15 Pieces of Legal Advice that I say often as a personal injury lawyer.
1) Get rid of any deductible you have against your no-fault or PIP coverage. You CAN NOT recover that deductible from the at-fault’s insurance company, and you might have saved $30 a year for a deductible that just cost you $1,000.
2) You can use either your own car insurance, i.e. your collision coverage, or the at-fault’s drivers’ insurance to get your car fixed.
3) The declarations page for the other driver represents the maximum amount of insurance on that driver.
4) The value of a personal injury claim depends upon several factors including: the length of your medical treatment; the amount of the medical bills; the type of treatment received; the amount of damage to your vehicle; whether you have a pre-existing condition; whether you have ever had a prior personal injury claim and; the insurance carrier that we are dealing with.
5) When your car is a total loss, the insurance company owes you the fair market value of the vehicle. This means you could owe more on your vehicle than it is worth.
6) If you lose your left arm and are hit by a semi-tractor trailer, there is more than enough insurance coverage. If you suffered that same injury when hit by a 1980 Ford Pinto, hopefully you will have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile policy as the at-fault driver is probably not adequately insured.
7) If you are injured while driving a motorcycle in Kentucky, you cannot recover the first $10,000 of your medical bills or lost wages even though your motorcycle was properly insured; unless you bought option no-fault coverage.
8) If you were injured as a passenger on a motorcycle, you can recover your medical bills and lost wages from the at-fault driver. However, you are not entitled to no-fault insurance.
9) If you were severely injured while operating a motorcycle, we will probably look to your automobile insurance to see if that insurance policy might apply.
10) If you were turning left in front of a car when the wreck occurred, you will most likely be considered at fault for the wreck, no matter how fast the other guy was going, for failing to yield the right of way.
11) If you hit someone in the rear-end, you will most likely be considered at fault for following too close to the vehicle in front of you.
12) Kentucky is what is called a pure comparative fault state. This means you can recover your damages for whatever percentage, as little as 1%, you are not at fault for causing the car wreck.
13) The whole idea behind Kentucky being a no-fault state is that you should be able to get your medical bills, from a car wreck, paid for without having to show the other guy is at-fault.
14) Before purchasing a vehicle, I always suggest people look at the websites for the National Highway Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to see how well a vehicle does in a crash test.
15) A good personal injury lawyer has two jobs: 1) To maximize the amount he can recover for you with his right hand and; 2) to minimize the amount of deductions (i.e. costs, subrogation claims, medical bills, etc.) that have to be deducted from your personal injury settlement