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Can You Sue as a Passenger in a Kentucky Car Accident?

January 27, 2021

Car accidents are not uncommon throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Unfortunately, these incidents often lead to the injuries of both drivers and passengers. According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, there were more than 158,000 total collisions reported across the Commonwealth are in the latest year. Out of these incidents, there were more than 34,000 injuries reported. Here, we want to discuss what rights an injured passenger has in the aftermath of a Kentucky vehicle accident. Are they entitled to insurance settlement money? Can they file a lawsuit against the at-fault party? Can they file a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle they were in?

These are all crucial questions that you need to know, particularly if you have been a passenger that was injured in a vehicle accident.

Reach out to a Lexington injury lawyer to learn more.

What Are a Passenger’s Options After Sustaining a Car Accident Injury?

If you are injured while riding in a vehicle that is involved in an accident, you will have several options when it comes to recovering compensation. First, most car accident claims in Kentucky are resolved through insurance settlements. This can be tricky here because Kentucky is considered a choice “no-fault” state when it comes to vehicle accidents.

  • Third-party insurance claim. As a passenger in a vehicle, you may have a third-party claim against one or both of the drivers involved. The two parties in the accident may have a dispute over who is at fault for the incident, but it is certainly clear that you, as a passenger, were not at fault. You may be able to pursue a claim against the person who was driving the vehicle you were in, the other motorist involved, or both. This will certainly be an option if one or both of the drivers have opted out of the no-fault insurance system.
  • No-fault coverage. In a no-fault system, drivers typically file claims with their own insurance carriers to recover compensation, regardless of which party caused the incident. As a passenger, you clearly did not cause the incident. Any no-fault coverage will be provided through the insurance carrier of the car in which you were a passenger. This coverage could pay for your medical expenses and lost wages up to a search amount.

Filing a Lawsuit To Recover Compensation

As an injured passenger in a Kentucky car accident, you may have to file a lawsuit against the parties involved. This could include a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle you were in, against another motorist involved, or both. Because Kentucky operates under a no-fault insurance system, many people wonder if they can even file a lawsuit to recover compensation. The answer is yes. Even if the drivers involved use the no-fault insurance in Kentucky, there are various thresholds that allow those involved to step outside of the system and file a claim against the other driver. These thresholds include:

  • The accident resulting in at least $1,000 in medical expenses
  • The accident causing permanent disfigurement, the fracture of a weight-bearing bone, any permanent injury, any permanent loss of bodily function, a compound, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone

An injured passenger may be able to file a lawsuit regardless of whether or not the drivers involved use the no-fault system. It is strongly recommended that an injured passenger work with a skilled Lexington car accident lawyer who can walk them through this entire process. All this can seem overwhelming to an injury victim, but an attorney will have the resources and legal expertise to handle every aspect of the claim. If you have been a passenger injured in a vehicle accident, you deserve to receive full compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering damages, and more.