Car accidents happen all around Kentucky daily. You can wind up with property damage, injuries, and financial hardship, not to mention the added stress of pursuing a claim to get reimbursement for your damages. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident caused by another driver, you have legal rights. Contact the Owensboro car accident lawyers at Gerling Law today to learn how we can help.
What to Do After an Owensboro Car Accident
Many people don’t realize that the steps you take immediately following a car accident can impact your claim down the line. Here’s a look at what steps you should take following an accident.
You should immediately call 911 and request police assistance. If anyone is injured at the scene, request medical response as well. When the police arrive, the responding officer will take notes of the accident and compile everything in an official report. The police report can be a crucial piece of evidence in your claim.
Collect Contact Information
Even though the police will prepare a report, you still need to exchange information with all involved parties. If you can safely do so, take photos of the vehicle damage and the surrounding accident scene. Be sure to ask the other driver for their contact information, vehicle details, insurance information, and driver license information.
Your insurance company will ask you for this information when you report the claim, and you may not have the official police report yet when you open a claim.
File a Claim with Your Insurance
You want to report the claim timely to your insurance company, even if you aren’t at fault. Your policy may stipulate that you must report any injury accidents within a certain amount of time. They will want all the details of the accident and the contact information for the responsible party. They will give you a claim number and either tell you who your claims representative is or let you know that someone will contact you within a certain amount of time.
Seek Medical Attention
If you were not transported from the scene in an ambulance, you need to seek timely medical treatment. Don’t assume that you have no injuries if you can’t physically see any. You could have internal injuries that aren’t immediately apparent. At a minimum, visit your primary care physician.
Your medical doctor may prescribe a particular regimen of treatment or follow-up appointments you need to make. You need to follow their recommendations, or the insurance company will use that against you in the claims handling process. The same goes for delaying treatment. Don’t wait to see a doctor. If you do, the other driver’s insurance company will try to use that against you as well. Don’t give the defendant any ammunition they can use to lower your claim value.
Types of Recoverable Damages in Kentucky
Understandably, prospective clients want to know what kind of damages they are entitled to receive in a car accident. There are two main types: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are items that can be easily calculated and assigned a value. These damages include:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future medical expenses,
- Property damage,
- Lost wages, and
- Future loss of earnings.
You will need to present proper documentation when you pursue economic damages. Evidence can include bills, repair estimates, a letter from your employer, etc.
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate. There is no hard loss associated with them; the value is subjective. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering,
- Emotional and mental anguish, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
These damages don’t have corresponding bills you can show. Instead, you will support them through witnesses, experts, and other evidence.
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I called my insurance company to start my claim – then I immediately called Gerling. They know the laws; they know the ins and outs. If you want something done – and done right – call Gerling. They know what they are doing.
Comparative Negligence in Owensboro, Kentucky Car Accidents
Kentucky follows the legal theory of pure comparative negligence. That means you can collect damages even if you share a percentage of fault for the accident. However, your award will be reduced by your liability. For example, if you are 25% at fault for an accident, you could collect 75% of your damages.
Statute of Limitations for Kentucky Car Accidents
You only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. If you fail to file timely, the court could dismiss your case, and you would not be entitled to collect any money. For car accidents in Kentucky, you typically have two years from the accident date to file a claim.
Hiring Gerling Law Injury Attorneys
If you were injured in a car accident, don’t attempt to directly negotiate with the other driver’s insurance. Let our skilled Owensboro car accident lawyers help. We have over 50 years of experience handling thousands of personal injury claims, and we are well-versed in the tactics that insurance companies use. Contact Gerling Law Injury Attorneys today to set up a consultation. Let us protect your rights and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.