Louisville Car Accident Lawsuits Process and Timeline
No one ever expects to be in a major car accident, let alone have to sue someone to cover medical bills, lost wages, etc. Therefore, if it happens to you, no one can blame you for being stressed, worried, and unsure of what to do next.
At The Schafer Law Office, we have extensive experience handling car accident cases in Louisville, KY. Our goal is to give clients the answers they’re looking for and win the settlement they need to maintain financial security as they recover. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the entire process and explain the timeline for a car accident lawsuit, so you can have a better understanding of what to expect. If you have questions or need urgent help from an auto accident attorney, please call (502) 584-9511.
Who Pays Your Bills in a Kentucky Car Accident?
Let’s start by addressing liability. Who is responsible for paying your medical bills and covering other losses after a serious car accident? The answer is that different parties may be liable, depending on the circumstances of the accident and your own insurance coverage.
Kentucky is a “choice no-fault” state, which means that drivers have the option to choose either a no-fault insurance policy or a traditional tort-based policy. Under a no-fault policy, your own insurance company pays for your medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This system is designed to provide prompt compensation to injured drivers without having to go through a lengthy legal process.
The minimum coverage limits for personal injury protection (PIP) under a no-fault insurance policy in Kentucky is $10,000. This includes $200 per week for lost wages or 85% of your weekly income if you earn less than $200. However, drivers have the option to reject no-fault coverage and choose a traditional tort-based policy instead. Under a tort-based policy, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying the damages to the other driver or their passengers.
It’s important to note that Kentucky’s no-fault insurance system only applies to certain types of damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages. If you have property damage or pain and suffering losses, you may still need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
An experienced personal injury attorney in Louisville can review your case and help you determine who may be responsible for paying your bills and other damages after a car accident.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue?
In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from a car accident is generally 2 years from the date of the accident or 2 years from the date of the last PIP payment, not to exceed 4 years. This means that you must file a lawsuit within one year or potentially lose your right to sue.
However, there are some exceptions that could affect the time limit, such as if the victim was a minor or if the defendant left the state after the accident. It is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in Kentucky to ensure that you understand your rights and obligations under the law.
When Should You Contact a Car Accident Attorney?
It’s generally a good idea to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident, especially if you have sustained injuries or significant damage to your vehicle. This is because an attorney can provide valuable guidance on what steps you should take to protect your legal rights and seek compensation for your losses.
In some cases, you may not even realize the full extent of your injuries or the damages you have suffered until several days or even weeks after the accident. By contacting an attorney early on, they can help you document your injuries and damages and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. They can also help you deal with insurance companies, negotiate a fair settlement for your claim, and represent you in court if your case is one of the few that goes to trial.
The Car Accident Lawsuit Process
When you’re injured in a car accident in Kentucky, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In order to collect these damages, you have to file a lawsuit. This process typically involves several steps, including:
- Investigation: The first stage of a car accident lawsuit involves investigating the accident and collecting evidence. This includes reviewing police reports, obtaining witness statements, and gathering medical records.
- Filing the Complaint: After the investigation is complete, your attorney may file a complaint that outlines the basis for the lawsuit, the parties involved, and the damages sought.
- Discovery: During the discovery stage, both parties exchange information and evidence related to the case. This may include depositions, written interrogatories, and requests for documents.
- Settlement Negotiations: Most car accident cases are settled. This process usually begins after you have completed medical treatment and there is a better understanding of your total damages and losses. Both sides will negotiate to arrive at a settlement that everyone can agree on. Your attorney will advocate for the maximum compensation possible while the defendant’s insurance company or attorney will work to minimize the amount of damages paid out. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement agreement, the case may proceed to trial.
- Trial: If the case is not resolved through mediation, it may proceed to trial. At trial, both parties will present evidence to a judge or jury, who will then make a decision based on the evidence presented.
It’s important to note that not all car accident lawsuits will go through all of these stages. In some cases, the parties may be able to settle the case out of court, or the case may be dismissed before trial. A Louisville car accident attorney can help guide you through each stage of the process and work to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Get a Free Consultation From a Louisville Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Louisville, KY, it’s important to know the process and timeline for pursuing a lawsuit. The legal system can be complicated and time-consuming, but with the right legal representation, you can obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. That’s where The Schafer Law Office comes in.
Our experienced attorneys have a proven track record of successfully representing clients in car accident cases, and we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the maximum compensation possible. Best of all, our fees are contingency-based, which means that you owe us nothing unless we win your case. So if you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t wait – contact The Schafer Law Office today and let us help you get the justice you deserve.