Fault or no fault? That depends on which side of the Ohio River you’re on.
At Greene & O’Malley Attorneys at Law, we work on both sides of the Ohio River, trying cases throughout Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky. We have extensive experience with insurance law in Ohio – a fault state – and in Kentucky, a no-fault state.
Understanding Fault & No-Fault Systems
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 laws, the insurance company pays economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and accident-related expenses, regardless of who is at fault, usually up to $10,000.
At the same time, it prohibits lawsuits for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. Be sure to talk to our personal injury attorneys in Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio about whether your case meets one of these exceptions.
Is Ohio a No-Fault State?
Your Rights in Ohio
No, 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 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
- How the remaining damages will be paid if the at-fault driver is underinsured
Depending on your specifics, you can seek compensation by:
- Filing a claim with your own insurance company
- Filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver in civil court
- Filing a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company
Our attorneys can help you understand your rights and your insurance policy. We can be your advocates if you need assistance filing a claim or need representation in a personal injury lawsuit.
Is Kentucky a No-Fault State?
Your Rights in Kentucky
Yes, 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 order to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver or person in Kentucky, you must have suffered at least one of the following:
- $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 & O’Malley Attorneys at Law so that you can be fully compensated.
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