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What is no-fault insurance and why is it important?

Following a motor vehicle accident, a person will have to deal with many issues. If you were injured, making the fullest possible physical recovery should be first and foremost on your mind. There are other issues as well, however. For instance, you will need to buy a new car or have it repaired, depending on the damage. You will also have to deal with your insurance company. Dealing with insurance companies is rarely easy.

Kentucky requires motorists to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to cover the costs of an accident. This coverage is commonly known as "no-fault" insurance, as it covers some of the costs of an accident regardless of who is at fault. According to the Kentucky Department of Insurance, basic PIP coverage covers "up to $10,000 per person per accident for medical expenses, lost wages and similar 'out-of-pocket' costs due to injury."

How does no-fault work?

So, if you were in an accident and the other driver was at fault, instead of bringing a claim against the negligent driver's insurance policy, you could instead bring a claim against your no-fault, or PIP coverage. While this seems easy in theory, there are many important exceptions to Kentucky's no-fault laws.

When can an injured person file a lawsuit after a motor vehicle accident?

After an accident, an injured party can only file a lawsuit if his or her injuries meet any of the following thresholds:

  • A broken bone
  • A permanent injury or permanent disfigurement
  • Medical expenses of more than $1,000

In addition, if a loved one dies, eligible survivors can bring a wrongful death claim. Practically speaking, most injury accidents will lead to medical expenses greater than $1,000. Therefore, in any serious accident, the injured person may have the ability to file a lawsuit. No-fault also does not apply in motorcycle accidents, car accidents related to work, and accidents where the negligent driver did not have insurance.

There are other unique aspects of Kentucky's no-fault law. One thing is for certain. If you or someone you love has been in a motor vehicle accident, an experienced lawyer can answer your questions and develop a strong case for all of your damages. With decades of experience, the Shelbyville attorneys of Robinson Salyers have made a difference in the lives of accident victims throughout Kentucky.

Source: Kentucky Department of Insurance, No Fault (PIP)

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