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

Kentucky Dog Bite Law

Published on Sep 1, 2016 at 9:00 am in General.
Kentucky Dog Bite Law

If you’ve been bitten or seriously injured by someone else’s dog, it may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit against the owner. Doing so will make it easier to pay for the treatment and recovery costs of your injuries as well as ensure that the dog owner learns to be responsible for their pet. In order to file a lawsuit, you’ll need to know how dog bite laws are handled within your state. Every state handles these cases quite differently.

In the state of Kentucky, dog bite lawsuits are considered “strict liability” cases. What this means is that a dog owner is 100% liable for any damage their dog causes to “a person, livestock, or other property,” even if that dog has never been aggressive in the past. If the owner tried to prevent the attack and/or used reasonable methods to control the dog but the attack still occurred, that owner is still fully liable. In other words, there is no need to prove that any negligence occurred.

This counts for more than just dog bite injuries, too. If a property owner’s dog, for example, jumps on you and knocks you over, causing injury, it’s possible to file a lawsuit against the owner. In this instance, the injuries were directly caused by the dog’s actions. Under Kentucky dog bite law, there is no difference between a case of this nature and a dog bite case.

Some state laws allow property owners to claim certain defenses during a dog bite lawsuit, stating that the victim, for example, provoked the dog or was trespassing on private property when the attack happened. In Kentucky, these defenses cannot be claimed. Even if the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing, the lawsuit will still stand. Either of these facts, however, may severely impact the damages amount the victim may be able to claim.

Kentucky Dog Bite Law for Property Owners

If you’re reading this article as the owner of a dog that harmed someone else, you can potentially reduce the damage costs you may have to pay by revealing every detail about the incident. Did the victim provoke the dog in any way? Did they walk unnecessarily close to your front yard? Make all this information known, showing evidence if at all possible, and the court may state that the victim was partially at fault for their injuries and reduce the amount of damages owed.

When a Kentucky court decides that a victim was partially at fault for an attack, the damages amount will be lowered by a set percentage based on the portion of liability they are responsible for. If, for example, the judge decides that the victim shouted at your dog and provoked the animal into attacking, the judge may decide that the victim was 50% at fault. This would lower the amount due to the victim by 50%. This amount will be decided on based upon the specifics of the case and any evidence.

Get Help from a Lexington, KY Personal Injury Lawyer

If any of this sounds complicated, don’t worry. Dog bite cases can definitely be complicated, but with the right attorney on your side, you can ensure that, as a victim of a dog attack, you get the help you need to recover. A skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorney will do everything they can to fight for your rights and gather the evidence you need to secure your lawsuit.

Todd W. Burris, Lexington, KY bodily injury claim lawyer, is ready to assist you if you’ve been injured by a dog on someone else’s property. Under Kentucky law, you will generally have a period of one year from the time of a dog bite injury to file a lawsuit against the guilty party. This period is referred to as a statute of limitations. Contact our office to learn more or receive a free consultation.

How Do Kentucky Statutes of Limitations Work After an Accident?

Published on Jul 28, 2016 at 6:00 am in General.
How Do Kentucky Statutes of Limitations Work After an Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a serious car or truck accident in the Lexington, Kentucky area, you likely have a dozen questions running through your mind regarding what you should do and what, if any, legal actions you should take. Making the decision to hire a Lexington, KY personal injury lawyer may not be an easy one, but if you feel the other driver’s insurance adjusters are asking you to settle unfairly or the case seems overwhelmingly complicated, it’s in your best interest to find out your legal options.

When making a decision to file a claim, you should be aware that time does matter. Every state has a separate set of deadlines, or statutes of limitations, that are in place when it comes to filing civil cases such as all types of personal injury and car accident lawsuits. You must file a lawsuit within this time frame for the court to accept it.

In the state of Kentucky, most personal injury lawsuits have a one-year statute of limitations governed by KRS 413.140. However, the statute of limitations for injuries arising out of a motor vehicle accident is generally two years from the date of the accident or two years from the date the last basic reparation benefits (also known as personal injury protection coverage or “PIP”) were issued by an insurer to the injured party under KRS 304.39-230.

You must be careful, however, because a wrongful death action arising out of a motor vehicle accident can have as little as a one-year statute of limitations under KRS 413.140)1)(a) and KRS 413.180. Personal injury cases such as slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and nursing home neglect generally fall under the one-year statute. A medical malpractice claim also falls under a one-year statute of limitations, but the statute may not begin to run until the injury is actually discovered.

Additionally, for accidents which involve property such as claims that attempt to award compensation for damage to a vehicle, for example, Kentucky residents have two years to file a lawsuit before the statute is considered expired under KRS 413.125.

The exact time for the statute of limitations can be fact specific in many cases so it is very important to talk to an attorney as quickly as possible after an accident because if you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, then your claim is permanently barred. The best way to know for sure how long you have to file a claim is to speak to an experienced Kentucky attorney. The Kentucky court system is rather strict about statutes of limitations and will not make any special considerations in most cases.

The Effects of Kentucky Statutes of Limitations

Most personal injury lawsuits take a considerable amount of time to reach settlement. Depending on your case, the available evidence, and any opposing claims that are opened, you may want to file your claim well before the statute of limitations approaches. In most cases, it’s highly recommended that you file your case as quickly as possible after the accident, in fact. This gives your attorney time to locate timely evidence on the road, etc., that may become erased over time. Timely evidence is often crucial.

Filing a case within a short amount of time also gives you and your lawyer a chance to contact any witnesses who may be willing to testify on your behalf. When you wait too long after the accident, it can be easy for witnesses to forget about the accident or its details. Minor details can easily make or break a case, especially during testimony.

Finally, and often most importantly, when you reach out to a personal injury lawyer like Todd W. Burris during the aftermath following a life-changing accident, you gain peace of mind. During the time that an experienced Kentucky car accident lawyer is working on your case, you can rest easy knowing that insurance adjusters will no longer hound you or expect you to settle right away. You have the knowledge that someone is out there fighting on your behalf, giving you the time you need to recover.

For more information or a zero-obligation case consultation that’s 100% free, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Lexington office today. Todd W. Burris is here for you.

Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident: What to Know

Published on Jul 15, 2016 at 9:00 am in General.

Thousands of people every year are injured in accidents caused by slipping, stumbling, or tripping and consequently falling as a result. In the legal world, these types of accidents are consolidated into one category and typically referred to as “slip and fall” accidents. Injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents can vary significantly, as one would expect, and can range from minor to extremely serious in nature.

If you were seriously injured in a slip and fall accident that took place on property that wasn’t your own, you might be wondering if there’s any legal recourse you can take. You absolutely have options and should speak to a Lexington, KY slip and fall accident lawyer as soon as you’re able to do so. Here’s what you need to know about your options first:

Slip and Fall Accidents Can Be Difficult to Prove

The first thing you’ll need to ask yourself is if your injuries were severe enough to potentially sue over. The second thing you’ll need to ask yourself is whether the property owner where the accident occurred was responsible for the accident. Could they have prevented the accident in any way? If so, they may be legally responsible.

There’s a fine line in Kentucky courtrooms regarding slip and fall responsibility, however. If a leaking roof, for example, caused a slippery condition that allowed you to slip, the property owner may not be responsible if they had a drainage grate in place. In this particular case, the owner is seen as trying to prevent any accidents. If there was no drainage grate, on the other hand, they may be held responsible.

The Word “Reasonable” Becomes Important

When filing a slip and fall accident lawsuit, you’ll notice that these cases aren’t necessarily cut and dry. The word “reasonable” comes up a lot due to the complicated nature of these lawsuits. In the example noted above, the property owner took reasonable preventive measures by installing a grate instead of fixing the roof immediately. Property owners can’t be expected to fix major issues like leaking roofs right away. Some sort of time-based limitations and leniencies have to be in place.

Other reasonable preventive measures tend to include things like posted warning signs, caution tape, areas that are properly closed off/blocked, and other types of temporary fixes. In the end, it’s up to the court and jury to decide what’s reasonable to expect of property owners and what isn’t.

The Property Owner Isn’t the Only Person Responsible for Your Fall

The court and jury will also look at every other aspect of your accident when determining who was really responsible. They’ll ask whether you had a legitimate reason for being on the property. They’ll ask if you had a reasonable amount of time and/or warning to avoid the accident entirely. If there were signs posted, were they clearly able to be seen? Was there adequate lighting, etc.?

They’ll also ask if it was possible that you were otherwise distracted. If, for example, you were talking on your cell phone or texting while walking when the accident happened, the court may deem the property owner only partially responsible. In this case, you may receive a reduced award amount or your case may be dropped entirely.

As you can see, slip and fall accidents can be immensely complicated. The court will ask many tough-to-answer questions. This is why having a knowledgeable attorney on your side is vital. Depending on your injuries, you may benefit most by seeking the aid of a Lexington, KY broken bone lawyer if you sustained multiple broken bones. All types of personal injury lawyers will be able to tell you if filing a slip and fall lawsuit is in your best interest, however.

Lexington, KY personal injury lawyer Todd W. Burris is experienced in winning complicated cases like slip and fall accident lawsuits and will be able to help get you the financial compensation you need to recover. Contact our offices for more information or a 100% free consultation.

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”.

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.

© 2018 Law Office of Todd W. Burris, PLLC | All Rights Reserved. Legal InSites - Law Firm Digital Marketing