Personal Injury Attorneys in Lexington, Kentucky
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 39.5 million cases of personal injury that require medical treatment annually. This works out to about 126.3 cases per every 1,000 persons. Many sources of personal injuries exist, including, of course, traffic accidents, but also slips and falls, workplace incidents, malfunctioning products, dog bites, medical malpractice, and more.
If these accidents and resulting injuries are due to someone’s negligence, then that person, or entity, can be held liable and compensation can be sought for medical expenses and other damages and losses. Often, this will take the form of a claim against an insurance policy, and at other times may result in a personal injury lawsuit. Sometimes, both will occur, depending on the circumstances.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of someone else’s negligence in or around Lexington, Kentucky, contact Wilson & McQueen, PLLC. Our attorneys have more than 90 years of combined experience advocating for injured and disabled people in Kentucky. We will work with you to seek the just compensation you deserve. We also proudly serve clients in the areas surrounding Lexington, including London, Georgetown, Richmond, and Nicholasville.
Personal Injury Claims in Kentucky
Personal injuries can result from a variety of causes, but to make a claim or file suit, someone else must be shown to have been negligent or otherwise liable for the injury you suffered. When it comes to car accident injuries in the Commonwealth, the law is sort of a mixed bag insurance-wise. Kentucky is known as a “choice no-fault” state, which means you can purchase no-fault auto insurance or you can opt out.
If you have no-fault insurance, then your injuries would be covered up to $10,000 under the policy’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) clause. You’d be barred from filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver unless your injuries met a certain threshold, which is if your medical bills totaled $1,000 or more, or if you suffered permanent disfigurement; a fracture of a weight-bearing bone; compound, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone; any permanent injury; or any permanent loss of a body function.
If you opted out of no-fault, then you are free to sue to collect from the other driver, but then you also open yourself up to liability to a lawsuit. Here are some other injury possibilities and your options to make a claim or file a lawsuit:
SLIPPING AND FALLING IN A RETAIL ESTABLISHMENT: If you’re walking down the aisle in a grocery store, for instance, and you slip and fall on an unexpectedly wet floor, resulting in neck and back injuries, the business will likely carry liability insurance. You can make a claim or even file a lawsuit, but you must show that the store manager/owner failed to exert reasonable caution to keep the premises safe.
PRODUCT LIABILITY: If you purchase something, say a mechanical device such as a tool, and the product malfunctions, causing you an injury, there are potentially three sources for recovering compensation for your injuries. There is, of course, the person or store that sold it to you, but if the malfunction can be traced to a design problem, then the creator can be held liable. If the manufacturer failed to construct the product correctly, then the manufacturer can be held liable.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: If after your accident you’re taken to the nearest ER but the care provided leaves you worse off through misdiagnosis or mistreatment, you may have a case for medical malpractice. Consult with an attorney and get a second medical evaluation immediately.
DOG BITES: If you’re out walking and a neighbor’s dog gets agitated for some reason and bites you in the hand or leg, Kentucky laws hold the dog’s owner strictly liable for that bite. The owner’s homeowner’s policy generally will cover dog bites wherever they occur, even if off the property.
WORKPLACE INJURIES: If you’re injured at work or fall ill because of a toxic substance, your medical expenses will be covered by workers’ compensation. A lawsuit is generally not possible unless a third party somehow caused your injury, which again could be a piece of malfunctioning equipment. Construction sites are particularly susceptible to injuries resulting from third parties because so many different crews can be working simultaneously.
Comparative Negligence in Kentucky
You’ve no doubt heard the saying that “it takes two to tango,” and that is certainly possible when it comes to accidents and injuries. Take the patron who slips and falls in the grocery store.
What if he or she was busy reading text messages and didn’t see the mess on the floor as a result? How much was the patron at fault, if at all? A jury would have to consider that, as would a claims adjuster for the grocer’s liability insurance company.
Kentucky adheres to what is called pure comparative negligence, meaning that each party involved can be assigned a percentage of the fault, ranging from zero to 100. Even if you are 80 percent at fault under this system, you could still make a claim or sue for the other 20 percent, but of course, the other party could hold you liable for your 80 percent. If you sue, for instance, and you are deemed 30 percent liable, your sought-after $50,000 in damages could be reduced by 30 percent to $35,000.
Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you and your attorney decide a lawsuit is necessary to recover for expenses and damages, whether against the insurance company or the other party, you must keep in mind the four major elements of a personal injury claim. You must show that:
The other party had a duty of care toward you.
The other party failed to exercise that duty and was negligent.
As a result, you suffered injuries.
Therefore, you are owed compensation for your injuries/damages.
A lawsuit can result in an award or settlement for both economic and non-economic losses suffered. Economic includes medical and related expenses, along with any lost income. Non-economic covers your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment or consortium in life.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Lexington, Kentucky
If you or a loved one has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact us immediately at Wilson & McQueen, PLLC. Let us handle negotiations with the insurance company. We know how claims adjusters operate, and we can negotiate for a stronger settlement, and if need be, take the matter to court. If you’re in or around Lexington, reach out immediately. Let’s discuss what happened and then map out the proper course to obtain the just compensation due you.