Frequently Asked Questions: Car Accidents

At Musselwhite, Meinhart & Staples, we believe in educating our clients about life after a car accident. We have more than 80 years of combined experience representing victims of car crashes in Radcliff, Elizabethtown and throughout north central Kentucky. We are here to help you protect your rights and learn about what steps to take after a crash.

Car Accident FAQs

What should I do after a car accident?

Report the accident to the police and call for medical attention if anyone appears injured. Then you should collect contact information from everyone involved and any witnesses to the crash.

Should I talk to the insurance company after an accident?

You will need to report the accident to your insurance company, but do not agree to any settlement or sign anything before you review the information with an attorney.

How do I get my car fixed?

This depends on whether the at-fault party has property damage coverage and/or whether you have collision coverage on your policy. If you have collision coverage then you can negotiate the repairs or total loss of your vehicle with your own insurance carrier under the collision coverage. In instances where liability is being disputed this will save you time because your insurance company will not care who the at-fault party is for the collision. The focus will be on repairing your car not liability. However, if you do not have collision coverage or if you simply do not want to use your insurance then you can go through the at-fault party's insurance to get your car repaired. You should keep in mind that the insurance company may want to conduct an investigation and take statements to determine fault before they will agree to repair your car which could delay repairs for several days. Before you give any statement to the insurance company contact us.

I have collision coverage and have a deductible. How do I get my deductible back?

So long as the accident is not determined to be your fault then the other party's insurer will reimburse your deductible.

What happens if my car is found to be totaled?

The insurance company will determine your vehicle's fair market value. This amount is not the amount you paid for the vehicle or the amount you may owe it is the amount of what the car is worth in today's market. You can get a general idea from comparing values at NADA, Kelley Blue Book and cars.com. You can also research local dealerships to see if they have similar cars for sale or what they would list a similar car for.

Can I keep my car if they find it to be totaled?

Yes. This is referred to as "salvage" and means you will be accepting a lesser property damage settlement offer based on the salvage value of your car. The insurance company should provide you with both options, if they have not and you are interested in a salvage you can request it. If you decide to retain the salvage then you and the insurance company have an obligation to notify the DMV that the car has been salvaged which means that the title to the vehicle will reflect that as a "salvaged title" meaning the car's worth is minimal.

Should I see a doctor after a crash even if I don't feel injured?

Yes even if it is to make sure you are not injured. Some injuries do not show any symptoms or do not present until days or weeks after the accident so it is important to make sure you are getting appropriate medical care right away.

Should I admit fault after an accident?

No.

Do all personal injury claims have to go to court?

No. You may be able to settle your claim if you and your attorney believe you are being treated fairly and it is in your best interests to settle the claim.

What compensation is available after an auto accident?

You may be entitled to recover damages to pay for your medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earnings, disability, and pain and suffering.

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?

There are many types of personal injury claims and each type has a specific statute of limitations. In most car accidents you have two years from the date of accident or two years from the last no-fault medical payment. In most other personal injury claims you generally have one year from the date of injury. You should contact us as soon as possible in order to determine your specific statute of limitations.

What damages are able to be included in a personal injury claim?

  • Pain and Suffering: compensation for physical pain and emotional pain you have suffered.
  • Medical Expenses: the cost of reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred and/or the cost of reasonably and necessary medical expenses to be incurred in the future because of your injury.
  • Lost Wages: you are entitled to recover your lost wages suffered from your injuries.
  • Future Loss of Earnings: in the event that your injuries have permanently limited your ability to earn.
  • Disfigurement: if your injury causes scarring you are entitled to recover for the disfigurement, as well as the costs of cosmetic surgery if reasonable and necessary.

Will I be reimbursed my out of pocket expenses?

You will need to keep your receipts from any prescriptions or medications or co-pays that you have had to personally pay and any other out-of-pocket expenses. As some of these expenses may be taken into consideration at the time of settlement with the insurance company.

Questions? Contact Us.

Our lawyers are here to answer your questions. We offer honest advice in a comfortable environment. Let us answer your questions by arranging a free consultation. Call 270-872-4537 or send us an email.