Every year, thousands of Kentuckians suffer serious and fatal injuries from traffic collisions. Many depend on Kentucky highways to make it to work, school and more, it can also be the cause of serious motor accidents if one is not cautious. Distracted drivers, unsafe roadways, and defective vehicle parts are all common causes of car crashes.
Our Louisville accident attorneys at Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC have handled numerous car accident claims and are familiar with the tactics of insurance companies use to try and undercut proper compensation to an accident victim. When results matter, our personal injury law firm is who to call. Contact our office today to schedule your free initial consultation.
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 to avoid paying any more than the have to. They will give you the minimum amount of compensation required by law.
When you hire an attorney, he or she comes at the situation with the intention of taking care of you as a client and ensuring that you get the maximum compensation for what occurred. An experienced car accident attorney has seen too many victims that wind up hurt and unable to pay for their medical bills, lost work and other expenses. That is why a good lawyer always works diligently to make sure the insurance company pays every penny that the client needs.
A lawsuit may not be necessary, but it is in your best interests to at least explore the possibly with an attorney before you accept the offer of the insurer.
When you find yourself in a car accident, it can be frightening and leave you feeling confused and 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. If you are hurt, or it appears that anyone else hurt, the first step is to call an ambulance.
As long as you are not seriously injured, the next step is to move your vehicle out of traffic if it is possible for you to do so safely, to avoid putting other drivers in danger. When you have addressed all immediate hazards, you can then call the police.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, you can exchange information with the other driver, including name, address, and insurance information. Ask to take a picture of the other driver’s insurance document. Be sure to get contact information for any witnesses that saw the accident. It is also advisable to take photographs of the accident. Try to photograph all aspects of the scene that could be useful in examining the accident, including any obstructions, tire marks, injuries and any damage to the vehicles.
Speak to the police when they arrive and give an honest assessment of what happened for the accident report. Stick to the facts as you know them, but avoid taking the blame for the accident. Who was responsible will be decided by investigation of the facts, but it is best not to push the police towards a judgment that you were responsible.
At Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC, our goal is to help personal injury victims. We understand that many potential clients do not have the resources to hire an attorney outright. Which is why we offer a free initial consultation and we provide our services to many clients on a contingency basis. This means that we only charge you if we win your case. You can use the money you won to pay our fee. If we choose to take on your case, we will negotiate a percentage of the recovery as our payment. The percentage may vary depending on how the lawsuit unfolds, such as if there is a settlement or a trial is necessary.
Our firm can also work with you for an hourly rate if you prefer. We are flexible and primarily interested in helping you win your case and get the compensation you need following your accident.
You need to contact your insurance company as soon as you have taken care of your immediate medical care, filed a police report and hopefully consulted an attorney. Failing to notify your insurer of an accident could be a violation of your policy and result in a loss of coverage.
If you have spoken to a lawyer before calling your insurance company, he or she will advise you to treat the insurer just like the police. You want to relate the facts surrounding the event, and avoid laying blame on the other driver or taking the blame yourself.
You need to speak to both the police and the other driver following the accident. The police need to know the facts of the accident for the police report, and the other driver needs your insurance information, just like you need his/hers. Staying calm, being respectful and sticking to the facts is the best policy.
Although you want to avoid making false statements – which could come back to haunt you later – you also do not need to give an elaborate account either. You want to give the police the information they need, but avoid taking the blame for the accident or accusing the other driver of being responsible. Remember, just the facts.
Kentucky is one of the few states with a “No-fault Statute” when it comes to motor vehicle accident laws. This means that in the unfortunate 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 other party(ies) 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 bares responsibility for an accident.
Kentucky’s No-Fault Law means the following for accident victims:
You have one year in 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 seek the advice of one of our Louisville car accident attorneys as soon as possible to not lose your opportunity to make a claim.
A car accident can be a very chaotic undertaking, especially if severe. While many can be unpredictable and sudden, you can take preventative actions that can possibly help you steer clear of a roadway accident.
According to the Department of Transportation, about 660,000 drivers are using a cell phone at any given moment. That’s just about the population size of Washington D.C. Staying off your phone while on the road is the first thing you can do to lessen your chances of an accident. If you need to, invest in hands-free devices that help you answer calls and play music without requiring you to take attention off the road.
The National Transportation Safety Board found that 31% of all traffic accidents are due to speeding. Traveling at speeds far over the legal limits lessens the amount of time a driver has to react to the cars around them and places the driver, as well as everyone else sharing the road at risk.
Especially during rush hour, be careful and attentive to the way you pull into traffic. Always keep a safe amount of distance between you and the car in front of you, leaving room for unexpected lane changes and brakes. Stop, look, and listen carefully to make sure you’re alert and ready to maneuver out of the way if need be.
Always be attentive and alert to the area you’re driving in. Try to be scan the road in front of you at least 10-12 seconds ahead of you and be sure to position yourself so that a plan in case you have to make a sudden maneuver.
Many people die in car crashes every year, and there are many factors that play into car accident fatalities. With many drivers on the road who are distracted, drivers that operate vehicles under the influence of alcohol, and the various weather conditions drivers face, car accidents throughout the United States continue to remain steady. Texting is a serious problem, causing distracted driving throughout the US. Many states have enacted laws to stop under age drivers from texting or using their cell phones while driving a car. There are tougher laws in place for young drivers under the age of eighteen than more experienced drivers.
The state of Kentucky has banned cell phones, both hand held and hands-free, for all bus drivers. Further, there is a ban on cell phone use for all novice drivers, which are drivers under the age of 18. There is also a ban on texting while driving for drivers of all ages. These new laws are an attempt to help control the growing use of cellphones while driving, the number one reason drivers are driving distracted.
Hiring an 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. Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC can help you get the most out of your claim, even with Kentucky’s no-fault auto accident laws. Our compassionate and dedicated attorneys understand the physical, emotional, and financial stress that come with being involved in an accident.
Our team 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. Contact our office today and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to help answer your questions.