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Answers for Car Crashes, Motorcycle Accidents, Truck Wrecks and Bicycle Accidents

Answers to Your Questions

At Varellas & Varellas, our attorneys understand you will have many questions after being injured in a car wreck, motorcycle accident, truck wreck or other motor vehicle accident. The personal injury lawyers in our firm also know that you will make better decisions when you have the information you need, and we offer answers to the questions our clients ask the most frequently. You can also read our Accident Survival Guide, or we will be happy to mail a copy to you upon request.

Should I File an Accident Report?

If law enforcement officers don’t respond because there are no injuries, file an accident report anyway since a police report often helps speed up the claims process and is necessary to obtain no-fault benefits. File a report with the local police department where the accident occurred and be sure to get a copy of the Kentucky Uniform Police Traffic Collision Report produced by the police department.

How do I understand the codes on my Kentucky accident report?

After you receive a copy of the accident report, you will have trouble reading much of the information on the report since accident report codes are used to describe the details of the accident. Click Kentucky Accident Report Codes to view a description of the report codes used by the police in Kentucky on motor vehicle accident reports. With these accident report codes, you will be able to understand the information recorded by the police officer investigating your accident or the information recorded by the police department as a result of your report to them.

Should I Call My Insurance Company?

Even if you were not at fault, it’s important to report the accident to your insurance company. Your insurer may require that you give them a statement, but you can advise them that you want your attorney to be present when you give your statement. You are not required to give a statement to the other party’s insurance company, so do not give them a statement until you speak with your attorney.

What if an Insurance Company Calls Me?

Immediately after an accident, you may be contacted by an insurance company to quickly settle your claims. It’s important that you have an experienced advocate on your side from the beginning to evaluate the full damages of your case, to advise you before you give a statement to an insurance company, and to ensure that you collect the full compensation to which you are entitled. Remember: The insurance company is using its lawyers to work against you, so you need experienced attorneys to enforce your rights and help you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled.

What if an Insurance Company Offers Me a Payment?

Do not accept a payment of any amount from an insurance company or from the person who was at fault without talking to an attorney first since you may waive your right to collect payment for other damages or injuries you suffered. At Varellas & Varellas, we represent people who have been injured through the negligence of others and we help our clients maximize their recovery after a serious accident or injury. One of our attorneys will help you decide if accepting an offered payment is in your best interests.

How Should I Preserve Evidence of Injuries?

The best ways are by promptly reporting all of them to a doctor or other medical provider, and by photographing any visible marks, cuts, bruises, or swelling, including any casts, splints, bandages, or other devices. With this early evidence, it will be easier to later prove that you were injured in the ways and to the degree you claim you were. Visible injuries heal and will not look as serious later, and failing to seek immediate treatment can lead an insurance company to believe or later argue that your injuries were not so serious, or even that you invented or exaggerated them after the accident.

How Will My Medical Bills Be Paid?

In Kentucky, no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage (also called basic reparations benefits) under the insurance policy that covers a vehicle owned by you or a family member with whom you reside will pay $10,000 or more (depending on your policy) for your medical expenses or lost income, regardless of who was at fault. If you have lost income and also have medical insurance, however, it’s best to have your medical expenses paid by your health insurance and save the PIP coverage for lost wages. Look for additional details on page 7 of our Accident Survival Guide regarding Kentucky No-Fault Insurance and the threshold that must be met in order for the person at fault to be held responsible for your injuries.

Can I Collect for Lost Wages?

The no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage under Kentucky law requires that if you or a family member with whom you reside owns a motor vehicle, the insurance policy for that vehicle provides you with coverage for medical expenses and lost wages resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Coverage is provided to you no matter who caused the accident. So, even if you are at fault, the PIP coverage of a policy insuring your vehicle or a vehicle owned by a family member with whom you reside will pay your medical expenses and lost wages of $10,000 or more, depending on whether you have chosen additional coverage. The policy will provide coverage for your bills and lost wages even if you were a pedestrian when you were injured or if you were a passenger in someone else’s car.

Is My Time for Filing a Claim Limited?

Recovery may be denied unless a claim is filed within one or two years of the date of injury and in some cases, the time allowed for filing a claim is even less. Cases must be investigated and prepared before being filed in court, so it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an injury occurs. If you delay, a statute of limitations may prevent you from filing your claim.

Injury cases involving children under 18 years of age may have longer time limits for filing, but an attorney should be contacted as soon as possible to ensure proper investigation and preservation of evidence.

What if the Other Driver Has No Insurance?

If someone else was at fault but has no insurance or too little insurance, and if you suffered injuries, you should still contact an attorney about your claim since you may be able to get compensation for your injuries if you or a family member with whom you reside own a vehicle that is insured. You may also be able to stack the insurance coverage for 2 or more vehicles and increase the amount available for your injuries.

What if My Car is Damaged?

If another party was at fault, that party’s insurance should pay for a rental car to drive and pay for repair or replacement of your vehicle. Be very careful when signing documents if you accept a settlement for property damage, however, since you want to be sure you don’t give up your right to make a claim for any injuries you suffered. An attorney at Varellas & Varellas will be happy to help you review documents you have been asked to sign.

If you were at fault, check with your agent to determine the coverage your policy provides. It’s a good idea to check now to be sure your policy will pay for towing or a replacement rental car.

What are my Rights under Kentucky No-Fault Insurance Laws?

If you or a family member with whom you reside own a vehicle that is insured, no-fault coverage under that policy pays $10,000 or more (depending on your policy) of your medical bills when you are in an accident even though the other person was at fault. Your policy will pay your bills even if you are injured while a pedestrian or a passenger in someone else’s vehicle.

No-fault coverage also pays your lost wages subject to the limits of your policy if your doctor orders that your injuries prevent you from working.

If someone else was at fault and you have medical expenses exceeding $1,000 or serious injuries described by law, you will be able to collect no-fault benefits under your policy plus you have the right to pursue a claim against the person at fault to recover for any additional damages or injuries you suffered, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, impairment of ability to earn money, past and future pain and suffering, and the loss of your relationship with your spouse (and in some cases the loss of your relationship with your child or with your parent).

Are There any Important Tips to Remember?

Yes, you should remember these important tips after you or a loved one has been involved in an accident including a car wreck, truck accident, motorcycle crash, boating accident, or other motor vehicle accident.

  • Report the accident to your insurance company, but advise them that you want your attorney to be present when you give a statement.
  • Don’t give an oral or written statement to an insurance company until you speak to an attorney.
  • Be polite, but don't tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
  • State only the facts, and limit your discussion of the accident to the police and your insurance agent.
  • If someone else was at fault but has no insurance and if you suffered injuries, be sure to talk with an attorney about your claim since you may still be able to collect for your injuries if you or a family member you reside with own a vehicle that is insured.
  • Check your policy now to be sure you have enough uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to protect you if the person at fault has insufficient coverage and to be sure your policy will pay for towing or a replacement rental car.

Should I Carry Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Kentucky law requires insurance coverage for all motor vehicles operated on the highways in the state with a minimum coverage requirement of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. If you are seriously injured in a car wreck or other motor vehicle accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may require extensive medical treatment and possibly suffer a permanent injury that affects your ability to continue to work. In such a case, you have the right to sue the person who caused your injuries. But, your medical treatment could easily top $100,000, and your loss of ability to work or pain and suffering or mental anguish could cause your damages to be several hundred thousand dollars or more.

Now, what if the person who caused your injuries is carrying the minimum required coverage in Kentucky of $25,000? Or, even worse, what if they have no insurance coverage at all? You could be completely out of luck since your liability insurance coverage does not cover you; it covers people you might injure. Even if you have liability insurance coverage on your vehicle with high limits, it won’t pay for any of your injuries.

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
  • So, if the driver of the car that injures you has no insurance coverage (uninsured) or coverage with low policy limits (underinsured), the most important part of your insurance policy comes into play: your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

  • Your Policy Matters:
  • Since many drivers carry no insurance or insurance with very low limits, your policy may be the only coverage you have if you are injured. Therefore, paying a little higher premium to add both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to your policy can provide you and your family with valuable protection and make a world of difference if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence. To prevent financial hardships in the event you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist, Varellas & Varellas recommends that you ask your agent to add both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to your policy. Considering the risks, it could be worth the additional premium you pay.

  • If You Have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:
  • If someone else was at fault but has no insurance or too little insurance, and if you suffered injuries, you should still contact an attorney about your claim since you may be able to get compensation for your injuries if you or a family member with whom you reside own a vehicle that is insured. You may also be able to stack the insurance coverage for 2 or more vehicles and increase the amount available for your injuries.

Do I Need a Lawyer After an Accident or Wreck?

Although a small car accident with no injuries can sometimes be handled without hiring a lawyer, you need an attorney to help you handle your claim if you or a loved one suffers injuries in a motor vehicle accident, especially if there are serious injuries or death. You should always remember that the insurance adjuster’s job is to convince you to settle your case for the smallest possible amount. A knowledgeable attorney with experience in handling personal injury cases can help you negotiate a fair settlement of your case but, if the insurance company’s offer is not enough to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, future loss of earning capacity, future medical expenses, pain and suffering and mental anguish, the attorney can take your case to court and pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.

Attorneys with extensive experience handling motor vehicle accidents can also review the insurance policies covering the vehicles owned by you and family members with whom you reside to determine if coverage is available under more than one policy. Inexperienced attorneys often overlook additional coverage available and unwittingly settle the case for a sum that is far too small and the injured parties never realize they have given up significant claims when they agree to the settlement. In one case, the lawyers at Varellas & Varellas collected $1 million in coverage for their client after multiple previous attorneys had failed to realize that an additional policy covered the damages and advised the client that there was only $25,000 in coverage for the client’s significant injuries.

The attorneys at Varellas & Varellas have collected millions of dollars for their personal injury clients and will put their years of experience to work for you to prepare your case to negotiate the best settlement with the insurance company or take your case to court to recover for the losses you have suffered.

How Do I Find a Lawyer After a Wreck or Accident?

When you are injured in an auto accident, you must deal with the stress and trauma caused by the damages and injuries, and determining how to find a lawyer or attorney can be confusing. At this difficult time, you are wise to look for experienced and aggressive Kentucky lawyers who have decades of experience representing injured clients and who can help you maximize your recovery.

Hiring attorneys who practice and are located in Kentucky is important to your case. Our lawyers have practiced personal injury law in local and federal courts in Kentucky during their entire careers and have the necessary experience with Kentucky laws and local courts and rules. A lawyer or firm from another state that advertises in Kentucky may not have the required knowledge of Kentucky law and rules to provide you with the representation you need to protect your interests.

Insurance companies normally dispute every detail of your case and try to settle your case for a fraction of its true value. Our knowledgeable trial attorneys understand the tactics claims adjusters use to reduce the amount they will pay for your claim. The lawyers at Varellas & Varellas will conduct a thorough investigation and aggressively pursue a full and fair recovery in all cases, including car crashes, commercial trucking accidents, motorcycle injuries, wrongful death and fatal accidents.

Our lawyers can help you understand your rights under Kentucky’s no-fault insurance law and make sure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled. You should not delay in calling an attorney since the insurance companies begin working immediately after the accident to try to convince you to settle your claim. Insurance companies will call you to ask for a recorded statement and may offer to make a payment to you that will cut off your right to pursue your claim. You should talk to an experienced lawyer before giving a recorded statement or before accepting any payment from an insurance company after a motor vehicle accident.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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