"Our Mission is to protect, advocate, and care
for each client when they need it the most."
GET YOUR FREE CONSULTATION

6 Things Insurance Adjusters Don’t Want You to Know

Published on Jun 24, 2016 at 8:37 am in Car Accident.

After being involved in a serious car accident, there’s a good chance you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be taken care of. You and your family’s health and wellbeing are your first priorities, but after the basic needs of your loved ones are met, you will have to decide how to handle any insurance settlements. Settling insurance claims can be stressful, and to make matters worse, you may face opposition from the other accident victim’s insurance adjuster.

Insurance claims adjusters—also typically referred to as insurance adjustors, claims adjustors, claims specialists, or claims representatives—may come to you immediately following the accident or in the days following, asking you to settle your claim. They may contact you in person or over the phone. They can be pushy or forceful in nature, and may try and get you to believe that you have to settle immediately.

These adjusters will also discourage you from contacting a personal injury lawyer. If you were a victim of a car accident in Lexington, KY, you have every right to contact a Lexington, KY personal injury lawyer regarding the accident. You also have every legal right to take your time to decide how you wish to settle. Time does matter during an auto insurance settlement, but you should always take as much time as you need to make the right decision for you and your family.

How to Handle Out-of-State Car Accidents

Published on Jun 10, 2016 at 9:57 am in Car Accident.

The last thing you want to worry about while enjoying a summer vacation is the possibility of getting into a car accident in another state. Getting the proper medical care and auto repair as well as securing the funding for both tasks can be a hassle in an unfamiliar area. There’s also the fact that accident and insurance laws can change depending on which state the accident occurred in and how that state’s laws are different from those in your home state.

Unfortunately, out-of-state and out-of-area car accidents can and do happen every day across the United States. Are you traveling through Lexington, KY this summer and are from out of state? If you and your loved ones are involved in an out-of-state accident, the best thing you can do is remain calm, ensure everyone receives the medical care they need, and follow these 5 basic steps:

  1. Call the police

No matter what state you’re in, you’ll want to call the police after a car accident. A police report must be filed even if no one is injured, and if you ever need a record of the accident later, a police report is always going to be the first document you need. Calling the police also ensures, of course, that anyone who’s injured gets the care they need immediately.

What is a Serious Injury as Defined by Kentucky Law?

Published on Mar 16, 2016 at 8:40 am in Car Accident, General.

During a personal injury case such as an automobile accident lawsuit, one of the questions you may be asked is how severe your injuries are/were and if they can be legally defined as “serious”. A doctor’s definition of a serious injury is not always the same definition followed by the U.S. court system. Therefore, it becomes essential to know exactly what constitutes as a serious injury according to the law.

Which injuries get defined as “serious” varies slightly from state to state. This is due to the fact that insurance laws differ in most states. In the state of Kentucky, a serious injury is defined as a physical injury which “creates a substantial risk of death or which causes seriously and prolonged disfigurement, prolonged impairment of health, or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ”.

8 Ways You Should Document a Car Accident

Published on Feb 4, 2016 at 5:56 am in Car Accident.

Knowing what to do after you or a loved one is involved in a car accident can be immensely stressful, but as with all of life’s emergencies, keeping a cool head and following a basic crisis plan can save your life. After a car accident, it’s crucial to make sure everyone gets the medical care they need as well as exchange insurance information. In addition to those two things, there are other facts that should be documented and accounted for.

This information will be needed later during insurance negotiations and may be needed if a legal case is filed for any reason. If you feel you weren’t at fault for the accident or that there may be issues when settling the insurance claim, it becomes even more important to document this information. A successful legal case requires the right documentation on hand. Here are eight different ways you should thoroughly document everything that happens after a car accident:

Witness Contact Information

In addition to gathering the contact and insurance information from anyone that was involved in the accident, it’s a good idea to speak to any witnesses who saw the accident and ask if they would be willing to give you their contact information. If they are willing to, also have them write down an account of what they saw happen. Having a witness on your side can be a valuable asset in any court case. Even if you end up not using that person as a witness, at least you’ll have their information available.

What Type of Doctor Should I See After a Car Accident?

Published on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:51 am in General.

Being involved in any type of accident that may potentially cause injury is stressful, chaotic, and can be downright frightening for even the strongest of human beings. Among all types of accidents, car accidents can be the most terrifying. After an accident occurs, a dozen questions will run through the minds of those involved: “What happened?” “Am I okay?” “Is everyone else okay?” “How will I pay for this?” “Was I at fault?”

All of these questions are important, of course, but your priority after any type of automobile accident should always be to ensure that you and any loved ones are safe and receive medical aid if necessary. But what happens if you aren’t sure what type of medical care is necessary? What type of doctors are best to visit after a car accident? How do you know what your insurance claim will cover and what it won’t? Knowing the answers to these questions can clear up some of the distress and anxiety felt immediately following an accident.

If serious medical aid is deemed necessary, our first instinct is to usually call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. This is the correct course of action. Accident injuries need to be treated as quickly as possible, especially if they’re serious. Lives may be at stake. All emergency room hospitals also bill insurance providers in agreeance with personal injury protection (PIP) policies. This means that you’ll have no complications later on when it comes time to figuring out how to settle the bill with your auto insurance provider. It also means that there will likely be no legal ramifications as long as you go to the emergency room immediately following the accident.

Do I Need Uninsured and Underinsured Auto Insurance?

Published on Nov 16, 2015 at 11:12 am in General.
Do I Need Uninsured and Underinsured Auto Insurance?

It is estimated that 1 in 8 drivers are UNinsured in the United States–and that doesn’t even count UNDERinsured drivers. Everyone is required to carry insurance coverage in order to register their vehicle with the state, but unfortunately, many drivers let their policies lapse or only carry the bare minimum. What happens if one of those drivers hits you? It would be too late to ask, “Do I need uninsured and underinsured auto insurance?” but you can certainly weigh the risks and reduce your vulnerability now.

Risk Assessment

If you’re hit by a driver with minimum coverage ($25,000 in Kentucky) and your injuries cost more than $25,000, you’d need an underinsured insurance policy on your own auto insurance plan to kick in once the liable party’s limit is met.  Then your underinsured insurance would pay your remaining bills, lost wages, future medical, etc.  This is a really big deal. Imagine having a horrible accident in which your car is totaled and you break a bone and need surgery, rehab, physical therapy, time off work, and pharmacy purchases. $25,000 could be exhausted after the ambulance service and a thorough hospital workup of CT scans, X-rays, and an MRI, let alone the surgery and after-care. Many of those items would be out-of-pocket expenses unless you carry an underinsured auto insurance policy to help with the balance.

The same goes for uninsured auto insurance coverage: If you get hit by someone with no auto insurance at all–especially someone with no personal assets to pursue in litigation–then you’d use your uninsured insurance coverage to pay your bills.

Uninsured Driver Stat1

There are two types of uninsured and underinsured auto coverage to consider:

  1. Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI):

This can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and injury-related expenses for you or any drivers or passengers your allow in your vehicle. It can also cover you for hit-and-run accidents.

  1. Uninsured and underinsured property damage coverage (UMPD):

This can cover your car’s damage but doesn’t protect against hit-and-run collision damage.

Adding uninsured and underinsured auto insurance coverage to your auto policy usually costs less than 10% of your current rate. It’s completely doable and could save you and your family from being hung out to dry. Check your policy today and add uninsured underinsured coverage if it’s not already there.

The Law Office of Todd W. Burris can answer your questions today at 859-252-2222.

Buckle Up for Safety

Published on Oct 7, 2015 at 5:33 pm in General.
Buckle Up for Safety

Seat belts have been appearing in cars since the 1960s, but it wasn’t until 2006 that Kentucky law mandated that all drivers and passengers wear seat belts, imposing a fine should you fail to do so. You’ve heard that wearing a seat belt is important, but you might not realize how big a difference it makes between life and death when you’re in an accident. Read on for some facts about seat belt use.

  1. Seat belts can make the difference between whether you live or die.

Seat belts are the single most effective way to save lives in car accidents. Seat belts will reduce your risk of serious injury in a crash by 50% and reduce your risk of death by 45%. If you’re in a light truck, your risk of serious injury is reduced by up to 60%. Not wearing a seat belt increases your chances of being thrown from the vehicle, which multiplies your chances of being killed by 25 times. While air bags provide additional safety from injury, they are not a substitute for seat belt use and cannot on their own prevent as many injuries as can a belt and airbag together.

  1. Contrary to a pervasive myth, seat belts almost never make you less safe.

Everyone has one stubborn friend who asserts that, if you’re in a car accident while wearing a seat belt, you might end up being more badly injured than if you weren’t, since the belt could prevent you from escaping a wreck. However, the percentage of crashes that involve a car being submerged in water, or otherwise involving a type of accident where a seat belt could be a liability, is less than one half of 1%.

  1. Wearing a seat belt will also keep your passengers safe.

Not only will you be saved from being thrown from the vehicle, your passengers will be saved from injury by you wearing a seatbelt. In a crash, a body that’s moving freely through the vehicle can cause serious injuries to other passengers.

  1. If you or any of your passengers fail to wear a seat belt while you’re driving, you could be pulled over.

Kentucky has a “primary enforcement” law regarding seat belt use. This means that cops can pull you over solely for failing to wear a seat belt, and impose a fine of $25 for failing to wear one. If you have not secured a child under 7 in a car seat, or under 57” tall in a booster seat, you may be fined up to $50.

If you’ve been injured in a crash as a result of the careless or reckless behavior of another driver and want to ensure your injuries are compensated fully, contact the experienced Lexington personal injury attorney Todd W. Burris at 859-252-2222.

Frequently Asked Questions about Kentucky Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Published on Sep 16, 2015 at 5:29 pm in General.
Frequently Asked Questions about Kentucky Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The loss of a spouse, child, or parent is devastating, and can also result in a serious financial burden. When that loss is the result of negligent, reckless, or even intentional acts committed by another person or corporation, you may be entitled to compensation from the party responsible for your loved one’s death. Wrongful death lawsuits are a way to recover money you and your family are owed. Below are some facts on how the lawsuits work, and what sorts of damages are available.

Who brings a wrongful death lawsuit?

When a family wishes to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their loved one’s behalf, they must first open an action in probate court to handle the individual’s estate. The probate court will appoint a personal representative for the person who died, who will stand in that person’s place for purposes of a wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased person had a will and named an executor of their estate, the executor will generally be named the personal representative.

What sorts of losses are covered by a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is designed as a way for family members to receive the compensation that the deceased person would have been able to recover, had they not died. For example, if you were injured in an accident caused by a defective car, you would be able to sue the company for manufacturing and designing the defective car. If you had instead died in that accident, your survivors would instead bring a lawsuit for wrongful death caused by the defective car.

Families of persons wrongly killed can recover for items such as the loss of care and support that the deceased person would have provided, and their loss of earning capacity or contribution to the household. The costs of the funeral and burial are also a component of an award in a Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit and are paid into the estate.

Are there additional damages available if the death was caused intentionally or recklessly?

There are occasions where a family may be entitled to damages going beyond the actual costs caused by the loss. Where an individual or a company caused the death by acting recklessly, intentionally, or grossly negligently, then the family may be entitled to punitive damages, which are financial penalties intended to punish the wrongdoer for especially bad behavior. For example, if an individual was killed by a drunk driver, punitive damages may be available, whereas they would probably not be available where the driver simply forgot to check a blind spot before merging lanes, causing a crash.

If you have lost a loved one in Kentucky due to the negligent or reckless acts of another person or corporation, contact the Lexington law office of Todd W Burris PSC for a free consultation, at 859-252-2222.

Accident between Motorcycle and SUV Leaves Two Injured

Published on Aug 4, 2015 at 10:37 pm in General.
Accident between Motorcycle and SUV Leaves Two Injured

A couple riding a motorcycle is recovering after a crash with an SUV. On Saturday, August 1, at approximately 9:30 p.m., the couple was traveling on Versailles Road toward Lexington. A Chevrolet Blazer was traveling in the opposite direction on Versailles Road when the driver of the Blazer began to turn left, crossing the motorcycle’s path. The turn began too late for the motorcycle to avoid hitting the Blazer. The couple riding the motorcycle were taken to University of Kentucky Hospital, with non-life-threatening injuries. Police believe that the motorcycle had the right of way, and are investigating whether a citation will be filed against the driver of the Blazer.

Many motorcycle accidents are caused by larger passenger vehicles turning left into the paths of oncoming motorcycles. Due to the smaller target that motorcycles present on drivers’ visual fields, it can be difficult both for drivers to see the oncoming motorcycle, and to gauge how fast the motorcycle is traveling.

Because of the lack of protection afforded to motorcyclists, they are far more prone to fatal or serious injuries than drivers of passenger vehicles. Over the course of 16 years that saw a 66% drop in passenger vehicle fatalities, fatalities among motorcyclists have remained static. Despite constituting only 3% of all motor vehicles on the roads, motorcyclists constitute 14% of all motor vehicle-related fatalities.

Motorcyclists often attract negative attention from police and other drivers, but they are frequently not the responsible party in crashes with passenger vehicles. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle crash, seek out knowledgeable, diligent legal help to ensure you’re fully compensated for your injuries. Lexington Attorney Todd W. Burris is available to represent your personal injury and motorcycle crash claims in and around the Lexington area, throughout Fayette County and beyond. Call Todd W. Burris, PSC for a free consultation on your claims, at 859-252-2222.

Choosing The Right Car Insurance Coverage

Published on Jul 24, 2015 at 9:47 pm in General.
Choosing The Right Car Insurance Coverage

There are so many options for how you can craft your car insurance plan that it can be difficult to know how to design your coverage. Under the law in Kentucky, you are required to have $25,000 in coverage per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability, as well as $10,000 in property damage liability and $10,000 in personal injury protection. These are the minimum amounts of coverage you need to drive in Kentucky, but having greater coverage may be advisable, depending on your individual circumstances.

Here are explanations of the different types of coverage, and some thoughts on whether you might want more than the minimum:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: This covers the cost of injuries to other drivers or pedestrians when the accident is your fault. Even if you’ve elected Kentucky’s no-fault coverage for your auto insurance, if your coverage and the individual’s own Personal Injury Protection coverage are exhausted by their costs, then they can sue you for the difference. If you own a house or other valuable assets, you may want to consider greater coverage, so that it’s less likely you could be sued for the value of those assets.
  • Personal Injury Protection: This covers the cost of medical bills and related expenses after an accident for yourself and your passengers.
  • Property Damage Liability: This covers damage to other people’s property, such as the other driver’s car or a structure you may have hit in a crash. Considering that new cars cost, on average, $20,000, you may wish to increase this coverage from the legally-required minimum.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist: These are two individual forms of coverage, and are not required under the law, but will ensure that expenses from your injuries and damages are covered in the event of an accident with someone who has no insurance coverage, or not enough coverage to compensate you.
  • Collision: This coverage is not legally required, but will cover costs to repair your vehicle after an accident. The cost of the insurance is measured by how much of a deductible you’ll pay for repairs to be done to your car after a crash. Selecting a higher deductible will mean lower monthly premiums.
  • Comprehensive: This coverage is also not required, and covers costs to repair or replace your vehicle when it has been damaged in some way other than an accident, such as natural disaster or theft. Again, a higher deductible will result in lower monthly payments.

Choosing the right coverage for your individual situation can be tricky, and understanding how different types of coverage apply when you have been in an accident can be confusing. To be sure you are making the right claims and getting all the compensation available, contact the Lexington law office of Todd W. Burris, PSC to speak with one of our attorneys today, at 859-252-2222.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

© 2019 Law Office of Todd W. Burris, PLLC | All Rights Reserved. Legal InSites - Law Firm Digital Marketing