If you live in the State of Kentucky, when purchasing auto insurance, you might have heard your insurance agent/company mention that Kentucky is a “No-Fault State.” The following states are considered to be “no-fault” states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
To live in a no-fault state essentially means that in the event of an accident, each individual’s own car insurance company will cover certain expenses without even considering who was really at fault for the accident. For example, if you sustained injuries in a car accident, even if you weren’t at fault, your own insurance would cover your medical bills up to $10,000, including things like lost wages, capped at a certain amount, while you were being treated for any injuries. This mandatory coverage that you purchase with your auto insurance company is known as “PIP,” or “Personal Injury Protection,” This is required by law in every no-fault state and is the protection that you buy with your own insurance company in the event of an accident.
The no-fault system was designed to protect drivers from costly legal battles to determine who was liable, but that doesn’t mean that drivers are totally helpless. Each no-fault state has a threshold, and if injuries or damages rise above that threshold, injured people do have the option of pursuing a lawsuit in order to have the at-fault party cover the accumulated charges. If your injuries or damages are serious, it is definitely a good idea to seek legal counsel so you aren’t stuck paying out of pocket for another person’s negligence.
If your carrier pays expenses, which they should , they will be reimbursed by the negligent party’s insurance, so the proper party will pay for your damages.
Sometimes determining who was at fault for an accident can be challenging, but it is up to the parties involved to gather as much evidence as possible to defend their case. Generally speaking, the more evidence one can gather the better, as more evidence can lead to better compensation from the at-fault party. The following is a list of things to keep in mind immediately after an accident:
- Everyone should receive proper medical attention before worrying about gathering evidence. This should be obvious. People’s lives are most important and it is crucial to make sure that everyone is in a stable condition before proceeding to gather evidence
- Do not rush to provide any opinion other that what you are sure has happened. Your life can be turned upside down in a matter of seconds, it is important to stay calm, cool, and collected. Sometimes you do not have a recollection of what occurred, you should report you do not know if you are just upset but you cannot remember, or if you know what happened just provide what you remember. You do not need to feel compelled to give more than you can remember
- Take photos. A picture can be worth 1,000 words. This especially holds true when it comes to proving fault in an auto accident.
- Take notes. The best time to write things down is directly after the accident when things are still fresh in your mind, as opposed to trying to recall the events a little while later. Document things like personal injuries, factors that led to the accident, damages to vehicles, etc.
- Gather witness testimonies. Reliable witness testimonies can be helpful in your case. Make sure to get names, addresses, phone numbers, and detailed descriptions from anyone who saw what happened and can help your case.
In some collisions determining the negligence of the person who caused it is very apparent. , like in the case of a DUI car crash where a red light was ran, it may not be as easy in other cases as each state has unique definitions of negligence.
Thankfully, the attorneys at Schachter, Hendy, & Johnson are familiar with local state laws and well-trained for these types of situations. Should you ever find yourself the victim of a serious car accident please call (859)-578-4444 or contact us online to get help from some of the most highly trained lawyers who can insure proper reimbursement for your injuries and damages.