Personal Injury FAQ
Recovering from a personal injury can be a stressful and draining process. At Kerrick Bachert, PSC, we strive to offer our clients clarity and confidence. We have provided the following information to address basic questions about the personal injury claims process. We also encourage you to contact our Bowling Green office to schedule a free consultation about your specific situation.
How long do I have to file a Kentucky personal injury claim?
Kentucky imposes a narrow time frame for filing personal injury claims. For almost all injuries, you must file a claim within one year of the date of the accident or injury.
For particular car accident injury lawsuits, this time frame may extend to two years from the date of the car accident or to the date on which you last received your final “personal injury protection” car insurance payment. If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, do not hesitate to meet with an attorney to determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit – and to file your claim within Kentucky’s statutory limits.
How much is my personal injury claim worth?
The value of your claim is largely dependent on the nature and extent of the damages you have suffered due to your injury. Insurance companies evaluate several types of damages when considering how much you may be compensated. These include:
- The cost of medical treatment you received
- The value of the income you lost if you were unable to work because of your injury
- The value of the family, social or educational experience you may have been deprived of because of incapacitation from your injury
- Emotional damages, such as stress or strains on family relationships, due to your injury’s interference with your work life, family or partners
- Physical damages from permanent disabilities or disfigurements
- Damages to your property or possessions.
Courts may also award punitive damages to victims; these damages penalize the willful or reckless conduct of the party that has caused harm to the victim.
Who’s who in a personal injury lawsuit?
If you file a personal injury lawsuit, you become the “plaintiff” in the case; the party against whom you are filing the lawsuit becomes the “defendant.” Both plaintiffs and defendants – as well as the insurance companies involved – will hire personal injury lawyers who will begin gathering facts. During this fact-finding, or “discovery,” process, the lawyers will evaluate accident reports, medical records, the testimony of witnesses and experts, and other details from the incident.
Oftentimes, the facts assembled through discovery paint a clear enough picture of a personal injury that the case will settle before it goes to trial. Few personal injury cases ever proceed to trial; settlement can allow plaintiffs to receive the financial compensation they need without time-consuming and expensive litigation.
What does a settlement mean for a personal injury case?
In a personal injury settlement, a plaintiff accepts compensation for their injury from the party responsible for the injury. In exchange, the plaintiff drops their lawsuit against the defendant. The plaintiff will then sign a release that formally releases the defendant from responsibility for the injury.
Deciding whether to accept a settlement can be a delicate process. Your attorney should give you a realistic picture of how your lawsuit will proceed – and what its likelihood of success is – if you do not settle and instead go to trial. Whether you accept a settlement is your choice: Your lawyer’s duty is to provide you with an honest assessment that helps you understand your options.
Get Your Personal Injury Questions Answered
For a thorough discussion of your personal injury, contact Kerrick Bachert, PSC. Attorney Thomas Kerrick can answer your questions and help you get started with your personal injury claim. For a free consultation, call 270-715-2410 or complete our online form.
Several of our personal injury lawyers are AV Preeminent peer-review rated,* the highest rating, through Martindale-Hubbell. Our attorneys have also been recognized by various publications, such as Best Lawyers in America, Kentucky Super Lawyers and ATLA Top 100 Trial Lawyers.
American Bar Association – www.abanet.org
- Division for Public Education – Personal Injury Claims
Kentucky Department of Insurance – www.insurance.ky.gov
- A Parent’s Guide to Teen Driving
- After an Accident
- Consumer Guide to Auto and Home Insurance
*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.