The good news is that you do not have to worry about being able to afford legal representation from the Paul Baker Law Office. That is because our firm handles all car accident cases on a contingency fee basis.
In other words, you pay absolutely nothing unless and until you receive a monetary award. Our firm covers all of the costs of litigation in exchange for a pre-agreed percentage of your award. You never pay us a lawyer’s fee out of pocket.
Types of Compensation in a Kentucky Car Accident Claim
Most car crash claims are ultimately resolved through negotiated settlements. Such settlements are usually agreed to by the victims and typically provide compensation to cover the crash-related expenses that the victim has incurred or is expected to incur over the course of their lifetime.
However, in some cases, the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable offer. If a car accident case must go to trial in court, the victim is then required to prove that the defendant was liable. A jury can then award a victim compensatory damages, which are typically some combination of economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are quantifiable losses that can be readily calculated and proven. Non-economic damages are more subjective. Common economic damages include medical expenses, lost income, and property damage. Non-economic damages often include awards for disability or disfigurement, pain and suffering or even the effects suffered by a family as a result of the victim’s injury.
In rare cases, victims may also be awarded punitive damages. Juries may award punitive damages specifically to punish defendants for particularly reckless or outrageously negligent conduct, such as drunk or drugged driving crashes.
Under Kentucky Revised Statute § 411.184(2), punitive damages can be recovered only when the injured party proves by “clear and convincing evidence” that the at-fault party acted in an oppressive, fraudulent or malicious manner.
Filing for Disability Benefits After a Car Accident in Kentucky
In some cases, car accident victims could also be entitled to Social Security Disability (SSD) Insurance benefits. SSD benefits are awarded to people who have disabilities that leave them unable to work for at least 12 months.
In most cases, the easiest way to be approved for SSD benefits is for a victim to suffer from one of the impairments specifically identified in the Social Security Administration (SSA) “Blue Book.” Certain individuals, however, may suffer from a combination of impairments that render them unable to work and can face considerable difficulty proving the nature of their disability to the SSA.
The Paul Baker Law Office has been handling SSD claims for clients all over Kentucky for decades. We have a solid understanding of the types of medical records and other evidence that the SSA needs in order to approve an SSD application.
In addition to pursuing compensation for your car accident injuries, our firm is also capable of assisting you throughout the SSD process. We can also help you with any appeals or hearings relating to SSD benefits.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Kentucky
Most car accidents are caused by someone’s negligence. The specific form of negligence involved can vary depending on the crash.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Bad Weather
- Unsafe Lane Changes
- Improper Turns
- Automotive Defects
- Dangerous Roadways
- Inattentive Trucks
Keep in mind that Kentucky is one of a dozen states in the nation that uses a pure comparative fault system of apportioning fault in personal injury cases. Under this system, a plaintiff can recover from a defendant even when they were partially at fault, but the amount rewarded is ultimately reduced by the percentage of the plaintiff’s responsibility for the crash.
A victim’s percentage of fault in a car accident proportionally reduces the damages they can recover. For example, if a person is awarded $100,000 for injuries sustained in a car accident and is found to be 45 percent at fault for the accident, their award will be reduced by $45,000, and they would ultimately receive only $55,000.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
Some people are fortunate enough to walk away from car crashes without a scratch. Many others suffer terribly debilitating injuries though that lead to an entire lifetime of incredible challenges.
The nature of the injuries that victims can sustain in car accidents depends on numerous factors, including the speeds of the vehicles involved, the point of impact, and where occupants were seated.
Some of the most common types of serious injuries that victims suffer in these cases include:
- Neck Injuries
- Slipped Discs
- Burn Injuries
The nature of a person’s injuries can have a significant impact on the value of their case. Many car crash injuries involve victims facing several weeks, months, or even years of follow-up medical treatment and rehabilitation. Some victims face a lifetime of care.
On top of the massive medical expenses most people accumulate, several victims face incredible difficulty being able to return to their jobs. In some cases, victims may be completely unable to work in any capacity.
Lost wages and mounting medical bills can quickly add up for car accident victims. Victims should never have to bear these expenses when their injuries are the result of another driver’s negligence.
By the Numbers: Car Accidents in Kentucky
According to the Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts report, there were 25,004 nonfatal collisions, 763 fatal collisions, and 114,780 collisions involving only property damage on public roads in Kentucky in a single recent year. All three of these categories represented increases over the prior year.
In total, 848 people were killed in accidents in Kentucky, with 14 deaths occurring in parking lots or private property and 834 deaths occurring on public roads. Those 834 fatalities were the most deaths in the state since 864 were killed in 2007.
The Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts report also stated that of the 38,181 injuries stemming from collisions in the state, 3,114 were incapacitating injuries, 12,493 were non-incapacitating injuries, and 21,470 were possible injuries. The total was an increase from 2015, when 35,542 injuries were reported.
Collisions with other moving motor vehicles accounted for 65 percent of all collisions and 40 percent of all fatalities. Collisions with fixed objects accounted for 18 percent of all collisions, and were responsible for 35 percent of fatalities. The Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts report stated that 65 percent of all collisions occurred in urban settings, but 52 percent of fatal collisions occurred in rural settings.