After a Louisville car accident, there are many things that the individuals involved must be concerned with. The foremost concern is getting medical attention for any injuries. After getting medical attention, most drivers will be required to file a claim with their insurance company to offset the damage done to the vehicle. In many cases, injurious car accidents also require communicating with the insurance company of the other party involved in the accident. And in many cases, one of the parties involved in a car accident does not have proper insurance, thus complicating the ordeal of the accident.
Kentucky is considered a “no-fault” insurance state, meaning that the individual who owns and carries insurance on a vehicle involved in a car accident will be responsible for filing insurance claims with his or her own insurance company. Known as Personal Injury Protection Coverage, or PIP coverage, insurance coverage in Kentucky is designed to protect the driver and any unrelated passengers. PIP claims may cover a certain amount of out-of-pocket expenses.
Because Kentucky is a no-fault insurance state, there are limitations on an individual’s right to sue or be sued. The standard limitation means that individuals must meet certain criteria in order to have tort rights to sue an at-fault driver. Those criteria include:
- Medical expenses greater than $1,000
- Broken bones
- Permanent injury/disability
- Permanent disfigurement
Some Kentucky insurance policy holders decide to reject PIP insurance coverage. In most cases, this results in premiums being higher because individuals injured do not have to meet the criteria stated above in order to sue. It is important to note that PIP insurance coverage guidelines are not the same as being uninsured.
Uninsured versus Underinsured
Most insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage designed to protect individuals sustaining damages in a car accident where the other party is uninsured. In such cases, the individual’s own insurance will offset the out-of-pocket expenses for amounts above PIP coverage, or in the event that PIP coverage has been rejected. The primary difference between uninsured and underinsured is as follows:
- Uninsured – Exactly as it sounds, being uninsured means that the driver and/or owner of the vehicle does not have a current insurance policy in place. Kentucky law requires that all motor vehicles be registered and properly insured before traveling on the road. Car accident victims will find the process of recovering financial compensation more difficult if the other driver was uninsured.
- Underinsured – Kentucky law has specific guidelines as to the minimum amount of insurance coverage that vehicle owners and operators should have. If these guidelines are not met sufficiently, then the individual is underinsured. Individuals who have underinsured motorist coverage will find their own insurance will help to offset damages remaining due to an underinsured driver.
Having insurance is not only a good idea; it is a legal requirement in Kentucky. Unfortunately, many drivers choose to ignore the law and drive without insurance and disregard the interests of other drivers on the roadway. When injurious accidents occur and the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, the road to recovery is more complex and frustrating for the victim.
Fortunately, Kentucky drivers do not have to face the complexities of insurance matters alone. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, contact the seasoned team of Car Accident Lawyers today at Murphy & Associates PLC. We can help you protect your rights and secure the best outcome possible for your car accident injury case. Call our office at (502) 205-2097 to schedule a free consultation.