Liability in Kentucky Car Accidents

Liability in Kentucky Car Accidents

If you were involved in a car accident in Kentucky, it is important to be aware of the concept of liability. Essentially, liability refers to the legal responsibility for one’s actions or inactions that result in harm to another person. Determining the at-fault party with the help of a Louisville car accident attorney is often the first step toward seeking compensation after a car accident.

Kentucky is a Choice No-Fault State

Kentucky follows a choice no-fault-based insurance system for car accidents.  In a no-fault system,  drivers and passengers must first use their own personal injury-protection (PIP) coverage to cover losses such as medical bills, lost income, and other out-of-pocket expenses – regardless of who is at fault for the accident. 

Only when a collision meets or exceeds the statutory threshold are motorists able to pursue a liability claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, in Kentucky, motorists are allowed the choice to opt out of no-fault coverage when choosing an insurance policy. By doing so, they are immediately subject to comparative negligence. 

Comparative Negligence in Kentucky Car Accident Claims

Negligence is the legal concept on which most motor vehicle collision cases hinge.  Essentially, whoever caused the accident is legally and financially responsible for the losses they caused.  

In some cases, both parties may share responsibility for a motor vehicle collision. In these situations, Kentucky’s comparative negligence statute will apply. Even if you are partly at fault, you can still recover damages, albeit reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 30% responsible for the accident, you can still recover 70% of your damages from other at-fault parties.

Kentucky Revised Statutes section 411.182

411.182   Allocation of fault in tort actions — Award of damages — Effect of release. 

(1) In all tort actions, including products liability actions, involving fault of more than one (1) party to the action, including third-party defendants and persons who have been released under subsection (4) of this section, the court, unless otherwise agreed by all parties, shall instruct the jury to answer interrogatories or, if there is no jury, shall make findings indicating: 

(a) The amount of damages each claimant would be entitled to recover if contributory fault is disregarded; and 

(b) The percentage of the total fault of all the parties to each claim that is allocated to each claimant, defendant, third-party defendant, and person who has been released from liability under subsection (4) of this section. 

(2) In determining the percentages of fault, the trier of fact shall consider both the nature of the conduct of each party at fault and the extent of the causal relation between the conduct and the damages claimed. 

(3) The court shall determine the award of damages to each claimant in accordance with the findings, subject to any reduction under subsection (4) of this section, and shall determine and state in the judgment each party’s equitable share of the obligation to each claimant in accordance with the respective percentages of fault. 

(4) A release, covenant not to sue, or similar agreement entered into by a claimant and a person liable, shall discharge that person from all liability for contribution, but it shall not be considered to discharge any other persons liable upon the same claim unless it so provides. However, the claim of the releasing person against other persons shall be reduced by the amount of the released persons’ equitable share of the obligation, determined in accordance with the provisions of this section. 

Potential Liable Parties After a Car Accident in Kentucky

Depending on the cause of the accident, multiple parties may be liable for a Kentucky motor vehicle collision. A personal injury attorney in Louisville can investigate your accident and determine who is responsible. These parties may include, but are not limited to:

  • The Other Driver: In many cases, the driver’s actions, such as distracted driving, speeding, or failing to obey traffic signals, are the direct cause of the accident. In these situations, the negligent driver is responsible.
  • Commercial Driver Employers: If the at-fault driver was working at the time of the accident, their employer could be responsible for their actions. Additionally, if the company’s negligence contributed to the accident, you could file a claim against them directly.
  • Vehicle Manufacturers: In cases where a vehicle defect contributed to the accident, the manufacturer could be held liable. Common defective components include brakes, steering systems, and tires.
  • Government Entities: Poor road conditions due to lack of maintenance might lead to liability for a government agency. These entities are required to keep the road in safe condition and respond to hazards in a timely manner.

Don’t Wait to Seek Help—Contact Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers Today

Understanding liability in Kentucky car accidents is crucial for securing compensation, but determining who was at fault can be more difficult than it may appear. Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers can conduct an in-depth investigation on your behalf, gathering critical evidence to prove the other party’s liability. 

Whether your case appears straightforward or involves complicating factors, our attorneys can help. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and begin your journey toward justice and compensation.