In the article Florida Supreme Court tosses out medical malpractice cap on damages by Mary Ellen Klas, she writes that “The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the centerpiece of the 2003 medical malpractice overhaul law, blasting the Legislature for creating an “alleged medical malpractice crisis” and concluding that the cap on wrongful death noneconomic damages violates the state Constitution’s equal protection clause.”
Florida, like many states, passed tort reform laws under the faulty thinking that there was a frivolous lawsuit crisis in the state. They put a cap on damages that ensured the most injured people would not get full recovery, although people with minor injuries could get a recovery. This obviously helped the insurance companies, who knew there was a maximum on any given claim. Looking back, the Florida Supreme Court found that the law was a) unconstitutional, and b) was not based upon a factual foundation. If you look at the bottom of the article, you’ll see how the Court did research and found that the supposed reasons for passing tort reform were not real. For example, the claim was that doctors were leaving the state, but looking back at 2003 (when tort reform was passed), the history books show the number of physicians increased rather than decreased.
Why It Matters to All of Us
Kentucky is considering the exact same law that Florida passed this year. If it passes, anyone with a personal injury claim and a serious injury – death, paralysis, amputation, etc. – will no longer be able to file a claim and receive a full recovery. Instead, they have to look to state aid (like social security disability) to fill the gaps. That means the law potentially affects all of us.
Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP”, is a basic coverage that is required in Kentucky on all motor vehicles, with the exception of motorcycles. It generally provides up to $10,000 to each covered individual in an accident to be used for the purposes of paying for medical expenses, lost wages, and all other costs that resulted due to the accident (optional higher benefits and deductibles are available).
Who’s PIP is Used and How?
In most circumstances, the PIP is paid by the insurer of the vehicle in which the injured person was riding at the time of the accident. For example, if an insured motorist is in an accident while driving his insured vehicle, his insurance company will pay the PIP. It does not matter who was at fault in causing the accident. Additionally, if a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the insurer of that vehicle will pay the PIP associated with the pedestrian’s accident related expenses.
What if there is no PIP?
In certain circumstances, an injured party will find that there is no PIP available. For example, this can occur in a situation where the injured party is uninsured and the owner of the vehicle does not have existing coverage for his vehicle. If a pedestrian is struck by an uninsured vehicle (where the owner of the vehicle failed to have insurance or the driver of the vehicle was uninsured), then his best option is to file a claim for basic PIP to the Kentucky Assigned Claims Plan. The KAC is a state fund which provides basic PIP benefits to those who meet the certain requirements listed under KRS 304.39-160 and 304.39-170. An example of someone who would not be entitled to apply to the KAC for PIP would be an injured driver who was uninsured at the time of the accident.
If you or someone you know has been in an automobile accident, have medical bills piling up, and are unsure of what your options are, do not hesitate to contact a Northern Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyer. Lawrence & Associates can help get you the benefits that you deserve!
According to the a Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts Report, Kentucky reported 150,278 car accidents on public roads. Out of those reported accidents, 37,289 drivers and passengers were injured or killed. Either you or someone you know is overwhelmingly likely to be in a car accident at some point in their lives. If you are involved in a personal injury litigation arising from a car accident, you will greatly benefit from consulting a Northern Kentucky personal injury attorney. Although automobile accidents are unfortunate, there are certain things that a person can do immediately after an accident which can either help or hurt their case.
Automobile Accident Tips
Stay at the scene – If you are involved in an accident involving injury, or substantial damage to property, stay at the scene of the accident until the police give you the okay to leave. Leaving the scene of an accident can result in driver’s license sanctions and even criminal charges.
Obtain information – If you are involved in an accident, it is always wise to obtain the other driver’s name, address, driver’s license number, insurance information, and license plate number. Moreover, if there are witnesses take down their name, address and telephone number which may prove useful in your case. Obtaining the police officer’s information may also prove useful when obtaining the accident report. Finally, it may be wise to take notes about the accident itself, including the location where the accident occurred, the speed limit, the weather, time of day, how the accident occurred, etc.
Give a statement only to police – It is best not to make statements to anyone at the accident scene, other than the police. You are not required to give a statement to the other person’s insurance policy.
Seek medical care if you are injured – Seeking medical care immediately following an accident will help halt arguments by the other driver’s insurance company that you were not actually injured in the accident or that your injuries arose from something that occurred after the accident. In certain circumstances, we get cases where a person is injured in an automobile accident but waits until the pain is unbearable before seeking medical treatment. This not only can hurt the injured person’s case, but it also causes the person to suffer from pain unnecessarily.
Although being involved in an automobile accident may be devastating to both you and your family, there’s good news- you may be entitled to compensation! Contact Northern Kentucky law firm Lawrence & Associates today for a free initial consultation with an experienced automobile accident attorney who can evaluate your case and help determine if you should pursue a personal injury action.
In most states, the parent of a child who has been injured and received a settlement as reparation for those injuries cannot generally access his or her child’s settlement funds. The reason for this is to protect the child from parents who might use the money to benefit themselves, instead of the child.
“Blocked” Bank Accounts
A court will usually place a child’s settlement money in a “blocked” bank account until the child turns 18. A court will sometimes allow withdrawals from blocked accounts if the funds are needed for the child’s care and well being, and the court is satisfied that the funds are to be used for the benefit of the minor.
Kentucky courts will generally follow the same rule, although there are certain instances where the courts will grant the parent of a minor access to the full settlement. For example, under the Kentucky Revised Statute 387.280, the custodian of a minor is able to petition to receive the minor’s settlement so long as that settlement is $10,000 or less.
If you or someone you know is dealing with an accident related injury involving a minor child, please contact an experienced Northern Kentucky personal injury lawyer at Lawrence & Associates!
Insurance policies are generally quite confusing and often vary between insurance companies. Most of them promise you a better rate, or better coverage in the event of an accident. Knowing what some of the standard policies cover will help in choosing the right coverage for you. For example, one thing that does not vary between insurance companies that do business in Kentucky is the minimum PIP coverage. PIP stands for ‘Personal Injury Protection’ (also known as Basic Reparation Benefits in other states). In Kentucky, every car insurance company licensed to sell insurance in the Commonwealth is required to provide $10,000 of minimum No-Fault benefits in the case of an automobile accident. This minimum benefit amount is per person, and it covers medical expenses and/or wage losses attributed to the accident.
PIP also may allow for an extension of time in which you may file a claim resulting from an automobile accident. Generally speaking, in Kentucky the statute of limitations is two (2) years from the date of the accident/collision. However, if PIP benefits are paid, then the statute of limitations will be extended by two (2) years after the LAST PIP payment. For example, let’s say you’re involved in a car crash while driving on I-71 in Kentucky on January 1, 2014. You will have until January 1, 2016 to file a claim/suit against the other driver (assuming a valid claim exists against him/her). However, if you are injured in that car accident and your last medical bill is paid by your PIP on July 1, 2014, you will have until July 1, 2016 to file the lawsuit.
If you or someone you know is dealing with an accident related injury in Kentucky or Ohio and have questions regarding PIP, workers’ compensation, or other things regarding an injury claim, please do not hesitate to contact Lawrence & Associates for more information and assistance. We can help!
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