Every year, thousands of Kentuckians are seriously injured in Louisville car accidents. Distracted drivers, unsafe roadways, and defective vehicle parts are all common causes of car crashes in Louisville.
Our team of Louisville car accident lawyers has handled countless car accident claims throughout Jefferson County and the entire state and are well-familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to try and undercut proper compensation to injury victims. When results matter, Meinhart Smith & Manning, PLLC is who to rely on. The Louisville personal injury attorneys at our law firm will provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation so you can find out what your legal options are today.
Louisville residents have been choosing Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC to represent them in personal injury claims for years. Why?
While some people depend on their insurance company to take care of the situation following an accident, it’s important to understand that their solutions are rarely designed to benefit you. Insurance companies are in business to make money and, therefore, try all that is possible to avoid paying any more than they have to. It’s more than likely any settlement initially offered without a personal injury attorney is the minimum compensation required by law.
While in some cases, like fender benders, a Louisville accident attorney may not be necessary, there are car accident cases in which a strong legal defense may be your only option to fair compensation.
In Kentucky, our Louisville accident lawyers see a number of clients with injuries resulting from car accidents. Injuries vary, though some are more common than others. Ensure that you see a doctor after an accident occurs as a medical report will be imperative in any potential personal injury claim.
In general, soft tissue injuries (STI) refer to damage to muscles, ligaments, Soft tissue injuries (STI) from a car wreck include any type of damage or lesions to muscles, ligaments, and tendons throughout the body. Here is a list of common soft tissue injuries that result from car accidents:
A car accident doesn’t only cause physical damage, but can also bring about immense emotional pain for accident victims and their loved ones.
No, a lawsuit may not always be necessary. However, it is in your best interest to at least explore the possibilities with an attorney before you accept the offer of the insurer. Contact our Louisville accident attorney team promptly after a car accident so that you have the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer while you are determining whether the insurance company’s settlement offer is fair.
If your auto accident lawyer believes the insurance companies are attempting to low-ball your settlement offer, he or she can assist you in gathering evidence, witnesses, and even expert medical testimony to strengthen your case. If mediation isn’t working, your attorney will likely proceed with filing a formal claim in court.
If you’re involved in a car accident, you can experience fear, confusion and even disoriented. It is important to take a moment, once the dust settles, and take stock of how you feel and whether or not you are injured.
Many people aren’t aware that you are not legally obligated to give a recorded statement to either your or another driver’s insurance company. If you were injured in a car accident, especially if you weren’t at fault, contact a Louisville auto accident lawyer before giving any type of statement to an insurance company. Once you give a recorded statement, it can be very difficult to undo the damage of certain statements.
Insurance companies many times will act like your friend and be sympathetic to your injuries, only to asking leading questions that favor them, not you. The best way to protect yourself against this is to speak with an attorney. Many Kentucky law firms, like Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC, offer free consultations, where you can get answers to your questions and guidance towards your best legal options. Don’t jeopardize your fair settlement by going in blind. Speak with an accident lawyer first.
Given that Kentucky is one of the few states with a ‘No-fault’ statute, it means that in the event of an accident, those injured must first seek compensation for their damages through their own insurance provider, regardless of fault.
In order to seek legal compensation from the at fault party in an accident, injuries must be serious enough and the victim’s insurance policy must be unable to cover the expenses. Again, this does not mean that no one bears responsibility for an accident.
During an auto accident case, a large component in a civil case involves the plaintiff’s legal team demonstrating that the other party behaved and acted in a negligent way leading up to the accident. Cornell defines negligence as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.”
Additionally, there are elements involved in a negligence case. These four elements of negligence are duty, breach of duty, causation and damages.
In certain accident cases involving acts of negligence, the plaintiff’s legal team will attempt to demonstrate that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. A duty is recognized as a relationship that was formed between the parties and a judge will normally rule regarding whether or not one party owed the other party a duty of care.
An example of duty of care involving an auto accident may include a defendant that ran a red light and caused an accident. Another example is how an individual could have overloaded or unsafely loaded a vehicle that resulted in an accident. If an individual unsafely loaded too much equipment on the top of their vehicle, and the equipment came loose and fell from the vehicle that caused the accident, this could be considered as negligence. It is the duty of an individual to act with reasonable care as to not physically injure anyone else.
This act of negligence occurs when an individual’s conduct does not meet the applicable standard of care. If the defendant’s conduct failed to meet the necessary standard of care, the defendant is said to have breached their duty of care.
The element of negligence involving causation requires that a plaintiff proves that the negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
The last element of negligence is damages. This element requires that the legal system compensate the plaintiff for their injuries suffered. This compensation is generally done through monetary damages for the injuries suffered including medical care, medical bills, property repair, loss of consortium, loss of quality of life or loss of work.
Kentucky is a no-fault state for auto accidents that requires Personal Injury Protection be paid for by insurance coverage to cover the costs of accident victims injuries. When an auto accident involves a a death however, this rule does not apply.
When an individual loses their life resulting from negligence, recklessness and wrongdoing as a result of the at-fault victim, only certain members and representatives associated with the victim can file a wrongful death claim to help recover maximum compensation for the loss of life from the victim. Kentucky has special requirements regarding who can file a wrongful death suit. In order to file a wrongful death claim in Kentucky, the personal representative, or executor, of the estate must generally file the claim. If no personal representative exists for the deceased individual, the court can appoint a person to act as the personal representative.
The penalties and damages associated with a responsible party in these cases can be severe if the death was caused by negligence and/or recklessness. At-fault parties can be responsible for the damages suffered by members of the victim’s family involved in a fatal car accident.
After a car accident, the full extent of your injuries may remain hidden. In some injury cases, certain internal injuries only become evident after a period of time. If you discover injuries or property damages later, how long do you have to file a car accident lawsuit?
One year. You have one year from the date of your car accident in Kentucky to file a claim against the at-fault driver, company, city, or other party. If you miss this deadline, the courts will most likely refuse to let you file at all. Even if you do manage to file, the defense can use the fact that you missed your deadline as a reason to have the courts drop your case.
If nearing the deadline to file, it is especially important that you speak with one of our Louisville auto accident attorneys as soon as possible to not lose your opportunity to make a claim.
If a loved one dies as the result of a Louisville car crash, the statute of limitations varies slightly. If you are the executor of the estate or the appointed representative, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the estate. However, the estate must file claims relating to loss of consortium – or, loss of the earning power or disability benefits of the deceased – within a year of the date of death.
In 2017, a total of 782 people died on Kentucky roads. Often, when one driver dies as a result of his or her injuries, the cause of the accident remains uncertain. However, when Kentucky police assess the scene of a car accident, they may list as many as three contributing factors to the accident itself. As a result, Kentucky residents have a more thorough idea regarding the causes of car accidents in the state compared to most others.
In that year, the top ten most common contributing factors to car accidents were:
Drivers have a duty to drive safely and prevent unnecessary risk of injury to other drivers on the road. If a driver fails in this duty, or is negligent and breaks a law, causing personal injury or property damage to others, his or her car insurance should provide compensation for the injured parties’ medical bills, missed wages, and even pain and suffering.
After an automotive accident occurs, the parties involved frequently have different sides of a story. The Louisville car accident lawyers at our law firm help victimized parties by investigating the cause of the motor vehicle accident.
During the pre-trial period and the discovery phase of a personal injury case, the plaintiff’s side along with the defendant’s counsel, will meet in the civil court of the appropriate jurisdiction.
The pre-trial hearing involves attorneys for the defendant and plaintiff and outlines whether or not mediation or arbitration is acceptable and to set a date for the trial (if necessary).
The discovery phase can be a lengthy process, and includes depositions of individuals of the other party and scheduling witnesses. Deposition sessions occur outside of a courtroom and include a recorded statement of a witness to the case. Our investigative techniques also can include any or all of the following:
Hiring a skilled Louisville accident attorney from Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC after a car crash can help you explore your rights as a victim and take action against at-fault parties. Our law firm can help you get the most out of your claim, even with Kentucky’s no-fault auto accident laws. Our compassionate and dedicated Louisville car accident attorneys understand the physical, emotional, and financial stress that comes with being involved in an accident.
Our car accident attorneys can take the burden of knowing and navigating Kentucky’s vehicle accident laws off your shoulders. You can focus on recovering from your injuries and getting well enough to return to work while we take care of the legal legwork for you.
We’ve won outstanding results for our clients in the past, and may be able to do the same for you with legal action. Contact our law office today and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to help answer your questions and set up a case evaluation. Our attorneys have the best interests of our clients at the forefront of our decision making and planning and we offer a free initial consultation to answer questions surrounding the case.