If you are injured by someone else’s negligence, you can seek the physical, financial, and emotional damages to which you are entitled through a personal injury claim against the at-fault party (generally through his or her insurance provider). If, however, the cause of the accident that leaves you injured is not someone else’s negligence, a personal injury claim is off the table, and the kinds of causes involved are generally classified into one of two primary classifications.
If someone else’s negligence does leave you injured, reach out to an experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney for the legal guidance you need. Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers have 45 years of experience representing the injured.
If You Are at Fault
The State of Kentucky is one of about twelve states that uses what is known as pure comparative negligence when it comes to personal injury claims (and the matter of who is at fault). What this somewhat confusing term means is that, in Kentucky, even if you are up to ninety-nine percent responsible for the accident that causes you to be injured, you can seek damages for the percentage of fault that the other party bears (even if it is only one percent).
The reasoning behind this is that people should be held accountable for their negligence (regardless of how significant a role it plays in an accident). This is a liberal take on the matter (when compared to those states that do not allow accident victims to seek compensation if they share even one percent of the responsibility for the accident that leaves them injured). If, however, you are deemed to be one-hundred percent responsible for the accident that leaves you injured, you do not have a personal injury claim. Making the distinction about who is at fault for an injury-causing accident is often quite complicated, and seeking the guidance of a dedicated personal injury attorney is well-advised.
An Act of God
If the accident in question was caused by some intervening force – without which there would have been no injury-causing accident – personal injury law does not apply. Such accidents are generally referred to as acts of God because they are accidents that couldn’t have been prevented and that involved no human intervention. For example, if an earthquake causes you to be injured in a car accident, it is very unlikely that any of the other drivers involved will be considered at fault. There is simply no way to respond safely to an earthquake that comes out of nowhere and that leads to exceptionally unpredictable results.
On the flip side, although motorists may not be able to predict a freak ice storm, they can adjust their speed and driving to safely accommodate for its effects, which means this kind of storm is less likely to limit your ability to bring a personal injury claim. The most common acts of God that prevent personal injury claims include things like the following:
- Flash flooding
You can obtain hurricane, flood, and other types of insurance to cover property damage.
The Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
Common personal injury claims include:
- Traffic accidents of every kind
- Slip and fall accidents and other kinds of premises liability claims
- Defective products and other kinds of product liability claims
- Dog bites
- Boating accidents
- Pool drownings
Additionally, there are nursing home abuse and neglect and wrongful death claims due to a death in a personal injury claim that are often grouped alongside them. Personal injury claims are based on negligence, which means that if another person or another entity’s negligence did not directly contribute to the accident that leaves you injured, you will not have a personal injury claim. There are four primary elements that must be present for every personal injury claim in the State of Kentucky.
Duty of Care
To begin, the at-fault party must have owed you a duty of care. For example, motorists owe everyone on the road a duty of care that extends to driving safely and to following the rules of the road. When a motorist engages in dangerous driving practices, such as distraction, impairment, exhaustion, or excess speed, he or she ignores this duty of care. Additionally, commercial property owners owe their guests the duty of care of maintaining their properties in the reasonably safe condition necessary to allow for their safe passage. If, however, a property owner closes off a property and takes every reasonable precaution to keep people out, including posting warning signs, there is far less probability that he or she will be held responsible for any accidents that ensue (because anyone on the property would likely amount to a trespasser who is not owed a duty of care).
Breach of Duty of Care
Second, the at-fault party must have breached the duty of care owed, and this is where negligence comes in. For example, drivers who fail to uphold the significant duty of care they owe others on the road are negligent drivers who breach the necessary duty of care owed.
Next, you must be able to demonstrate that the other party’s negligence (or breach of duty of care) was the direct cause of the accident that left you injured. In other words, just because a property is poorly maintained does not mean the property owner is responsible for your slip and fall accident – unless it was the poor maintenance that caused you to slip and fall. If, in other words, you spill a drink and slip on it, the property owner’s negligence wasn’t the cause of your accident.
Finally, you’ll need to demonstrate that you were injured and suffered actual damages, such as property damage to your vehicle (in a traffic accident claim), medical expenses, lost wages, and/or physical and emotional pain and suffering as a direct result of the accident.
Without each of these four elements, you won’t have a personal injury claim.
Turn to an Experienced Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need
If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, the accomplished Kentucky personal injury attorneys at Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers are standing by to help. Your claim is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 888-782-9090 for more information today.