Matthew Minner | January 11, 2021 | Personal Injury
The statutes that affect personal injury claims differ from state to state. Not all statutes affect all personal injury claims. The type of claim being filed will dictate which statutes might affect that particular case.
Some state laws apply to every instance of a personal injury claim. Other statutes will only apply to a certain type or class of injury claims.
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to contact a qualified legal professional. Without the help of a skilled lawyer, navigating state-specific statutes can be confusing and challenging. A Lexington personal injury lawyer can help you determine how Kentucky statutes might affect your case.
Defining a Statute
Statutes are laws that have been signed by the governor of Kentucky after being passed by the Kentucky State Legislature.
Statutes cover many legal areas, including:
- Injury claims
- Real estate and property laws
- Tax rates and implementation
- Criminal cases
- Motor vehicle regulations and requirements
- Social welfare and public health
- Insurance requirements
- The sale of alcohol and tobacco
- State-wide education
If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial recovery. Compensation from a personal injury claim can help to cover medical costs, lost wages, and other financial losses. But some state laws could influence the outcome of your claim or the amount of your settlement.
In this post, we will discuss a few statutes that can affect personal injury claims in Kentucky.
Statutes of Limitations – Timelines for Filing a Kentucky Lawsuit
Every state has laws that limit the amount of time that someone has to file a personal injury lawsuit. The deadline after which you can no longer file a lawsuit is known as a “statute of limitations.”
If the statute of limitations has passed, you no longer have the legal right to seek compensation for your injury. Typically, the statute of limitations does not present an issue. Injury victims usually seek compensation as soon as possible following their accident.
The statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in Kentucky is one year, in most cases. If the victim fails to file a suit prior to the deadline, the court may dismiss the claim. This deadline also applies to lawsuits filed against the state government of Kentucky.
In some cases, there may be exceptions to this one-year deadline. For instance, you may not realize that your injury was caused by someone else until much later. Because of the possibility of exceptions, it is always best to have a trusted personal injury attorney examine the facts of your case.
Comparative Fault in Kentucky
When you are seeking compensation, the other party may claim that you are either partially or completely responsible for your injury. Kentucky state law operates on a “pure comparative fault” rule. Comparative fault is applied when an injury victim shares in the responsibility for their accident.
Suppose you suffer an injury from a trip and fall accident while walking in an amusement park. If you were distracted at the time of the accident, it may be determined that you are partially responsible for the injury. The percentage of responsibility that you bear for the accident will affect the amount of financial recovery you can secure.
For instance, imagine that you are found to bear 10% of the responsibility and a jury decides that your damages equal $10,000. In this case, you would only be able to recover $9,000. Kentucky’s comparative fault rule can have a significant impact on the outcome of your personal injury claim.
Consulting with a skilled attorney will help you to present the strongest case possible and secure maximum compensation for your injury.
No-Fault Auto Insurance
Kentucky abides by a “no-fault” rule with regard to motor vehicle insurance. For most car accident cases, the injured person must seek financial recovery from their own insurance provider first.
In order to file a lawsuit, the costs associated with the injury must have exceeded the person’s personal injury protection benefits. Also, the victim must have suffered a “serious injury.” A serious injury includes permanent loss of physical functionality or permanent disfigurement.
Strict Liability – Dog Bite Injury Claims
Many states have enacted statutes to protect dog owners against some level of liability. These “one bite” laws often make dog owners immune from responsibility the first time their dog causes an injury. However, Kentucky does not have such a statute.
In Kentucky, dog owners are considered “strictly” liable for any injuries that their animal causes. This means that the owner is responsible for the dog bite or dog attack even if there was no reason to believe the animal was dangerous beforehand.
Kentucky law states:
“Any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock, or other property shall be responsible for that damage” (Kentucky Rev Stat § 258.235).
If you were injured by a dog because of the owner’s recklessness or negligence, contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to explore your legal options.
No matter what kind of injury you have sustained, you have the legal right to seek compensation. However, there is a range of Kentucky statutes that may affect the likelihood that your claim will be successful.
The statutes covered above are only a few of the Kentucky laws that may influence your type of personal injury case. Speaking with a qualified injury lawyer will ensure that you have the best chance possible of securing the financial recovery you need to get your life back on track.