Car Wreck and Personal Injury Lawyers- Attorney's fees, Costs, Car Wreck and Personal Injury Lawyers- Attorney's fees, Costs,
Jim Desmond Law Office,PLLC

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(502) 609-7657

4965 US HWY 42, SUITE 1000, LOUISVILLE, KY 40222

Jim Desmond Law Office,PLLC

What is the Statute of Limitations for a car wreck in Kentucky?

Two years from the date of the car wreck or two years from the date of the last no-fault payment, whichever is a later.  (Pro-tip, use the two years from the date of the car wreck and not the extension allowed by the PIP payment.  This way, you won’t miss the Statute of Limitations. If you miss the Statute of Limitations, the case is barred like it never existed.

Can you extend the Statute of Limitations for a Kentucky car wreck?

Yes, however, it has to be a true no-fault payment as payments under med-pay, for example, will not extend the Statute of Limitations.

How do I find a good personal injury lawyer?

First, stay away from those lawyers that advertised on Television.  For them, your case is one of 1000 cases the firm is handling so you are just another number. Second, find someone who does just personal injury law. Third, look at what other says about them through Google or other reviews.

Attorney James Desmond

Call me on my cell phone (502) 609-7657

What’s the biggest mistake I can make in regard to my car wreck injury claim?

The easiest way to mess up an injury claim is to not get the medical treatment you need. Your medical records are what describe your injury and the treatment you went through. If you go several weeks or months without getting the treatment you need, you look like you were not hurting.

Can’t I just let my insurance company handle the whole thing?

An insurance adjuster’s job is to try and get a claim settled for the fewest dollars possible.  How does that benefit you, the injured victim?

I can’t afford a good personal injury lawyer?

A good personal injury lawyer does not charge an up front fee. Rather, they charge a contingency fee that means that they don’t get paid unless they recover money on your behalf.

My lawyer wants to charge 40% or 50% of what I recover as an attorney’s fee. Is that fair?

There is nothing in the law that regulates what an attorney can charge as a fee.  As a result, attorney’s can legally charge these higher percentages. However, I want you to keep this in mind.  A good personal injury lawyer will not only try to maximize what he can recover for you but ALSO, minimize the deductions or liens from your settlement.  In other words, a good lawyer recognizes that my client only benefits from a personal injury claim if I can maximize the amount of his net settlement, i.e. what he puts in his pocket.

Even though the car wreck just happened, another lawyer is telling me he can get me $25,000.

That lawyer is fluffing. No one knows the value of a personal injury claim until they can review your medical records and bills and see the length of treatment you underwent, the type of treatment you underwent, your total medical bills and your total lost wages, how badly your vehicle was damaged and the total amount of insurance that is on the at-fault driver.  If an injury attorney promises you a certain amount before all these factors are known, he is simply trying to get your case. The problems is once he has your case, he will be giving you a more realistic figure and trying to claim things were different than he originally thought.

What is the one biggest factor that affects the value of a personal injury claim?

While those attorneys who advertise on television want to tell you their reputation means more money in your pocket, that really is not the case.  The biggest factor affecting the value of a personal injury claim are the FACTS.  For example, is the fault for the car wreck clearly on the other guy or can they argue you did something wrong to contribute to the accident? Obviously, if an insurance company can argue you might have some fault for the car wreck, the claim is worth less.  Another example, is what kind of treatment did you have ?   Did you just see a chiropractor or did you need more invasive treatment like pain management therapies to feel better? Obviously, the more extensive and invasive the treatment, the higher the value of the case.

Should I go to the Emergency Room after a Car Wreck?

As long as I know we can get it paid for through health insurance or no-fault coverage, I always recommend that people get checked out at an Emergency Room after a car wreck. Very simply, you may not realize that you were injured. Moreover, it looks like you were not hurting after a car accident if you don’t seek medical treatment; at least, that is what the insurance company is going to think.

Is My Claim From The Car Wreck Too Small For You To Deal With Or Pursue?

No. No injury claim is too small to deal with. If you are not hurt, I am not going to tell you to seek treatment when you don’t need it. However, if you are hurting, I am going to suggest that you get medical treatment and pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. After all, the law gives you no other option but to recover money damages for your pain and suffering claim.

I would prefer all of my clients have small personal injury claim and so that they would not be dealing with surgeries and broken bones. However, my primary concern as a personal injury lawyer is to make sure the claim is handled properly no matter what’s the value of the injury claim.

Do I have to Wait Until The Injury Claim, from the car wreck, Is Resolved To Have My Car Fixed?

When you get in a car wreck, you really have three claims right away. You have claims for: 1) the damage to your car and your loss of use of that car (i.e. a rental car); 2) your claim for your past and future medical bills and; 3) your claim for pain and suffering. We can address the damage to your car, and a possible rental car, immediately. To do so, we need to get a copy of the police report and confirm that the at-fault driver was responsible for the wreck and was properly insured as required by the law. However, once we do that, there is no reason the insurance carrier for the at-fault driver cannot pay for the damage to your vehicle, and put you in a rental car; assuming your car is not a total loss and before we ever even attempt to resolve the personal injury claim.

If The Other Driver Was At Fault, Why Do I Have To Use My Own Car Insurance?

The common misconception under the law is that the at-fault driver is responsible for all the damages they cause you, including your medical expenses. Unfortunately, that belief is entirely wrong. In Kentucky and Indiana, a driver can lawfully have as little as $25,000 per person in insurance. So if the at-fault driver sent you to the hospital with a $39,000 bill for surgery to your leg, you could be left responsible for $14,000 in medical expenses that came from a car wreck that was not your fault. So whether it is health insurance, no-fault insurance or med-pay coverage, we use your own car insurance to make sure you can get the medical treatment you need.

Also, you need to understand that the insurance company for the at-fault driver will not pay anything until they pay everything at once to settle the entire claim. In other words, they won’t pay for your physical therapy visits as you are receiving treatment because they don’t want to risk being responsible for a surgery that might come up six months after a car wreck. So to get you the treatment you need when you need it, we have to use your own no-fault or med-pay coverage. Also, in Kentucky for example, a driver does not have the right to recover the medical bills that should or can be paid by the no-fault carrier. The short version of that is that in exchange for the right to recover $10,000 of no-fault benefits for car wrecks in Kentucky, we give up the right to recover those medical bills from the at-fault carrier and it becomes the right of the no-fault carrier.

So according to Kentucky law, if I asked an insurance company to pay $7,500 towards my client pain and suffering while paying another $3,000 to cover his medical expenses that could have been paid under his no-fault coverage, they would say that they don’t owe the $3,000 and refuse to pay that amount. So if I did not use my client’s no-fault coverage, his personal injury settlement would be reduced by his outstanding medical bills meaning less money in his pocket in the long run.

Can I Actually Afford A Personal Injury Attorney?

First, my phone is all over the internet for a reason. I don’t mind giving legal advice, at no charge, if that will make sure your personal injury claim is properly handled. Second, I charge a percentage of what I recover so you don’t’ pay anything up front; and you don’t owe me anything unless we successfully settle or litigate your case. (And by the way, that percentage does not include the damage to your car or what it costs you to get a rental car. If we help you recover for the damage to your car that is just something we do as part of handling your personal injury claim.) Third, I have an unwritten policy about my attorney’s fee for personal injury claims that settle without lawsuits. In short, I promise my client’s that my attorney’s fee will never exceed their net settlement, i.e. the amount that they put in their pocket from this car wreck. Basically, this policy insures that the medical bills and my attorney’s fees will never eat up the majority of your personal injury settlement.

For more information, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling [502-609-7657] today.