Posts Tagged ‘auto’

Renting A Car For Vacation? Buy The Insurance!

Friday, May 15th, 2009
Rental car insurance kentucky accident information attorney

Renting A Car On Vacation?

Summer is almost here and many will chose to take a vacation.  Whether you are looking to rent a car after flying to your destination or you rent a van or other passenger vehicle for a long trip, you might want to buy the insurance offered by the rental car company.  Many driver’s assume that their insurance will cover them if they are involved in an accident while driving a rental car.  Driver’s often opt to rely on their own policy and forgo paying the additional charge for rental insurance.  This may be a mistake.

Many policies of insurance exclude coverage for rental vehicles, including property damage to the vehicle you’ve rented.  Accidents can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage and bodily injury.  The small sums you are required to pay for additional insurance, while renting a vehicle, are well worth the cost.  Don’t put yourself at risk.  Read your policy to make sure you know what is covered.  Or you might just want to buy the insurance to be safe.

If I Am Involved In An Auto, Car, Or Truck Accident, How Will My Medical Bills Be Paid?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
Who Pays My Doctor Bills After An Accident?

Who Pays My Doctor Bills After An Accident?

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.

How To Recover Your Lost Wages From A Kentucky Accident.

Monday, May 11th, 2009
Recovering Your Lost Wages

Recovering Your Lost Wages

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.

What You Should Do If You Are Involved In An Accident

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Nobody plans on being in an accident.  However, the fact remains in 2006, there were 2,575,000 people injured in car accidents in the United States.  The chances of you being involved in an accident are far greater then you might think.  Don’t plan on being in an accident.  Plan on being prepared in the event you are.

Here’s what you should do.  Take a deep breath.  Make sure your car’s transmission is placed in park and that the engine is turned off.  Place your hazard lights on.  Check to make sure you are not seriously injured.  If you aren’t, check any passengers who might be.  Before exiting your vehicle make sure it is safe.  If it isn’t safe, don’t exit.  If you have a cell phone, call and report the accident to the police.  If traffic remains heavy or you’re in a dangerous position, wait until the police arrive to exit your car.

If it’s safe, exit your car and check on the driver and passenger of the other car.  If nobody is injured and the cars are obstructing traffic, move them out of the roadway and into a safe position.  If  someone is injured do not move the person or the car.  If necessary mark the roadway with flares or cones.

If the accident involves injuries or if the property damage is in excess of $500.00, a report will need to be taken.  You should call the Kentucky State Police or other law enforcement agency to investigate.  If the accident is minor and the property damage is less then $500.00, you will not need to call the police.  However, you should fill out a civilian traffic report.  You can get one here.

Whether or not the police take a report, it is wise to get the name, address, and telephone number of the driver, all passengers, and any independent witnesses.  Driver’s license and license plate numbers are also helpful.  Also, take down any insurance information the other driver might have.  Make note of any road, weather, or other conditions that might have contributed to the accident.  You might want to look at the Kentucky State Police Civilian Traffic Report for additional information that might be needed.

If emergency personnel do come to the scene, have them check on you  even if you don’t think you are injured.  It is better to be safe.  If you leave the scene and later develop pain or muscle soreness, call your doctor or visit the emergency room.  It is not uncommon for injuries such as whiplash to develop much later.

Injured in a Car Accident? Do You need an Accident Attorney?

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Many people have asked whether they should hire an attorney if they have been injured in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident.  This concern is usually followed by, “how much will it cost?”  Today’s article will discuss some issues to consider in deciding if you need an accident attorney to handle your injury claim.

There are many facts to consider before you hire an attorney.  The first issue you must decide is whether you need an attorney at all.  Don’t think just because you’ve been a victim in a car accident or that many attorneys advertise for these cases, that you must have an attorney before filing an injury claim.  If you suffered only minor injuries, little or no lost wages, and only minor medical bills, you most likely do not need an attorney at all.  You can file a claim for the pain, suffering, and inconvenience you experienced as a result of the accident.  In this case your medical expenses and lost wages will most likely be paid from the PIP coverage you have available.  You can negotiate your settlement with an insurance adjuster without hiring an attorney.  Often these settlements are low enough that they do not warrant the hiring of an attorney.

However, if you sustained a serious or disabling injury, have lost significant work or can’t work at all, or have outstanding medical bills and require future treatment, then you should consider hiring an attorney to represent you.  At this point, several new concerns come into play.  You may need a skilled attorney to explain your options and see that your interests are protected, during any claim negotiations. The insurance adjuster will not look out for your interests or make sure your settlement is fair.

Many injured victims worry about the cost of hiring an accident attorney.  Most car accident attorneys will work on a “contingency fee” agreement.  This means that their fee will be “contingent” on the injured victim recovering for their injuries.  No recovery means no fee is paid.  Usually, a car accident attorney will take a percentage of any recovery you get in exchange for no payment up front and for bearing the risk if you don’t get a recovery.  The percentage will vary from attorney to attorney and may also be based on the length and complexity of the case.

Perhaps more important than determining if you need an attorney is determining which one to hire once a decision has been made.  We will discuss the qualities you might want to consider in an attorney in our next article.  Please check back for; “What to Look for in a Car, Motorcycle, or Truck Accident Attorney.”

What Is Meant By Kentucky No Fault?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

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”.

Accidents Involving 16-19 Year Olds Higher Than For Any Other Age Group

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Accidents involving teen drivers cost more than $34 billion in ‘06.  That’s billion, with a “B”.  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, crashes are higher for the 16-19 year old age group than for any other.  This massive figure includes $9.8 billion related to fatal crashes. Unfortunately, car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, accounting for 36 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control. Fortunately, there is much that can be done to reduce and even prevent these tragic results.  According to AAA, graduated driver’s licensing programs (GDL) have a significant reduction in teen crashes and deaths. Every state has some form of GDL, including Kentucky. There is also much that parents can do.  For example, limit driving to purposeful trips with a anticipated start and finish. Parents can also limit teen driving at night, in bad weather, and during rush hour.

Driving is a right of passage for any teen.  Talk frequently with your teen about the responsibilities associated with driving.  Insure that your teen has the proper amount of time and instruction operating a vehicle with a parent or other licensed adult present.  Don’t assume just because your teen has passed his state mandated driver’s exam that he or she is ready, willing or able to assume a position behind the wheel.  The good news is the risk involved appears to decline as your child ages.  The risk for accidents is twice as high for 16 year olds as it is for 18 or 19 year olds.  While no amount of care can prevent all accidents, with time and proper preparation you can reduce the chance that your teen will be involved in an accident, and especially those involving a fatality.

Personal Injury Protection and the First $10,000

Friday, April 10th, 2009

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.