A car accident can happen at any time, even to the most careful drivers. They can also quickly turn your life into disarray. Between repair costs, injury costs, and emotional trauma, the cumulative effects of a car accident add up quickly. No time is a good time for a car accident.
A car accident attorney in Louisville, KY can make a world of difference in quelling the chaos after a wreck. That’s where Gerling Law’s Louisville car accident lawyers come in. Gerling Law’s central focus is our clients and the communities we serve — our Louisville accident lawyers take this mission to heart. If you have been in an accident, our car accident lawyers in Louisville, KY, are here to help you move forward with your life and ensure the aftereffects of the accident stay manageable.
Car Accident Statistics
We know that car accidents can happen to anyone, but to fully appreciate the cost and prevalence of them, it helps to consult the numbers.
Vehicle collisions cost Americans more than $800 billion each year. This cost includes productivity losses, property damage, and medical expenses. Medical and productivity costs from crash fatalities alone cost Americans $75 billion in 2017.
Kentucky Car Accident Statistics
The Kentucky State Police keep a database of all reported crashes in Kentucky. Kentucky law requires drivers to report a car crash to local law enforcement any time a collision results in injury, property damage of over $500, or an inoperable vehicle. Drivers who fail to report collisions risk fines and license suspension. Gerling Law’s accident lawyers in Louisville, KY, are grateful to the Kentucky State Police and all Kentucky first responders for their service to the community.
In 2018, Kentucky State Police recorded nearly 160,000 car accidents. For perspective, in 2018, one in 23 Kentucky drivers was involved in a collision.
The majority (66%) of these collisions were between two or more moving vehicles. About 133,000 of the 2018 crashes caused property damage only—they did not result in injury or death. 23,500 of the recorded 2018 accidents caused nonfatal injuries; in other words, in 2018, one in 128 Kentucky residents was injured in a car accident.
Car accidents can be fatal. There is a strong correlation between seatbelt usage and accident fatality. In Kentucky, car accidents took 730 lives in 670 accidents during 2018 at a cost of over $1 billion. This put the Kentucky accident fatality rate, 1.46 deaths per hundred million miles traveled, or 16.2 deaths per 100,000 population, higher than the national average. Of the motorists fatally injured in 2018, just over one-third (247) were wearing a seat belt. Gerling Law’s Louisville car accident attorneys would like to emphasize that seatbelts save lives.
Louisville Car Accident Statistics
The following 2018 crash statistics are from the city of Louisville specifically. In Louisville, in 2018, there were:
- 27,180 total collisions,
- 22,761 with only property damage,
- 4,352 with an injury,
- 6,489 total injuries,
- 86 with a fatality, and
- 93 total fatalities.
If you’re one of the more than 27,000 people involved in a Louisville car accident each year, Gerling Law’s Louisville car accident attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve and move forward with your life.
Common Contributing Factors in Kentucky Car Accidents
Law enforcement officers in Kentucky also record contributing factors in car accidents. The following are some of 2018’s most common contributing factors and the percent of accidents they were recorded in:
- Driver inattention or distraction (42%),
- Loss of control (13%),
- Failure to yield (11%),
- Slippery surface (11%),
- Misjudged clearance (7%),
- Animal action (5%), and
- Speeding (4%).
While alcohol contributed to less than 3% of total collisions, it was involved in more than 10% of all fatal accidents.
Each accident report contains up to three different contributing factors, so some may have an overlap. Driver inattention and distraction lead the way in contributing factors by a longshot. As with seatbelt usage, Gerling Law’s accident lawyers in Louisville, KY, would like to emphasize that cell phone usage and texting and driving is unsafe.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve been in a car accident, you might have a lot of questions. It is our job at Gerling Law to have answers. Our auto accident attorneys in Louisville, KY, get some questions more often than others. The most common questions we answer are those that have to do with time limits, assessing fault, no-fault insurance and lawsuits, recoverable damages, going to court, and hiring a lawyer.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Kentucky’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim is one year from the date of injury. On the other hand, the statute of limitations for property damage claims is two years from the accident date. It is almost impossible to file a claim after this time has passed, so don’t wait—file your claim as soon as possible.
How Is Fault Assessed in Kentucky?
Kentucky law uses pure comparative negligence in assessing fault. Under this system, a defendant’s liability sees a reduction in conjunction with the plaintiff’s negligence. If you seek damages after an accident and are 10% at fault for it, your compensation will have a 10% reduction. The system is “pure” because you can recover no matter what your percentage of negligence is; if you were 90% at fault, you can still recover 10% of your damages.
Does Kentucky’s No-Fault Insurance System Allow for Lawsuits?
While Kentucky’s no-fault insurance system bars personal injury lawsuits in car accidents by default, there are exceptions. One exception is no-fault rejection. Kentucky drivers can opt-out of Kentucky’s no-fault insurance policy by filing a No-Fault Rejection Form with the Kentucky Department of Insurance. Otherwise, filing a lawsuit for personal injury after a car accident is only possible if the accident results in medical expenses of over $1,000, permanent injury, or death. A claim recovering property damages is always possible after a car accident.
What Damages Can I Recover?
Recoverable damages usually fall into one of two categories: economic or non-economic. Economic damages, like lost wages and property damage, are tangible with an identifiable dollar value. Non-economic damages, like emotional trauma and loss of a bodily function, do not have a precise dollar value and are intangible by nature. In rare instances, a judge will order payment of punitive damages. Kentucky has no cap on total damages.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
In most cases, no. While there is some disagreement over the precise numbers of cases that end up in court, most car accident settlements happen out of court. However, if a dispute does not find its resolution in negotiations, a case will go to trial. Disputes about facts, fault, and the extent of damages, particularly non-economic, can bring a case to trial.
How Much Will a Lawyer Cost?
Like most car accident attorneys, Gerling Law’s car wreck lawyers in Louisville, KY, work based on a contingency fee. A contingency fee is a payment arrangement wherein a lawyer collects a fee only if a claim is successful. The fee is typically a percentage of the final settlement. Contingency fees help ensure that lawyers are affordable to everyone.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
After a car wreck, a Louisville accident lawyer can help you in many ways. Accident lawyers in Louisville, KY, can help you document damages, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, file a lawsuit, and move on with your life. Most importantly, a car accident lawyer in Louisville will advocate for your individual needs.
How Do I Find the Right Lawyer?
With thousands of practicing attorneys in Kentucky, finding the right one for your case can be a daunting task. The most important thing to consider in your search is your individual needs. Find an attorney who has experience advocating for those specific needs. Websites like Avvo and Findlaw can help narrow the search for the Louisville car accident attorney that best suits your individual needs.
Gerling Law Is Here to Help
If you have been in a car accident in Louisville, Kentucky, don’t wait to enforce your rights and get the compensation you deserve — contact Gerling Law’s Louisville car accident practice today! Founded in 1963, Gerling Law’s attorneys draw from a deep well of experience in advocating for our clients that is unrivaled. Gerling Law is one of Kentucky’s most respected car accident attorney practices. Aside from her clients, owner Gayle Gerling-Pettinga’s passion is giving back to the communities her firm serves. That’s why Gerling Law has donated to more than one hundred charities and hosts the Gerling Law Great Helmet Give-Away each year. Be sure to look at testimonials from our happy clients, and check out our results page. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling ®.