Each time you get into a vehicle, whether you are driving or you are the passenger in someone else’s car, you are putting your trust in everyone else on the road to engage in the same safe and prudent behavior as you. Even the most observant and defensive driver faces the risk of a Lexington, Kentucky car crash when someone else ignores the rules of the road and violates their duty of care behind the wheel. Nobody ever plans to be hurt in a car accident when they head out onto the road, but the reality is that there were a total of 158,171 reported collisions in Kentucky in 2018 (the most recent data available through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet at time of publishing), and 664 of those collisions were fatal.
If you are not responsible for the crash, you will need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company and then go through a claims investigation before the insurer comes back to you with a one-time settlement offer. In exchange for this payment, you will need to waive your rights to any future legal action against the insurance company or their client regarding this car accident case, whether or not new information arises or new injuries come to light. To make matters worse, this offer rarely—if ever—adequately compensates car accident victims for the true extent of their damages. This is why it is so important to work with a Lexington car accident lawyer from the start.
Contact Our Law Firm Today To Speak With Experienced Car Accident Lawyers
We offer a free consultation with people who have been hurt in car accidents to talk about what it takes to pursue a claim and how beneficial it can be to partner with Lexington car accident attorneys from the start. Insurance companies use a range of tactics that are specifically intended to limit the amount a claimant receives for a final settlement, typically leveraging their inexperience (which, combined with the ongoing struggle to get your life back on track after an accident, can be extremely overwhelming) to finalize a low payment as quickly as possible.
When insurance companies are contacted directly by car accident lawyers to initiate accident cases, they immediately recognize that the victim is working with someone who is providing them accurate legal advice and a clear understanding of what their rights truly are following an auto accident. While this alone does not ensure that you will recover fair compensation, it establishes your motivations and can avoid some preliminary back-and-forth starting with an exceptionally low initial offer.
If you are one of the many people involved in a car accident in Kentucky each year that you did not cause, then you will greatly benefit from a decision to partner with an experienced personal injury and car accident lawyer in Lexington to get the money you deserve.
The Insurance Process After a Car Crash in Lexington, Kentucky
When you file a claim with an insurance company after an accident, there are two steps to the process: establish who is at fault (and to what extent), and then the arduous process of gathering all of the damages to ensure you are compensated fairly. Taking control of each of these steps is essential because when left to their own, the insurance companies will cut every corner possible to pay you a low amount and resolve your claim with little or no negotiation.
If you do not have extensive experience with Lexington motor vehicle accidents and their resultant personal injury cases, your best bet will be to work with an attorney who can dedicate their time to exploring your legal options and pursuing the most effective strategy while you focus on your recovery. The following steps are general explanations of how your attorney will establish that you are the victim, and then move forward with this information towards calculating a fair amount to recover costs for the many personal injury damages you have suffered.
Lexington has the second-highest fatal car crash rate in Kentucky, behind Louisville. If you lost a loved one in a Lexington car accident, contact our firm to speak with an attorney about your legal options for a wrongful death case.
Establishing Fault and Liability In Car Accidents
In some cases, Lexington car accident lawyers may be able to spend very little time on this step if the crash was very clearly caused by one person and one person only. This is common in instances where the at-fault driver is cited for violations like drunk driving, failure to yield, or other dangerous action that is very clearly entirely their doing.
This is not always the case, though, and there are many cases involving Lexington drivers that require a closer look and may utilize the Kentucky law “pure comparative fault” to assign a percentage of blame to a number of individuals and reduce the final settlement amount of each according to the percent that they are at fault.
If you are included in the 67% of accidents between two moving vehicles, then someone is responsible for your accident and must be held accountable. Our attorneys can help you pursue a claim and get the money you deserve.
The Downside to Pure Comparative Fault
Pure comparative fault is a very helpful law because the alternative would bar Lexington accident victims from seeking any compensation if they contributed to the crash in any meaningful way, even if it was something as minor as going slightly over the speed limit leading up to an accident with a left-turning driver.
While this is fortunately not the case in Kentucky, an insurance company will use this law to their advantage by attempting to pin as much blame as possible on you in order to save themselves money. Your financial wellbeing is secondary to an insurer when compared to the company’s bottom line, and any tool that provides an adjuster with additional chances to reduce your settlement will be utilized if left unchallenged. Your Lexington car accident lawyer will push back on any attempt to pin unfounded blame on you because you should not have to pay for the damages that someone else caused.
Calculating Damages After a Kentucky Car Crash
Once the issue of fault is settled, the next step is to go through each impact of your Lexington accident in order to reach a comprehensive calculation of the money you deserve. These impacts are known as “damages” and include a range of things subdivided into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Your attorney will help you understand your legal options for each of these damages, such as whether or not they believe a lawsuit is necessary or if you will likely be able to settle your claim through direct settlement negotiations.
Economic damages are the impacts of an accident that have actual dollar values and measurable financial costs to the victim. These are things like medical expenses, lost wages, the cost of property damage, and a variety of others. Insurance companies prefer to offer a settlement based solely on property damage, medical bills, and lost wages, but there are many other impacts that a victim is entitled to compensation for — both financial and otherwise.
A detail-oriented Lexington attorney will take a close look at the many damages that accident victims endure after a car crash, no matter how seemingly minor or inconsequential, to ensure that all costs are accounted for. Many people overlook minor medical bills like receipts at a pharmacy for over-the-counter painkillers or expenses for things like services for tasks that the victim would otherwise be able to perform on their own, but each of these should be included in your claim to ensure that you are not footing the bill for someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior.
Lexington car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents cause many more impacts than the purely financial ones, such as the pain and suffering of physical injuries that a victim must endure, the impact that things like broken bones may have on quality of life, and more. Assigning a dollar value to non-economic damages after car accidents can be overwhelming for victims, which is why insurance companies rely on it in order to settle their claim quickly and affordably.
A qualified Lexington attorney has the necessary tools for calculating these damages after accidents and will be able to go through this process while you are focusing on your recovery. Instead of trying to reach your own calculations and defend your estimates to an adjuster, your attorney will go through the necessary negotiations with the hopes of reaching a settlement.
Common Injuries From Motor Vehicle Accidents
The following are just a few of the many different injuries that someone is at risk of suffering in a car accident. Whether or not your injuries are mentioned below, contact our team as soon as possible to speak directly with an attorney about your case. No two car accidents are alike, and two of the same types of injuries will likely require entirely different treatments, have different recovery processes, and have significantly different impacts on the victims. This is another reason why it is so important to work with Lexington car accident lawyers who understand that each situation is different, and will work to build a case that specifically suits your unique needs.
Fractures and broken bones are, contrary to popular usage, the same injuries. Many people incorrectly believe that a fracture is a less serious injury, but both terms refer to when a bone is subjected to forces beyond their breaking strength and fracture apart. These injuries often require casts or splints to mobilize the injury and may require surgical intervention to avoid long-term or permanent damage.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBIs are any sort of injury to the brain through blunt force, penetrating injuries, or other sort of trauma. Concussions are the most common TBIs and must be addressed immediately by a medical professional to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to facilitate recovery and all symptoms are actively managed. For a long time, concussions were ignored, but we now know that this is a dangerous approach to this “silent epidemic.”
Hematomas may first appear to be a bad bruise, but while the source of the injury is the same (broken blood vessels), a hematoma may require medical care to alleviate the issue and put you on a path towards recovery. Hematomas differ from bruises in that a hematoma is pooled blood from larger blood vessels, while a bruise is smaller capillaries and surficial blood vessels.
A hematoma will swell and can be extremely painful to the touch. A bruise or hematoma may indicate a more serious injury, so be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible to get the care you deserve.
Whiplash is a term used for the numerous soft tissue injuries that happen when the head is jerked forward and back in a collision, which results in tissues, muscles, ligaments, and tendons to tear. This injury is marked by a stiff neck, constant pain in the neck, shoulders, and back, difficulty sleeping or staying comfortable, jaw and facial pain, headaches, and loss of mobility.
Since this type of injury typically takes a while to show itself, be sure not to make any statements about your condition at the scene of the accident to ensure that you do not miss any latent damage.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves running from the brainstem to around the tailbone and sends signals to and from the brain and the limbs about movement, sensation, and more. Disruption to the spinal cord through an impact can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, loss of motor control, and more.
If you suspect that someone has suffered a spinal cord injury in your accident, do not move them if their immediate safety does not depend on it, as this can lead to serious complications.
Contact Our Law Firm Today For a Free Consultation
Our team of experienced Lexington personal injury attorneys understands how complicated the aftermath of car accidents can be, and we are dedicated to helping you navigate this overwhelming time while fighting for the money you deserve. Once you are being represented by an attorney, you will be able to prioritize your recovery without worrying about complex legal processes, handling contentious negotiations with a claims adjuster, or wondering about how you will pay for your mounting medical bills.
You do not deserve to go through this process alone, and you do not deserve to suffer the financial impacts of someone else’s dangerous behavior. We are here to help.