Fault or no fault? Depends on what side of the Ohio River you’re on.
We work on both sides of the Ohio River, trying cases throughout Ohio and Kentucky, particularly in Cincinnati and the surrounding region. We have extensive experience with insurance law in Ohio, a fault state and Kentucky, a no-fault state.
First, a little background information.
Until recently, auto insurance operated nationally under a traditional fault-based system in which the person who caused the accident – the at-fault party – must pay all resulting damages. This is known as the tort system.
This system has resulted in long, expensive court battles to determine who was at fault and how much money was at stake. In an effort to stem expensive lawsuits and to unclog overloaded court systems, certain states, including Kentucky, have implemented no fault insurance laws.
Under no-fault insurance, the insurance company pays economic damages such medical bills, lost wages and accident-related expenses, regardless of who’s at fault, usually up to $10,000. Yet it prohibits lawsuits for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. Be sure to talk to Greene & Associates about whether your case meets one of these exceptions.
Your rights in Kentucky
Kentucky is a no-fault state and therefore operates under a limited tort system that requires Personal Injury Protection coverage (known as PIP) on all vehicles, with the exception of motorcycles. Basic PIP requires the insurer to provide up to $10,000 per person per accident to cover the economic expenses resulting from an accident, regardless of fault.
In Kentucky, you must first meet one of the following thresholds to file a lawsuit against the negligent actor or driver:
- $1,000 in medical expenses
- A broken bone
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent injury
If you need further compensation beyond your PIP benefits ($10,000), you should contact Greene & Associates so that you can be fully compensated.
Your rights in Ohio
Ohio operates under the traditional tort system, so someone is named at fault and is liable for compensating the injured party for all economic and non-economic damages. Normally the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay up to a certain point. When the ceiling of the policy is reached, the driver is then responsible to pay the damages out-of-pocket.
This means that as an injured person in an auto accident, you and your attorney must establish the following:
- The fault of the negligent driver
- The extent of your economic damages, including property damage, loss of past and future wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and loss of consortium
- The extent of your non-economic damages resulting from injury, such as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering and punitive damages
- The responsibility of the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay
- The responsibility of your insurance company to pay
- If the at-fault driver is underinsured, how the remaining damages will be paid
Depending on your specifics, you can seek compensation in the following ways:
- File a claim with your own insurance company
- File a lawsuit against the negligent driver in civil court
- File a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company
Call Green & Associates and we’ll help you understand your rights and your insurance policy. We’ll be your advocates if you need assistance filing a claim or need representation in a personal injury lawsuit.