Filing a Car Accident Report in Kentucky
If you are involved in a Kentucky car accident, it is important that you contact the police to file an accident report. Under Kentucky law, Drivers must report all motor vehicle accidents that cause one or more people and injury or $500 or more of property damage. You will not be able to obtain insurance compensation for your losses or comply with state law if you do not report the car accident. Even if nobody was injured and the damage was under $500, it is still wise to file a police accident report.
When Do You Need to File a Car Accident Report?
In many cases, police officers who arrived at the scene will file a report after the car accident. However, sometimes drivers are responsible for filing a car accident report. Suppose no police officers came to the accident scene because nobody was injured, but there was at least $500 of property damage. In that case, the driver would be required to report the car accident. If you need to report a car accident in Kentucky, it is essential to understand the relevant laws so you can make sure you comply.
How to File a Car Accident Report in Kentucky
Under Kentucky law, Drivers are required to file a written accident report with the Kentucky State Police within 10 days of a car accident if the police do not investigate the accident and:
- The accident caused injury or death to any person and/or
- They think the damage to one or both vehicles exceeds $500 in value
State or local police will almost always respond to serious car accidents. If a police officer does not investigate the car accident, he or she will typically hand you a Civilian Traffic Collision Report Form. You need to complete this form and submit it to the state. If the officer does not give you the form at the accident scene, it is still your responsibility to obtain it, complete it, and return it within 10 days of the car accident. After completing the form, it is wise to make two copies and save one for your records. Save one copy for your insurance company. You will need to mail the original form to:
Kentucky State Police Records
1266 Louisville Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
Obtaining a Copy of the Accident Report
Do not include any photos, copies of insurance cards, or other items when you submit your form. Any other items will be shredded. You will not hear anything back from the State Police Department after you file the form. There will not be any additional further investigation. Instead, the state police will simply keep the form for three years so that either driver can obtain a copy of the form if they need one.
You can obtain a copy of the accident report for $10. You will need to provide the accident report number, the last name of the driver or owner of one of the vehicles involved, and the report date. The state has contracted with a private company that you must go through to request the accident report. If police investigate your accident, ask whether they must file a report or you need to do so.
Why You Should File a Car Accident Report in Kentucky
The state of Kentucky uses a car accident database to manage reports, track trends, and try to improve traffic safety. They also use the database to try to meet Federal requirements. The law requires that you file a car accident report if the police do not, and someone is injured, or the damage is over $500. If you do not file a car accident report when those conditions have been met, you could be punished by a fine of 20 to $100.
In addition to dealing with fines, you will need an accident report to file or make an insurance claim for compensation after the car accident. In Kentucky, car insurance operates on a no-fault system. After a car accident, you will need to file a claim with your own auto insurance provider through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which every motorist must maintain.
Every driver must have a minimum of $10,000 per person per accident in PIP insurance coverage that covers medical expenses and lost wages. The PIP insurance company must pay benefits up to the coverage limits, regardless of who was at fault for the car accident. Drivers may choose to pay for additional coverage over the $10,000 minimum, but it is optional.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If an accident costs a victim $1,000 in medical expenses, permanent disfigurement, a broken bone, permanent injury, or death, you may seek compensation from the outfall driver by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you will be able to seek damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses related to the car accident, such as your pain and suffering.
Your car accident report will be the starting point for gathering the evidence you need to prove that you were entitled to damages through a personal injury lawsuit. The car accident lawyer you hired to work on your claim will proceed from the car accident report to gather additional evidence to prove that the other driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the car accident that resulted in your injuries.
Filing a police report can also help you obtain the compensation you deserve through insurance coverage. The stronger your claim, the more likely it is that the insurance company will provide you with a fair settlement amount. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently offer low settlements. You will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to negotiate strongly with them.
Consult With a Louisville Car Accident Lawyer
Have you or your loved one been injured in a Kentucky car accident? You may feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin when it comes to seeking compensation. The first step is to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Contact Hessig & Pohl today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn how we can advocate for you.