Kentucky Car Accident Laws

While nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, the reality is that these incidents are going to occur. According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, there were more than 134 total traffic collisions reported during the latest year of data available. Out of these incidents, there were 724 fatalities and nearly 34,000 people injured. It is important for anyone who regularly drives in the state of Kentucky to understand the laws pertaining to car accidents. If you are unsure about your situation following an accident in Kentucky, reach out to our Louisville car accident attorneys for a free case consultation.

How long do I have to file an accident report in Kentucky?

Car accidents in Kentucky must be reported if the incident resulted in an injury or death to any person involved or if damage exceeds $500. This means that nearly all accidents must be reported. Kentucky has a tight deadline when it comes to reporting car accident claims. If you are in a car collision, you must file a written accident report with the Kentucky State Police within 10 days of the incident occurring.

Beyond initial reporting requirements, car accident victims need to be aware of the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit, if one is necessary to recover compensation after a serious injury. The statute of limitations for a Kentucky car accident one year from the day the incident occurs.

How does car insurance work in Kentucky after a car accident?

Kentucky is one of the few “no-fault” states when it comes to car accidents. This means that anyone involved in an accident will turn to their personal insurance carrier for coverage, regardless of who caused the accident. This differs from fault-based states in which a victim files a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier for damages.

All drivers in Kentucky are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Drivers are also required to carry:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
  • $50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
  • $10,000 property damage liability

Under the “no-fault” system in Kentucky, injured drivers are not able to sue an at-fault driver to recover compensation unless they incur significant medical expenses, a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, permanent injury, or death.

Drivers in Kentucky are allowed to opt-out of the no-fault insurance system if they do so in writing with the state Department of Insurance. This will give them the right to file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver in any situation, but will also allow others the right to file a lawsuit against them.

What type of damages can you recover after a Kentucky car accident?

There are various types of compensation that can be awarded in a car accident case in Kentucky. State law allows you to collect money for:

  • Vehicle repair or replacement
  • Rental cars
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Lost wages

Kentucky comparative negligent rules

If you are able to file a lawsuit due to the nature of the incident, you need to be aware that Kentucky operates under a pure comparative negligence rule. This allows for drivers who are at fault to collect damages for the incident. Fault in Kentucky is assigned to drivers based on percentages. For example, if you were assigned 80% fault for an accident and the other driver was assigned 20% fault, you can still file a lawsuit to recover compensation for 20% of the total damages.

Do you need an injury lawyer for these cases?

It is not always necessary to have a car accident attorney, but for anything other than minor property damage, you should consider seeking a free consultation of your case. An attorney will have the resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and help prove the fault of the other drivers involved. A Louisville personal injury attorney will also properly calculate your total expenses in order to negotiate fair compensation on your behalf.