Frequently Asked Questions
Here is what you need to know
This is general information based upon Kentucky law; the way it is applied is unique to each case. You should always consult an experienced and knowledgeable KY car accident attorney if you have specific questions or if you need any legal advice on these issues. For more than 15 years, the Johnson Law Firm has been in the business of helping injured people and fighting insurance companies. Stop by or call for a free, confidential consultation and you’ll understand why the Johnson Law Firm is known as the “nicest place in town.”
How many car wrecks are there?
According to the Kentucky State Police, there were 229,549 vehicles involved in collisions during 2011 (the most recent year for which comprehensive figures are available). Of this total, 185,353 were involved in property-damage-only collisions, 43,112 were involved in injury collisions, and 1,085 were involved in fatal collisions. More than 90 percent of the vehicles involved in all collisions were passenger cars.
Why do car accidents happen?
The 2011 Traffic Collision Facts Report by the Kentucky State Police listed the top three human factors as inattention, not having the vehicle under proper control, and failing to yield the right of way. The primary vehicular factors included defective brakes, tire failure, and steering failure, while the primary environmental factors were slippery surfaces, animals, and obstructed views.
Should I call the police if I’ve been involved in a car accident?
Yes. Whether the accident is major or minor, the best way to protect yourself is to call the police because they will write a report detailing who they think is liable for the accident. Not all property damage or all physical injuries are immediately apparent, and the more information you can collect, the stronger your claim will be. Without a police report you have little evidence to show how the accident happened – or even that it happened at all. If you think the report contains errors, it can be adjusted. Contact the Johnson Law Firm for help filing an amendment.
What about the insurance companies? Do I have to contact them?
You are obligated to cooperate with your own insurance company. Most auto insurance policies contain language requiring the prompt reporting of any accident. Failure to do so can result in that accident not being covered. If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster for the other party, you should not speak with them. They are professional negotiators whose sole goal is to save money for the insurance company they work for. Instead, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney and let them talk for you.
The accident was partly my fault. Does that make a difference?
Even if you think you are partly to blame for the accident, you should not volunteer that information. There may be crucial circumstances that are unknown to you, and you don’t want to say anything that can later be used against you. Laws about fault vary from state to state. If the accident happened in Kentucky and it turns out that you are partly responsible, the court will assign percentages of fault among all the parties and the damage award will be apportioned accordingly. This is known as a pure comparative negligence system. Neighboring states follow other systems. Differences among state laws are a good reason to contact an attorney.
Should I go to the doctor?
Yes, and reimbursement for medical costs is possible in a successful action. Even if you feel alright or do not have obvious physical injuries, you may have internal injuries or pain that worsens once the shock of the accident has worn off. Too many people dismiss initial pain only to go to the doctor weeks later. Delaying treatment is bad for both your health and your chances of obtaining an appropriate legal resolution because there will be no medical record from the time of the accident.
What types of damages can I be awarded?
If you have been injured and another party is found to be responsible for your injuries, you are entitled to be financially compensated for all your costs associated with the accident. This value will be different for every case, but generally includes:
- Medical bills (doctor, hospital, and rehabilitation)
- Lost wages (the amount you would have earned between the time of the injury to the time of a judgment or settlement had you not been injured)
- Disability compensation
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Various out-of-pocket expenses (keep good records of everything you pay for)
What areas of Kentucky do you serve?
Although we are based in the seat of Pike County, our Pikeville KY personal injury attorneys are pleased to assist clients in communities across Kentucky. Attorney Billy Johnson, has handled litigation in other states and has been named a Super Lawyer by U.S. News & World Report as well as an American Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 trial lawyer. His compassion for others was a driving factor in his decision to become a personal injury lawyer and he welcomes the chance to help you.
Give him a call at 606-437-4488 or use this online contact form.
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