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.
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.