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Articles Tagged with insurance

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By Kyle Roby, Partner

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Kyle Roby

If you follow ELPO Law on social media (facebook.com/ELPOLaw; @ELPOLaw) or subscribe to our ELPO eNewsletter (click here to subscribe), you are familiar with articles with tips on how to protect your family with car insurance or what happens if you are involved in an accident involving an Uber driver. For most people who are involved in a car wreck, however, it is either their first accident or they have no idea on what happens next. Here are five things that you need to know after being involved in a car wreck:

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By J.A. Sowell, Attorney

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J.A. Sowell

Reprinted from SOKY Happenings article 4.30.20

Picture this – it is Monday evening. You are driving down Campbell Lane with your two children in the backseat headed to grab a quick dinner after soccer practice. As you approach the intersection with Scottsville Road, you have the green light. Then, out of nowhere, a pick-up truck unexpectedly tries to turn left in front of your vehicle. Despite going the speed limit and paying attention to the road, there is nothing that you can do to avoid the collision. Boom! The pick-up truck rams into your vehicle, causing it to spin out and incur significant damage. You and your kids sustain neck and back injuries from the impact. The other driver is clearly at fault. No big deal, though… his insurance will surely cover the property damage, as well as the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you endured, right?

Well… maybe. According to the Insurance Research Council, there is a 13% chance that the driver who hit you does not have any insurance at all – even though Kentucky law requires every driver to maintain a certain level of insurance coverage. There is also a good chance that while the driver has car insurance, he only carries the minimally required coverage, which may not be enough to fully cover the damages you sustained from the accident he caused.

So, what can you do to make sure your family is protected in a situation like this? You can prepare for these unimaginable situations by obtaining uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile insurance policy.

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By Kyle Roby, Partner

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Kyle Roby

Most of us use the ride sharing service Uber when we need a ride because our car is in the shop or we are planning an evening out on the town. When you call for an Uber, the last thing on your mind is what happens if you are injured in an accident while riding in an Uber. However, as statistics show, accidents involving Uber drivers occur more frequently that one would imagine. Sometimes the Uber driver is at fault while other times it is the fault of another driver. But what happens to you – the passenger – if you are injured? Who will pay you medical bills, lost wages, or other damages?

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By Kyle Roby, Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

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Kyle Roby

A recent Kentucky Supreme Court case addressed the issue of PIP or BRB payments, which are also called no-fault payments. This is part of a class action lawsuit against insurance giant GEICO. The company denied PIP benefits based on a doctor reviewing medical records and not examining the individual. This is known as a peer review of medical records by an out-of-state doctor.

This procedure is not found in the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (MVRA). The plaintiffs argued that this procedure should not have been used as a standard for denying benefits and the Kentucky Supreme Court agreed.  In fact, the Kentucky Supreme Court compared the arguments made by the attorneys and the trial court to coon dogs leading a hunter in the wrong direction or as the old saying goes “they were barking up the wrong tree.”

The case is Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) vs. Jordan Sanders and Anita Houchens (individually and as class representatives). The court handed down the ruling on November 1, and ordered that the ruling was to be published, which means it can be used as a standard in future cases.

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By Bob Young, Attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

uninsured motorist insuranceEvery car owner in Kentucky is required to carry liability insurance on their automobile. Liability insurance means that if you are involved in an accident with another vehicle, and you are at fault, your insurance will pay for the damages to the other vehicle and for their injuries.

But what happens if you’re involved in an accident, it’s the other person’s fault and the other person isn’t carrying the required insurance? Or what if your injuries or your passenger’s injuries are greater than the coverage the other person is carrying?

If the at-fault drivers has no coverage, that would mean your own uninsured motorist insurance policy would pay the bills for your treatment and cover the pain and suffering for injuries suffered by you or anyone in your vehicle. If the at-fault driver does not have sufficient coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, again, on your own policy, would cover these bills and damages, to the extent the at-fault driver does not have adequate coverage.

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Kentucky is a no-fault insurance state. This simply means that each party in a Kentucky auto accident case must first seek payment of medical expenses up to $10,000 from their own insurance companies through a claim for basic reparations benefits (also known as personal injury protection – or PIP – benefits). If a person sustains serious injuries, it is usually still possible to pursue compensation from the negligent motorist.

Facts of the Case

In a recent (unreported) case appealed from the Jefferson Circuit Court, the insured motorist was a woman whose vehicle was struck from behind in a multi-car accident in May 2015. At the scene, the insured motorist did not report any injuries, but there was minor damage to her vehicle’s rear bumper. The insured motorist later sought chiropractic treatment for injuries she alleged resulted from the accident, submitting the bills to the insurance company for payment under her basic reparation benefits (BRB).

The insurance company did not pay the insured motorist’s medical expenses, instead filing a petition to compel the insured motorist to give a pre-litigation deposition. The insured motorist filed a counterclaim, alleging that the insurance company’s refusal to pay her medical expenses immediately was a violation of the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act. The circuit court found that the insurance company had shown good cause for its request for a deposition and ordered the insured motorist to comply within 30 days. It also dismissed the insured motorist’s counterclaim.

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People who must rely on PIP benefits available under a policy of uninsured motorist coverage following a Kentucky hit and run accident are often surprised at how contentious the process of obtaining fair compensation can be.

It might seem that the insured person and the insurance company are “on the same side,” especially if the claimant has been faithfully paying his or her premiums for many years. The truth is that an insurance company is still an insurance company. It does not matter whether a claim is paid out under a UM/UIM policy or a liability policy; the company will still do everything it can to limit the amount paid out.

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Kentucky is a “no fault” insurance state. While this does not mean that a person hurt by another person’s negligence can never seek compensation following a motor vehicle accident, it does provide that certain minimum benefits must be available to those who purchase automobile insurance, without regard to fault.

The idea is that injured individuals who suffer only minor injuries will have their medical expenses paid through their own personal injury protection (PIP) or basic reparations benefits (BRB), thus discouraging lawsuits.

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Compared to some states, Tennessee has a very short statute of limitations for the filing of claims involving personal injury: just one year. If a claim is not filed within this time period, the plaintiff’s case will be dismissed regardless of its merits.

In addition to filing his or her claim in court within one year of the accident, the plaintiff must also serve a summons and a copy of the complaint on the defendant within a certain time period.

A recent Tennessee personal injury case illustrates the difficulties that a claimant faced when his opponent not only moved out of the county but also filed for bankruptcy protection.

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By Kyle Roby, Attorney and Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

close-up-of-road-300x200Would you consider an ATV – an all-terrain vehicle – a motor vehicle? Kentucky law and some insurance companies do not – and that’s what the case we recently won for a client concluded, to the client’s benefit.

The client, Thomas Robertson, was driving an ATV on a public roadway in Metcalfe County. Stacy Morgan was driving a vehicle on the same road, and as she attempted to pass Robertson, he turned left, and she collided with his ATV.

Both were injured in the accident. Robertson did not have insurance, but Morgan did. Robertson, driving the ATV, sought Basic Reparations Benefits (BRBs) from the insurance company that insured Morgan’s vehicle. Under the terms of Morgan’s insurance, Robertson was considered to be a pedestrian, and pedestrians are entitled to basic reparations benefits.

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