Kentucky Personal Injury Basics

A personal injury case in Kentucky concerns an injured party who alleges that another person or entity breached a duty to exercise reasonable care that resulted in injury and damages. An injury claim can be brought under the laws and principles of negligence, breach of warranty, strict liability, reckless or intentional conduct. These may encompass motor vehicle accidents, product liability, premises liability and medical malpractice.

In What Jurisdiction Will I File My Claim?

You must file your personal injury claim in the proper Kentucky court. If your claim is a minor one and is valued at $5,000 or less, your filing would be in the District Court in the county where the accident or injury occurred or where one of the defendants lives.

Most personal injury cases are valued at more than $5,000, however, and would be filed in the Circuit Court where either the injury occurred or one of the defendants resides.

The Statute of Limitations for Kentucky

You have a time limit in which to file a personal injury claim in court. In a Kentucky motor vehicle accident claim, you have two years from the date of the accident or from the date the last no-fault medical payment was paid to you to file in the appropriate court.

For all other personal injury cases such as slip and falls, premises liability or medical malpractice claims, the time limit is only one year. Regarding a product liability case involving a defect in a motor vehicle, however, the time limit is two years.

For product liability claims, though, there is a rebuttable presumption that any product is deemed not defective if the injury or death occurred more than five years after the date of sale to the first consumer or more than eight years after its manufacture.

Shorter time periods exist for claims against the state, its political subdivisions or governmental agencies, which also must follow statutory guidelines.

If you have a potential personal injury claim, you should contact a Kentucky personal injury lawyer because the laws in this area can be complicated and confusing.

Is Kentucky a Comparative Fault State?

Kentucky is a pure comparative fault state, so that if you are found to be 99 percent at fault for contributing to your own injuries, you can still collect 1 percent of your damages from the defendant. Your ability to collect compensation is only decreased by your percentage of culpability.

Kentucky is also a no-fault state so that you can collect compensation for medical expenses and lost earnings from your own insurer up to your policy limits regardless of fault. Once your injury claim meets a certain threshold, such as incurring medical expenses of more than $1,000 or if you suffered a serious injury, broken bone or death, you can make a claim for pain and suffering or non-economic damages against the third party responsible for your injuries. You retain the option of rejecting no-fault coverage and pursuing a third party for your damages regardless of the threshold.

What Does a Personal Injury Cost?

The overwhelming majority of attorneys who represent injured plaintiffs are paid pursuant to a written contingency agreement, which is generally one-third of any compensation recovered unless the plaintiff is a minor. Should your attorney fail to obtain any compensation, you do not owe your attorney any fees.

Most attorneys advance the costs and expenses of a case and are reimbursed from any settlement or monetary judgment. Your attorney must pay for medical records, subpoenas to obtain certain records, police reports, depositions and court filing costs. Other expenses may be for expert witnesses, investigators, costs for preparing exhibits, service of process fees and trial costs. A complex personal injury case can incur thousands of dollars in expenditures.

Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury laws and rules are complicated and vary from state to state. Speak to a Kentucky personal injury attorney regarding your injury claim and about obtaining legal representation.

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