Posted on August 3rd, 2009 No comments
It is very common to experience pain several hours after a car accident. Don’t think just because you don’t feel pain immediately, that you aren’t injured. Injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons may not manifest themselves immediately. Often inflammation is the first sign of an injury to these tissues, and inflammation may take time to develop. Once it does, you will experience pain and discomfort that may interfere with your ability to function.
These types of injuries are well known to medical professionals who treat car accident injuries. You might hear terms like “soft tissue” or “whiplash” injury. Make no mistake, however, these are objective injuries that cause pain and require treatment to overcome.
If you’ve been in a car accident and experience pain some time later, seek treatment as soon as possible. Most likely your injuries will only worsen with time. Just because your medical treatment takes place some time after the accident, does not affect your entitlement to PIP benefits. Insurance companies are well aware that these types of injuries may manifest themselves after an accident and won’t usually hassle you about seeking treatment later. If you are not being treated fairly by an insurance company responsible for paying PIP or for reimbursing your property damage or bodily injury claim, you may need to seek the services of an experienced Kentucky accident attorney or lawyer to get you the benefits you deserve.
Posted on June 8th, 2009 No comments
Kentucky law provides for the payment of PIP benefits when you’ve been injured in an auto, car or truck accident. This includes payment for lost wages up to a statutory amount. Proof of lost wages is submitted to your insurance carrier, who then pays you your lost wages.
However, there is no condition placed on the time these lost wages occur. So, while you might be unemployed at the time of the accident, you might still be entitled to lost wages if you’re prevented from working in the future because of your injuries.
In today’s economy it is likely that someone will be laid off or unemployed at the time they suffer injuries in a car accident. However, if they later accept employment or if they are hired back to their old job, they can recover lost wages if they are prevented from working because of their injuries. It makes no difference that they were laid off or unemployed at the time of the accident.
Make sure if you’re injured in an accident and suffer lost wages that you submit those lost wages to your insurance company for payment under the applicable PIP coverage. This includes lost wages inccured at a time or date after the accident.
Posted on May 19th, 2009 No comments
Kentucky law allows insurance carriers to offer PIP benefits subject to a deductible up to $1,000.00. Like other deductibles, the PIP deductible is co-insurance you must pay first on any claim filed under that coverage. So, if your injured in an auto, car, or truck accident and you seek medical care, you are required to pay your deductible up to the maximum amount before your insurance begins paying.
PIP deductibles, like health insurance deductibles, are appealing because they reduce the insurance premiums people pay on their auto, car or truck. You might be tempted to save a few dollars on your bill and get the deductible, thinking you’ll never use it. This might be a mistake.
The chances that you might be injured in an auto, car or truck accident are far greater then your chance for any other type of injury. Medical bills from these types of injuries are usually in excess of the $1,000 deductible, leaving very few times when you avoid paying the full amount of the deductible. Ultimately, you’re left with $1,000 in medical bills, which may be more than you can afford at a time you can least afford it. If you’re injured in a second accident within that policy year, you’re subject to another $1,000 deductible.
If you chose to have a deductible, make sure you understand the consequences. If you are unsure a deductible has been applied, read your declaration page provided with your insurance policy. This page outlines the coverages and premiums contained in your policy and should alert you to the need to pay a deductible if you use your PIP coverage. Make sure you determine if a deductible is a wise financial decision. If the cost without the deductible is less than the deductible per year, you might be better off without it.
Posted on May 13th, 2009 No comments
If you’ve been involved in an car or truck accident in Kentucky and receive injuries, there are multiple sources for payment of your medical bills. The first and most likely resource is basic reparations benefits, better known as PIP. Each Kentucky insurance company that writes insurance in the state must make available $10,000.00 in PIP benefits to its insureds. If you are injured in an accident involving a car or truck, you are entitled to up to $10,000.00 for reasonable and necessary medical bills.
You can also purchase additional coverage, called additional or added reparations benefits (ARB’s). These benefits provide coverage for medical bills and other economic losses in excess of the $10,000.00 in standard PIP. Once the $10,000.00 is spent, medical providers bill the additional coverage.
If you are a pedestrian, you are entitled to PIP from the car or truck that hit you. If you are a passenger, you’re entitled to PIP from the driver’s insurance. If the driver doesn’t have insurance, you can get PIP under your own car or truck policy. If you don’t have a car insurance, you can get PIP from the Assigned Claims Plan, but you must qualify first.
You can also use private health insurance, public health insurance, such as Medicare or Medicaid, or private pay to get the treatment you need. Those companies will often reserve the right to recover their payments from any proceeds you get from a lawsuit. If you don’t have health insurance, many medical providers will offer treatment conditioned on being paid from any money you recover in a lawsuit.
Like lost wages medical expenses above the $10,000.00 in PIP are recoverable against the person at fault. Often it is your obligation to repay any private or public health insurance company out of your settlement proceeds.
Remember, if you’ve incurred medical bills in excess of PIP, will need future medical bills paid, or will suffer long term impairment from your injuries, you should consider retaining a qualified accident attorney to help resolve excess medical bills and liens.
Posted on May 11th, 2009 No comments
If you were injured in an accident and miss work, you are entitled to recover your lost wages. Your first source of recovery is lost wages paid through PIP. Unfortunately, the legislature has capped PIP payments for lost wages at $200 a week. Hardly, sufficient to compensate someone for the likely wages they have lost. You should know you are entitled to the difference.
You will recover this amount from the party at fault when you make your claim. For instance, if you miss three weeks of work and earn $400 a week in lost wages, PIP will pay you a total $600 in lost wages. Your actual wage loss is $1,200. The difference of $600 is recoverable when you make a claim for “bodily injury.” This figure should be included in any negotiations with the insurance company. The insurance company that settles your bodily injury claim will also be responsible for paying back the sums paid under PIP.
Posted on April 27th, 2009 1 comment
When gas prices hit an all time high last summer, many people purchased a moped or scooter for transportation. Scooters have since become ubiquitous. With the recent explosion in popularity has also come a larger variety of styles and models. Scooters are now bigger and faster than ever before. If you own a moped or scooter or are thinking of buying one, you should know whether or not your moped or scooter needs to be insured. If you fail to insure your moped and you are injured you might not be entitled to certain compensation and you might be subjected to criminal penalties as well.
Motorcycles are specifically exempted from Kentucky’s no fault reparations scheme. Is you moped also exempted? Well, it depends. Kentucky law provides for the payment of certain PIP benefits if you are injured while operating a motor vehicle. However, Kentucky law excludes mopeds from this definition. Kentucky courts have interpreted this to mean that since mopeds are not motor vehicles, the occupants injured while riding the moped are pedestrians. Pedestrians are entitled to PIP benefits from the car that hit them. This is true whether they are at fault or not.
However, the definition of moped does not include every type of scooter or moped. The statute specifically defines moped as a certain type of motorized bicycle that has no larger than a 50cc engine and capable of traveling no faster than 30mph. This definition includes only the smallest of the mopeds seen on the road today. 75cc or higher motorized scooters that travel above 30mph do not fit this definition. They are therefore considered motorcycles not mopeds. If you are in an accident while using one of these “motorcycles” you would not be entitled to $10,000 in PIP, unless you purchased it as optional benefits. You would also be uninsured and responsible personally and legally for any damages you caused.
If you own or operate a scooter or moped that has an engine larger than 50cc, shifts gears, or travels faster than 30 mph you are operating a motorcyle, not a moped. You are required to have that vehicle insured. Other laws pertaining to motorcycles may also apply. You should consider purchasing optional PIP benefits. Otherwise you or your family member might not be protected in the event of an accident.
Posted on April 23rd, 2009 No comments
Much has been discussed about PIP benefits in Kentucky for accident victims. However, motorcyclists should know that Kentucky law specifically excludes motorcyclists from recovering PIP benefits unless they purchase these as optional benefits. So, while car drivers in Kentucky are protected by a minimum $10,000.00 in coverage motorcyclists are not, unless they specifically pay for that coverage. As you can imagine the coverage for motorcyclists is more expensive given the increased chance of injury.
However, just because a motorcyclist does not have PIP benefits does not mean that he cannot make a claim if he is injured in an accident due to someone’s fault. A claim can, and if serious enough, should be made. An experienced accident lawyer can then work to help reduce the amount paid to cover medical expenses, including the first $10,000.00 not covered by PIP.
Posted on April 14th, 2009 6 comments
Kentucky is a “no fault” state. Many people injured in accidents have been mistakenly told that if “no fault” is determined, then they don’t have an injury claim. This is not the case. In Kentucky fault is based on percentages. Each party is entitled to recover their damages for the other person’s fault up to 100%. For instance, if I am 35% at fault for causing an accident, I am still entitled to recover 65% of my total damages.
So what is meant by “no fault”? In Kentucky, injured person’s give up the right to sue the other person for their first $10,000.00 in economic damages, in exchange for receiving $10,000.00 in insurance benefits (PIP benefits). The term “no fault” means “no fault” is considered in the award of these benefits. Even if a person is 100% responsible for a car accident, they are still entitled to certain benefits if they were injured in a car accident.
The belief is that if an injured person’s medical expenses and lost wages (up to $10,000) are paid, they won’t be forced to file a lawsuit to recover those damages from the other person. This is supposed to lead to less fights over “fault” and actually result in the prompt payment of these damages.
Unfortunately, Kentucky’s “no fault” procedure is a statutory scheme that can be quite complicated. Avoid basing decisions regarding your potential claim on the statements of police officers, medical personnel, insurance adjusters, relatives or friends. You may need the services of a licensed attorney if there is an issue regarding fault for your accident or if your PIP benefits or bodily injury claim has been reduced or denied due to “fault”.
Posted on April 10th, 2009 2 comments
Did you know that if your injured in a car accident, Kentucky law provides you with $10,000 of insurance coverage to pay for your medical expenses and partial lost wages? Known as “PIP”, this coverage is mandatory and is meant to cover the first $10,000 in economic damages suffered due to injury. If you’re injured do not avoid treatment for fear you can’t pay. If needed, seek help immediately. Most medical providers are familiar with this coverage and will help you set up a claim for prompt payment of bills. You DO NOT need an attorney to receive this coverage. Avoid attorneys or medical providers that seek to entice you with promises of $10,000 if you’ve been injured in a car accident.