We’ve been looking in recent posts at seeking compensation for motor vehicle accidents involving state agencies, departments or employees. As we noted last time, Kentucky has established a claims process by which compensation may be sought.
While an attorney is not necessary to navigate the claims process, it can certainly be helpful to work with one to ensure one’s interests are well-represented in court. This is especially important if the Board of Claims returns an unfavorable decision and it becomes necessary to appeal the decision, because this may involve heading to court.
For claims less than $1,000, a claimant is able to request a review of the decision by the full board within 14 days the Board of Claims making a compensation decision. For claims which meet and exceeding that amount, a claimant is able to appeal the decision to the circuit court of the county in which the motor vehicle accident, or other incident, occurred. Once the case gets into the court system, guidance about procedural and legal matters becomes especially important.
Another reason to work with an attorney is that the Board of Claims can reduce the amount of claims awards in certain circumstances. An award can be reduced, for instance, in cases where the claimant received insurance payments through workers’ compensation, social security, unemployment or other insurance programs.
Also, the board is not able to make an award for claims that are collateral to or dependent upon losses to another rather than the claimant, or for noneconomic damages. This excludes the possibility of damages for loss of consortium and pain and suffering, for instance. These types of claims can be important in personal injury litigation, and a skilled attorney will be able to help a claimant maximum their ability to receive compensation, whether before the Board of Claims or in court.