a civilian collision report with the Kentucky State Police if there was an injury or fatality involved in your accident or if the property damage to your vehicle will likely exceed $500. You have 10 days to file. Remember, you must file this report only if there wasn’t a police officer, sheriff’s deputy, or a state police officer on the scene. When officers respond, they will be writing up a collision report and you won’t be required to report what happened.
The attorneys with Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, strongly encourage any victim of an accident to call 911 after even a minor collision for several reasons:
- Having an officer respond to the scene is a vital step in proving your innocence and making sure the at-fault driver is held accountable.
- The accident report filed by the officer will be a powerful piece of evidence in your favor. If the other driver gives you false information about his or her driver’s license or car insurance status, it won’t be your responsibility to track down the truth.
- You may feel you have only a minor injury, but your condition right after an accident can be deceiving. The shock and adrenaline flowing immediately after a collision can mask pain. You might suddenly notice a more serious injury a half-hour after an accident or the next morning. Getting your accident documented is very important when you must rely on an insurance company for injury coverage.
Kentucky Insurance Coverage Requirements
Kentucky is a “choice no-fault” state when it comes to auto insurance. It means with collisions involving injury, you’ll usually deal with your own insurance provider to get support for your recovery. You won’t be able to call upon the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage unless the consequences of your injuries reach a certain threshold.
However, the no-fault system doesn’t affect your claim for property damage to your vehicle. Fault is still determined and you can ask the at-fault driver’s car insurer for help in fixing or replacing your vehicle.
The other driver could ask you for help with car repairs as well. The car accident coverage you carry goes a long way in understanding what will be covered and how much you may receive or have to pay out for damage to a car, SUV, truck, or motorcycle.
Most drivers purchase the minimum “no-fault” coverage required to drive in Kentucky. If you didn’t sign up for additional coverage when you purchased your insurance you likely carry the following policy protection:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
- $50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability
- $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
You may also carry extra coverage above the minimum. One such option is collision insurance. This add-on provides money to repair your vehicle after a crash, including damage from a collision with objects like trees or street signs. If you have a new car, your car loan provider probably requires you to carry collision coverage.
You could also have signed up for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage which protects you if the other driver doesn’t carry insurance or doesn’t carry enough coverage to provide everything you need in recovery. This add-on can also offer help in cases involving a hit-and-run when the other driver is never identified.
Protection from Insurance Adjusters After an Accident
After your accident, you should let your insurance agent know about what happened as soon as possible. Agents will need to determine what is their company’s responsibility and what is the other driver’s responsibility. In a no-fault state, after a property damage car accident, you’ll be trying to secure money to repair your crashed vehicle from the responsible driver’s insurance coverage.
That support may include money to fix your vehicle and any damage to personal items you had in the car. You may also have a “totaled car” and seek money to replace the vehicle. A car is considered “totaled” in Kentucky when the cost of repairs plus the salvage value is at least 75% of the vehicle’s actual cash value at the time of the accident.
Contact A Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer
Kentucky accident insurance claims can be complex. They can leave you vulnerable to multiple insurance companies, all trying to rob you of the compensation you need to recover after an accident physically and financially. Make sure you have a legal expert on your side to find the fastest path to the best outcome possible for you and your family.
Talk to a Kentucky Car Accident Attorney you can trust to be on your side and fight for your fair compensation. The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have a combined 100 years of experience in helping clients get the compensation they’ll need to make a full recovery. To discuss your case, contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, by clicking here.