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Who Pays for Medical Bills After a Car Crash?

September 22, 2020

Getting involved in a vehicle accident can be a terrifying experience, and those who have been harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of other drivers need to know how they will recover compensation for their losses. Unfortunately, many car accidents in Kentucky result in significant injuries. According to data available from various Kentucky governmental agencies, we can see that there were 158,171 Total vehicle collisions across the Commonwealth during the latest reporting year. Out of these incidents, there were more than 34,000 total injuries and 730 fatalities. Here, we want to discuss who will pay for medical bills in the aftermath of a Kentucky car crash.

Your Auto Insurance Carrier

Kentucky is considered a choice “no-fault” insurance state when it comes to car accidents. This means that drivers typically all have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage as part of their standard insurance policies. When a driver gets into a vehicle accident, they will turn to their PIP coverage to pay for any medical bills and other expenses they incur in the car accident, regardless of which party is responsible for the incident. All drivers in Kentucky must have at least $10,000 in PIP coverage to remain legal on the roadway (unless they opt-out of this system).

Because Kentucky is a no-fault insurance state, injured drivers are typically not able to hold the other driver liable for medical expenses, even if the other driver caused the crash. This differs from how most states handle auto insurance claims. In a fault-based state, the at-fault driver is typically responsible for covering medical expenses, and they can be sued for additional costs that rise above the policy limits.

A Lawsuit Against the Other Driver

Typically, car accident victims in Kentucky are not able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver when they use the no-fault insurance system, though there are exceptions. If the injuries are serious enough, the victim may be able to sue the negligent motorist. This is possible if the incident resulted in the following:

  • A broken bone
  • Permanent injury
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Medical expenses of at least $1,000
  • Death

If a car accident victim opts out of using their PIP in exchange for the right to sue the other driver, they will not receive the basic benefits of up to $10,000 of PIP coverage.

We need to point out that drivers can reject using the no-fault system altogether in Kentucky. When they do so, they make a choice to use a traditional fault-based system, and they must carry the following minimums:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability: $10,000 per accident

Additionally, drivers are not required to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in Kentucky. However, this type of insurance coverage is highly recommended, and can even help in the aftermath of a hit and run collision.

Maximizing Your Compensation

If you or somebody love has been involved in a car accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver, there are various and steps you should take to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your claim. This includes:

  • Keeping medical records
  • Following all doctor’s instructions after the crash
  • Keeping a journal that describes your physical and emotional suffering
  • Refusing to accept settlement offers that are below your total costs

You should also consider working with a skilled Lexington car accident attorney who can walk you through this process, investigate your case, and help you secure maximum compensation.

Gary C. Johnson, P.S.C. is fully operational and available 24/7 to assist with your case. Our firm has the technology required to work your claim while maintaining all social distancing guidelines to ensure your safety. Our firm is committed to you and we are also available to meet at your location while practicing proper social distancing. Call #HURT from your cell phone or toll free 1-866-268-4200