Rather than do a lengthy blog on one car wreck topic, I thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the car accident cases that I handled in 2018. Hopefully, each illustration demonstrates how one fact can affect the value and difficulty of pursuing a personal injury claim.
- Advantage of UIM Coverage – Client returned to my office for a second car wreck. Because she followed my legal advice previously and purchased underinsured motorist coverage, we recovered an additional $40,000, over and above what the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier offered us.
- Hit by a Drunk Driver – Client was hit by a drunk driver, but she did not have her car properly insured at the time of the car wreck. Nevertheless, because the other driver was drunk, we were able to recover about four times what the case was actually worth.
- Last Minute Lawsuit – Client came to me just shy of two years after the date of the car wreck. The Kentucky Statute of Limitations for a car accident is two years from the date of the car wreck that means the lawsuit must be filed with the proper Court or the claim is barred as if it never existed. We were able to get a medical bill paid by my client’s car insurance, the no-fault carrier, and this payment, per the Kentucky statutes, extended the Statute of Limitations thereby giving us additional time to resolve her personal injury claim without litigation.
- Importance of Seeking Medical Care – A couple was injured in a car wreck. We recovered a much higher amount on the wife’s claim than the husband’s claim. The difference being that the wife went to the Emergency Room by E.M.S. from the accident scene. The husband, unfortunately, decided not to go to the hospital for his injuries.
- Maximizing the Available Coverages – Client’s medical bills far exceeded the applicable insurance coverage on the at-fault driver. We were able to reserve the no-fault coverage and allow the client’s health insurance to pay her medical bills. We then addressed the health insurance’s lien. The health insurance reduced these charges, per the contracts they have with the medical providers. We were able to get the health insurance lien paid under my client’s no-fault benefits rather than having the amount of that lien deducted from my client’s personal injury settlement. This maximization is often extremely important in car accident cases.
- Totaling a Car – I was fired from a case because the insurance company wanted to total out the client’s car and the client wanted me to force them to repair the vehicle instead. Per Kentucky statutes, the insurance company must total out a vehicle if the repair costs are 75% or more of the fair market value of the car.
- Motorcycle PIP Coverage – For a motorcycle wreck, the client has significant scarring. We hired a plastic surgeon to give us his analysis as to the future surgeries, and medical costs, to correct this scarring. Since, Kentucky statutes prevent a motorcycle rider from recovering the first $10,000 in medical bills unless they purchased optional no-fault coverage, the future medical bills, listed by the plastic surgeon, will help us minimize that $10,000 penalty specific to motorcycle riders under the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act.
- Uber Collision – We had one of our first cases involving Uber and a Kentucky car wreck. Uber provided no-fault benefits to my client, who was a passenger in their car, and after the medical bills were paid, we proceeded to make a pain and suffering claim against the at-fault driver.
- Fighting Denied Coverage – Because of some new case law, we were able to recover money, including past due interest, for medical bills that were previously denied on a closed case. Even though the case was a closed case, we were able to forward the client some additional money from this recovery and get the remaining medical bills paid in full.
- Out of State Wreck – There seems to be an influx of cases wherein my clients reside in Kentucky but they were injured in car wrecks in other state. In most of these car accident cases, I hired co-counsel to assist with the litigation in the state where the car wreck happened, while I was able to concentrate on obtaining my clients’ no-fault benefits, collecting their medical records and getting them the treatment they need from Kentucky doctors and hospitals.
Every day is different, because car accident cases have unique facts. The benefit of my experience is that I’ve worked with hundreds of clients. I use that experience to look for additional ways to benefit each client. Knowledge is power. The best way to get knowledge is to gain experience handling a wide variety of accident situations. When you handle the case personally, you learn much more that if a case manager or paralegal were to handle it for you. There’s an old saying that’s very relevant to my career as a Louisville personal injury attorney, “I learn something new every day.”