Car accidents can have a devastating impact on your life. Not only are you more likely to suffer serious injuries, but medical treatment can be expensive and when you can’t work, the financial pressures can pile up quickly.
Fortunately, you may be able to cover your losses and maintain financial security through a Louisville car accident settlement. This money, which is usually claimed through your own auto insurer, can cover your treatment costs and compensate you for any crash-related damages like lost wages, loss of earning ability, and property damage.
While it’s normal to want to seek as big a settlement as possible, filing a successful claim can be complicated. Not only do you have to collect evidence and meet deadlines, but few auto insurers are eager to pay high amounts to settle a claim. This is why it’s crucial to hire an experienced Louisville car accident lawyer.
At The Schafer Law Office, we understand the challenges you’re facing, and we’re dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve. With our proven track record of success, we’re the firm to call when you’re looking to maximize your settlement.
Car Accident Settlements Under Kentucky’s No-Fault Law
In Kentucky, most car accident claims are settled based on the state’s no-fault insurance laws. This means that the personal injury protection (PIP) benefits included in each driver’s policy cover medical expenses and lost wages up to a certain amount, regardless of who caused the accident.
While you can opt for higher coverage levels, Kentucky’s minimum requirement for personal injury protection covers up to $10,000 in medical expenses per person involved in an accident. It also pays 85% of lost wages resulting from an injury, up to $200 per week.
However, if you have at least $1,000 in medical expenses or the accident resulted in more serious injuries, which would include amputation, disfigurement, or loss of bodily function, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver for additional damages. Injured motorists who have opted out of the no-fault system can also take legal action to recover compensation.
Collecting Evidence for Your Settlement
Collecting evidence is crucial for obtaining a fair settlement that covers your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Below is an overview of the steps you should take:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if your injuries seem minor. This will document your injuries and establish a baseline for your recovery.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver. Refrain from placing or accepting blame, as anything you say could be used to reduce your compensation later on.
- Notify your insurance company of the accident and provide them with all the necessary details.
- Collect as much evidence as possible, including photographs of the accident scene and any injuries sustained.
- Obtain contact information for any witnesses.
- Keep all documentation related to the accident, including medical bills, police reports, and insurance correspondence, in a single and easily accessible place.
- If you’ve been seriously injured, contact a car accident lawyer who can help you collect all evidence, file a claim, and negotiate a settlement from your auto insurer. If you have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, your attorney can handle this step for you as well.
The importance of documentation and evidence cannot be overstated, as both will be used to determine the amount of compensation you’re entitled to receive. Any evidence you collect will also be important in establishing fault and liability for the accident.
How Much is a Typical Car Accident Settlement?
The amount of a typical car accident settlement can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average bodily injury claim after a collision in 2020 was $20,235, whereas the average property damage claim was $4,711.
It’s important to note that each case is unique and settlement amounts can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. Consulting with a Louisville car accident lawyer can help you understand what a fair settlement amount might be in your particular case.
How Are Settlements Calculated?
Car accident settlements are typically calculated based on the damages suffered by the victim. Damages can include both economic and non-economic losses: economic losses refer to tangible financial expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage while non-economic losses refer to intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
When determining a fair settlement amount, a number of factors are taken into consideration, including:
- Severity of Injuries: The more serious your injuries, the higher your settlement is likely to be. This is because severe injuries typically require more extensive medical treatment and can result in long-term disability or reduced quality of life.
- Liability: Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence law allows the fault to be split between the parties involved. This means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages. However, your settlement amount will be reduced by your assigned percentage of fault.
- Insurance Coverage: The amount of insurance coverage available can also impact the settlement amount. If you have insufficient coverage, you may need to pursue additional legal action to obtain the compensation you need.
- Lost Wages: If you’ve had to miss work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. The amount you receive will depend on your income and the length of time you were unable to work.
- Pain and Suffering: You may also be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering resulting from the accident. In Kentucky, there is no set formula for calculating pain and suffering damages- instead, they are typically calculated based on the severity of the injuries, the duration and extent of pain experienced, and the impact of the injuries on the victim’s quality of life.
How Long Do Louisville Car Accident Settlements Take?
The timeline for a car accident settlement can vary widely depending on several factors that include:
- The complexity of the case
- Strength of the evidence
- The willingness of the parties to negotiate
The nature and extent of your injuries can also impact the settlement timeline. In cases where the injuries are severe or long-lasting, the settlement process may take longer due to the need to accurately assess the full extent of the damages suffered.
In general, insurance companies may be more willing to settle quickly in cases where liability is clear and damages are easily quantifiable. When liability is disputed or there is uncertainty about the extent of damages, the settlement process may take longer as the parties work to gather additional evidence and negotiate a fair resolution.
Injured in a Car Accident? Let The Schafer Law Office Negotiate Your Settlement!
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Louisville, KY, The Schafer Law Office can provide you with the expert legal representation you need to obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. We have a strong track record of successfully representing clients in car accident cases, with significant settlements and verdicts obtained on behalf of our clients. For example:
- $425,000 for injuries sustained after a drunk driver hit a semi-truck
- $273,500 for a carpal tunnel injury from a rear-end collision
- $175,000 for a broken jaw and hearing loss after a crash
- $140,000 for a driver rear-ended in traffic
These results demonstrate our firm’s commitment to fighting for our client’s rights and obtaining the best possible outcomes in every case. If you or a loved one have been injured and are worried about the future, let us help. Our fees are contingency-based, so you owe us nothing unless we win. To learn more or schedule a free consultation, please contact us online today.