A recent Google visitor to our firm asked this common question from Kentucky drivers who are involved in a car accident. Kentucky law requires drivers to purchase and maintain car insurance. Kentucky is a “no-fault” state. No-fault takes the form of “personal injury protection” (PIP) benefits, which pay up to $10,000 for medical bills, lost wages and similar “out-of-pocket” costs resulting from the policyholder’s car accident injuries. These benefits are referred to as “no-fault” as they are paid regardless of who caused the accident.
While most insurance agents do not offer this, you can also purchase addition PIP coverage sometimes referred to as “added reparations benefits” This added benefit can be purchased in $10,000 increments for relatively little cost. Goode Law Office recommends drivers purchase as much “no-fault” coverage as they can afford.
After an accident, it’s not just the policyholder who is entitled to PIP benefits in Kentucky. Anyone who was driving or riding in the vehicle at the time of an accident is entitled to receive PIP benefits under the policy, and a pedestrian hit by the covered vehicle can also receive PIP benefits.
Likewise, if an out of state driver with a policy issued in that state is injured in Kentucky, he or she may be entitled to PIP coverage even if it was not purchased. Christopher Goode won an important case on this issue for his client who was involved in a Kentucky accident while operating a semi-truck insured in another state. The insurance company refused to pay him PIP benefits, so Mr. Goode fought on his behalf winning an important battle for future truck drivers.
If the accident involves two or more vehicles, the insurance company who paid out PIP benefits will seek reimbursement from the “at-fault” driver’s insurance company. It is important when negotiating your bodily injury settlement to make sure your settlement is “exclusive” of PIP benefits or PIP reimbursement. In other words, your settlement should not be reduced by the amount of PIP paid.
Problems arise when victims suffer severe injuries that a personal insurance protection settlement check may not cover. Our legal team is qualified to help you navigate this system and determine an appropriate course of action.
Christopher W. Goode, is a national recognized trial attorney and founder of Goode Law Office PLC. While his practice is diverse, he is committed to only representing injured individuals from automobile collisions to nursing home neglect and abuse to product liability claims. He is a past president of the Fayette County Bar Association and is a frequent speaker on legal topics. Chris currently serves as a District Vice President for the Kentucky Justice Association. He can be reached at [email protected] or www.goodelawyers.com.