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Do I Have to Go to Court After a Car Accident?

May 26, 2020

If you or somebody you love has been injured in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you should be able to receive compensation for your claim. There are various routes that car accident victims can take to secure the compensation they need. Many car accident injury victims wonder whether or not they will have to go to court to successfully resolve their case. Every case is different, and sometimes, going to court may be necessary.

Most Car Accident Cases Are Settled Before Court

The reality is that most car accidents in Kentucky are settled between insurance carriers and those injured in the accident. There is usually no need to take a case all the way to trial. In Kentucky, all drivers must maintain a minimum amount of insurance to be legal on the roadway. Kentucky is considered a “choice no-fault” state when it comes to car insurance coverage. This means that, in most cases, each driver will turn to their own car insurance policy to recover compensation for their medical bills and other financial losses caused by the accident, regardless of who is at fault. In these cases, a driver will not usually be able to file a claim against an at-fault driver. However, there are some exceptions to that.

Drivers in Kentucky can opt-out of the no-fault system when they purchased their car insurance. This gives the policyholder the right to pursue a liability claim against an at-fault driver, but it also opens the policyholder up to liability suits if they are found to be at-fault for a crash.

Regardless of what insurance system a driver chooses in Kentucky, most cases will be settled before a lawsuit needs to be filed.

Why Would a Case Need to Go to Court?

There are various reasons why a lawsuit may need to be filed in a Kentucky car accident case. If a driver has no-fault coverage, they can still file a lawsuit in the event certain thresholds are met. This means that the accident must have caused at least $1,000 in medical bills. A lawsuit can also occur if the accident caused:

  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Fracture of a weight-bearing bone
  • A compound, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone
  • Any permanent injury
  • Any permanent loss of a body function

Drivers that opt-out of the state’s no-fault system can pursue a lawsuit against at-fault driver even if those thresholds are not met. Typically, this will only be necessary if an at-fault driver’s insurance policy does not have high enough coverage limits to cover the damages.

Is an Attorney Necessary for These Cases?

Regardless of whether or not you have no-fault coverage or have opted out, you should still seek assistance from an attorney in the event you are injured in an accident caused by another driver. These cases can become complicated, and most injured Kentucky car accident victims do not have the resources necessary to conduct the full investigation into their claim. An Lexington car accident attorney will be able to gather all evidence necessary to prove liability, work with medical professionals to properly calculate a victim’s total losses, and handle all negotiations with other parties to secure fair compensation.