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How is Fault Established in Kentucky?

Injuries can leave victims suffering from significant physical, emotional, and financial setbacks. Anytime someone sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity, they should be able to recover compensation for their losses. However, securing compensation revolves around determining fault for the incident, which is not always easy. Here, we want to discuss how fault is established as well as what will happen if the injury victim is partially to blame for the incident. A skilled personal injury lawyer in Kentucky can help you through this entire process if you or a loved one have sustained an injury caused by someone else.

Establishing Fault in a Kentucky Personal Injury Case

Determining fault in the aftermath of sustaining an injury is going to require evidence. It is important to point out that there are many different ways that a person can sustain an injury caused by the negligence of others in Kentucky, which means that the types of evidence gathered for one type of personal injury claim will certainly look different than the evidence needed to prove another type. For example, evidence proving slip and fall liability will look different than evidence needed to prove a vehicle accident case.

Some of the most common types of evidence gathered for a Kentucky personal injury case include:

  • Photographs taken at the scene of the incident
  • Video surveillance from nearby cameras
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Mobile device data
  • Vehicle “black box” data
  • Police reports

In some cases, it may be necessary for an injury victim and their attorney to work with an accident reconstruction expert who can piece together what happened based on the evidence and render a 3D model to make available to insurance carriers or a personal injury jury.

What Happens if There is Partial Fault for an Injury?

Kentucky is one of the few states in the US that operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that an individual can recover compensation even if they are up to 99% at fault for the incident. However, the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault for the incident.

For example, if a person incurs $10,000 worth of medical bills as a result of a slip and fall at a grocery store, but they were found to have been 30% responsible for the incident because they were texting and walking, then they would receive $7,000 instead of the full $10,000.

Kentucky Car Accidents and No-Fault Insurance

It is crucial to understand that Kentucky handles vehicle accident cases a bit differently. This is a “choice no-fault” state, which means that drivers, by default, are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of their auto insurance requirements. This means that drivers will file accident claims through their own insurance first to recover compensation for their medical bills and property damage. As the name implies, this is designed to be a “no-fault” system, which means that individuals will be entitled to this coverage regardless of who caused the crash.

However, the Commonwealth does allow drivers to opt-out of the no-fault insurance system, in which case the incident will be handled like vehicle accidents in any other state where fault must be proven in order to secure compensation from the at-fault party.