What should I do after a car accident?

You are driving along the 71 watching for the 64 interchange. You're not exactly familiar with the area, so you are very observant for the signs. Ironically, you're so focused that you don't notice the car drifting into your lane. You don't see that it is some teenager texting and driving until you jerk awake in an eerily white room; it takes you a second to realize you're in the hospital. You watched ER and House, you know a hospital bed when you're lying in one.

Kentucky is a no-fault state up to $1,000 or less in expenses. If you weren't in the hospital, then all you would need to do is file a claim with your insurer and get your car fixed up. But, you're in the hospital, and they don't usually charge less than $1,000 for a hospital bed. So, you need to file a lawsuit unless you plan on paying for all these yourself.

Obviously you didn't have a chance to collect the driver's information; however if you are in the hospital it is likely the police took a report. They may even do a follow-up report with you now that you are awake. You will want to get a copy of the report because it will contain the facts of the accident and the driver's contact information.

Kentucky is a pure comparative fault state. This means that a party can recover damages even if he or she was 99 percent at fault. Generally, you will not have to pay the majority at-fault party (in this case the texting driver) even if you are partially at fault, because the court would rather reduce your damages to match your fault. This is usually expressed as a percentage reduction of your award.

Liability is complicated because there is a multitude of factors involved in car accidents from road conditions to weather and speed. These do not even address the messy issues of how much a particular driver was paying attention. Witnesses are difficult to corral because it is hard to remember details of a crash while you are swerving to avoid it. A skilled attorney is the key to navigating liabilityy issues.

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T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law
600 W Main Street Suite 100
Louisville, KY 40202

Phone: 502-792-7937
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