Is Kentucky “No-Fault” State & What is PIP?
If you drive in Kentucky, you have probably heard that Kentucky is a “no-fault” state or that you may be entitled to PIP benefits if you are in an accident. But what does that mean?
Kentucky’s Motor Vehicle Reparations Act provides that those involved in a car crash are generally entitled up to $10,000 in “basic reparation benefits.” Basic reparation benefits are often referred to as “personal injury protection” or “PIP” benefits. They can be used to pay medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries from the car crash. These benefits are paid regardless of who was at fault in causing the collision, which is why Kentucky is sometimes called a “no-fault” state.
Since $10,000 in PIP benefits may not be enough to cover those seriously injured in a car crash, Kentucky law also allows those who have been injured in an automobile wreck to pursue litigation against the at-fault driver if:
- You have more than $1,000 in medical expenses due to your injury, or
- Your injury:
- Results in permanent disfigurement,
- Is or includes a broken bone,
- Is or includes the loss of a limb, or
- Results in a permanent injury or permanent loss of bodily function.
Also, if one dies in a motor vehicle accident that is the fault of another, the decedent’s family can also pursue litigation against the at-fault driver.
Frequently Asked Questions about PIP
Whose Insurance Pays PIP Benefits?
PIP benefits are paid by a car insurance company. Kentucky Revised Statute 304.39-050 specifies which policy the injured should look to first for payment of these benefits. Most of the time, the insurance policy covering the vehicle the injured person was in pays the injured person’s PIP benefits. If the injured person was a pedestrian, then the insurance policy of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian generally pays.
Do I Have a Say on how PIP Benefits are Spent?
Yes. You can direct the PIP insurance carrier as to how to use your PIP benefits, but you have to do so in writing. This is often referred to as “reserving” your PIP benefits.
Should I Use my Health Insurance or PIP Benefits for Treatment?
In general, you should use your health insurance. Here’s why:
- Your health insurance carrier has negotiated rates with healthcare providers. This means that your health insurance almost never pays full price for the services you receive.
- Auto insurance carriers generally do not have negotiated rates with healthcare providers, which means they almost always pay full price for the services you receive.
Therefore, if you use your PIP benefits to pay your medical bills, that money will not stretch as far as your health insurance will.
If you are seriously injured, it is often best to use your health insurance for treatment and to use your PIP benefits for co-pays, deductibles, and other things that your health insurance will not cover. Your car crash attorney can discuss with you ways in which you can maximize your PIP benefits.
Does PIP cover Lost Wages?
You can recover lost wages from PIP; however, there are limitations. If you use PIP to collect lost wages, you will receive 85% of your lost wages up to a maximum of $200 per week.
Can a Non-Resident of Kentucky obtain PIP Benefits for a Car Crash in Kentucky?
If you are not a Kentucky resident, but you are injured in an accident in Kentucky, you may be entitled to receive PIP benefits. For example, if your insurance carrier is authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth, you generally can receive PIP benefits from your insurer for injuries that occurred in Kentucky.
Do PIP Benefits cover me if I am in a Car Accident Outside of Kentucky?
If you live in Kentucky but are involved in an accident anywhere in the United States, its territories, or Canada, your PIP benefits will still cover you.
Can a Pedestrian or Bicycle Rider Recover PIP Benefits in Kentucky?
Under Kentucky law, if you are hit by a vehicle while walking or riding a bicycle, you are entitled to PIP benefits.
When does PIP not apply?
There are a few situations where you may not be entitled to PIP benefits. These include:
- You were driving a motorcycle (PIP benefits are optional for motorcycles)
- You own the vehicle and did not have insurance at the time of the accident
- The crash was work-related
- You have rejected PIP benefits
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
As you can tell, the law regarding PIP and car crashes is very complicated. If you have been seriously injured in a car wreck that was not your fault, you need an experienced professional to help you maximize your PIP benefits and to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
At Burg Simpson’s Cincinnati office, we have seasoned Kentucky trial lawyers that will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Burg Simpson’s Cincinnati office today. Our award-winning personal injury attorneys would be happy to discuss your potential claim. Call 1-800-713-9340 or fill out our contact form for a FREE no-obligation consultation today.