What to do if you are in an accident?

Personal Injury Auto Accident

  1. Of course, the first step is to call 911 and seek medical attention for yourself and others involved in the accident;
  2. KRS §189.635(2) states that any person operating a vehicle on the highways of this state who is involved in an accident resulting in fatal or nonfatal personal injury to any person or damage to the vehicle rendering the vehicle inoperable shall be required to immediately notify a law enforcement officer having jurisdiction. In the event the operator fails to notify or is incapable of notifying a law enforcement officer having jurisdiction, such responsibility shall rest with the owner of the vehicle or any occupant of the vehicle at the time of the accident. A law enforcement officer having jurisdiction shall investigate the accident and file a written report of the accident with his law enforcement agency.
  3. KRS §189.635(4) states that any person operating a vehicle on the highways of this state who is involved in an accident resulting in any property damage exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) in which an investigation is not conducted by a law enforcement officer shall file a written report of the accident with the Department of Kentucky State Police within ten (10) days of occurrence of the accident upon forms provided by the department.
  4. To the extent possible, get, or have a friend or family member get, the names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information of all persons involved in the accident and the names, addresses, phone numbers of all witnesses at the scene.
  5. Do not admit fault or speak to any other parties about the accident; however, do cooperate with the investigating officer and inform your own insurance agent.
  6. Get a COPY OF YOUR POLICE REPORT: Persons authorized to receive copies of a Collision Report per KRS §189.635 include:  Parties to the accident; Parents or guardians of a minor who is a party to the accident; Insurers or their written designee for insurance business purposes of any party who is the subject of the report; and Attorneys of the parties.
    1. How to get a copy of your Police Report:
      1. Kentucky Uniform Police Traffic Collision Reports for vehicle crashes throughout the state are available for purchase online. The cost is $10 per report and requests can be made by visiting www.kyonlinereports.com;
      2. For Louisville Metro Police, the Police Report can can be picked up at LMPD Records Division located at 633 West Jefferson Street. Their phone number is (502) 574-2050 or (502) 574-7064. Hours are 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday;
      3. For the Shelbyville Police Department copies of accident reports are available from the Records Unit in the lobby of the police station, 303 Main Street between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.   For more information, call 502-633-2326.
      4. An authorized person may obtain a copy of their collision report form the Oldham County Police Department by clicking on this link and the report will be forwarded at no charge via the Internet, or a written request by mail to: Oldham County Police Department, Records Sections, 1855 North Highway 393, LaGrange, Kentucky 40031.
  7. If you have medical expenses or lost wages, you will need to fill out an application for benefits, commonly known as a “PIP* Application.” Your insurance company cannot pay your health service providers until you have completed your PIP Application. Our office will help you fill out the PIP application and help you to direct the “basic reparation benefits” in a manner that is most advantageous for you.

*What is PIP?

Under Kentucky’s “No Fault” Law, “No-fault” coverage is also referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) the coverage. In basic PIP coverage, your insurance company pays you for medical expenses, lost wages and similar “out-of-pocket” costs due to an injury occurring in an automobile accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. It also means that you cannot recover these and other damages from the at-fault party unless your injuries exceed certain thresholds.

Insurance on all motor vehicles, except motorcycles, must include basic PIP coverage. Basic PIP benefits pay up to $10,000 for medical expenses, lost wages up to $200 per week, replacement services and survi­vor’s benefits if someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who may have been at fault.

An injured person would file a claim for PIP benefits on the coverage of the vehicle they were in at the time of the accident, or in the case of a pedestrian, the vehicle they were struck by. If you own the vehicle you were injured in, but do not have insurance coverage, no PIP benefits are available to you. However, if you were a passenger in an uninsured vehicle, you can seek coverage from other vehicle policies. If there is no other policy available, a claim for basic PIP should be made to the Kentucky Assigned Claims Plan

KRS 304.39-241 provides that an insured may direct the payment of benefits among the different elements of loss, if the direction is provided in writing to the reparation obligor.” KRS 304.39-210(1) further provides that medical expense benefits may be paid by the reparation obligor directly to persons supplying products, services, or accommodations to the claimant, if the claimant so designates.

In exchange for eligibility to receive basic PIP benefits, all persons who register, operate, maintain or use a motor vehicle in Kentucky are deemed by law to have accepted certain limitations on their right to recover damages for bodily injury due to motor vehicle accidents. This means that an injury claim or lawsuit for damages, including pain and suffering, cannot be brought by you or against you unless the injured person has incurred medical expenses greater than $1,000, a broken bone, permanent injury or death. These limi­tations are called “thresholds” and can be found under KRS §304.39-60.

You have the option of rejecting basic PIP coverage for yourself, thereby rejecting these limitations. The rejection must be in writing on a special form and filed with the Department of Insurance.

Basic PIP coverage is optional for motorcycles. Unless basic PIP coverage is pur­chased for the motorcycle, neither the operator nor the passenger of the motorcycle is entitled to collect basic PIP benefits from any source.  If a motorcycle owner elects not to purchase PIP coverage, he is still considered to have accepted the limitations on his rights to sue and be sued for damages unless a no-fault rejection form is filed. If a no-fault rejection form is not filed, he will be un­able to recover the first $10,000 of an injury claim from the at-fault party.

_____________________________________________________________________________________