When Should You File a Car Accident Claim and What Can You Recover? A Guide to Kentucky Auto Accident Laws

Close up photo of a car with a damaged front fender and bumper from a car accident. Drivers who have been in a car accident should speak with an attorney to guide them through the sometimes confusing auto accident laws that apply to their case.

The laws surrounding car accidents in Kentucky can be confusing at times, but the statistics are pretty clear. Each year there are around 160,000 car accidents and around 700 fatalities on Kentucky’s roads and highways according to data from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

In this guide, we’ll go over Kentucky’s statute of limitations both for filing a police report and for filing a personal injury or property damage claim, details on the commonwealth’s no-fault insurance laws, and the damages Kentucky car accident victims may be eligible to recover after an auto accident.

How Long Do You Have to File an Accident Report?

In cases where police were not called to the accident scene, Kentucky law requires anyone who was involved in a motor vehicle accident which caused more than $500 in property damage to file a Civilian Collision Report with the Kentucky State Police within 10 days of the accident.

You can file a Civilian Collision Report with the KSP online using their website. If you file a CCR with the Kentucky State Police online, you will also be prompted to download your own copy of the report for your files as well as to report the case number and details to your insurance.

In most cases, however, an accident report is filled out at the scene of a car accident by law enforcement. As long as you or someone else who was involved in or witnessed your accident called 911, you do not have to worry about time limits on filing a report.

How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim?

An hourglass sits on a table in front of a judges gavel and a stack of legal books. After a car accident in Kentucky, victims have a limited amount of time to file a claim for compensation.

If you sustained bodily injuries in a car accident which was caused by another party and those injuries exceed Kentucky’s no-fault law thresholds, then, in most cases, you have 2 years from the date of the accident or the last PIP payment, whichever is later, to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

On the other hand, for cases involving only property damage, Kentucky law allows 2 years after an accident for a victim to file a property damage lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Certain factors may increase or decrease the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit in either case so it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

An attorney will be able to advise you on the specifics of your case, including how the statute of limitations applies to you, and can help protect your legal rights to sue for compensation.

No-Fault Laws and PIP Insurance

A driver who has just been in a car accident takes photos of the scene of the wreck so that he can document what happened and make a claim with his insurance.

Kentucky is one of 12 states that has “no-fault” car accident laws and requires all motorists to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

In no-fault states, injured drivers and passengers file a claim for their injuries through their own insurance first rather than through the other driver’s insurance carrier. The insurance carrier pays out the policy for medical bills and expenses regardless of who was at fault in the accident up to a certain threshold.

Kentucky does allow drivers to opt out of the no-fault requirement after filing a specific form. To learn more about Kentucky’s no-fault laws, you can read this guide we wrote on the subject.

What Types of Compensation May Be Recovered in a Kentucky Car Accident Lawsuit?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Kentucky, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries or losses:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning Capacity
  • Medical expenses
  • Estimated cost of future medical treatment and care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Rental car fees
  • Diminution in value
  • Punitive damages

Your eligibility for different types of compensation depend on the specifics of your accident. For instance, punitive damages typically only apply if the fault driver acted with “oppression, fraud, or malice.”

An experienced car accident attorney will be able to look into your case to identify all of the possible damages you are eligible to recover. After investigating the specifics of your case, your attorney will be able to negotiate the best possible settlement for you or represent your case in court if necessary.

Contact David Bryant Law to See How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You

If you’ve been injured or experienced property damage as a result of a car accident, you need an attorney who can advise you on the best course of action, protect your legal rights, and ensure that your case gets the care and attention it deserves.

Our attorneys understand the nuances and complexities of Kentucky’s auto accident laws and can help you maximize the settlement amount for your claim. Contact the experienced car accident attorneys at David Bryant Law today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

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David G. Bryant is certified to practice in all state courts in Kentucky, and federal courts in the Eastern and Western districts of Kentucky, Southern District of New York, Southern District of West Virginia, Northern District of Ohio, Middle District of Tennessee, and Western District of Pennsylvania. He is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.