Monday, October 12, 2009

Can you make both a worker’s compensation claim and personal injury claim if you are injured at work while operating a vehicle?

The simple answer is YES. However, you cannot duplicate benefits.

Workers’ compensation benefits provide three distinct benefits:

1. Full coverage for medical expenses for the rest of your life so long your medical expenses are related to the injuries suffered in the work related accident. (this benefit is a tremendous benefit because workers’ compensation pays for 100% of your medical expenses(no deductibles or coinsurance limits) and it lasts for your entire life.
2. 2/3rds wage replacement for time off work due to your accident.
3. Award for permanent impairment rating should your injury be permanent in nature.

Personal injury laws provide for the following damages:

1. Medical expenses incurred in the past and future medical expenses to the extent the treating doctor can anticipate them to be incurred in the future.
2. Pain and Suffering. A reasonable amount of money to compensate you for the pain, inconvenience, impairment of lifestyle, etc. This damage is not part of the workers’ compensation system.
3. Past and Future Lost Wages. This element of damage is similar to the wage benefits provided through workers’ compensation. An auto accident victim would be entitled to the 1/3 of past wages not paid by workers’ compensation (called “excess lost wages”) and the car wreck victim would be entitled to any impairment to his earning capacity minus the award for permanent impairment rating.

A lot of states make you choose between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim or simply limit you to a workers’ compensation claim. Kentucky allows you to make both but not to duplicate. In order to maximize your recovery of the benefits described above, contact the Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney at 1-502-241-8000 or

Monday, October 5, 2009

What is a reasonable contingency fee in an auto accident case?

I have been handling auto accident cases since 1986 and, during the entire time I have been practicing, the standard contingency fee in an auto accident case has been 33 & 1/3%. There is no law guiding the amount of attorneys’ fees other than the requirement that the fee must be “reasonable.” Lately, I have seen that attorneys have been raising their fee to 35% and 40% and the question is whether that is reasonable.
Due to inflation, verdicts for victims of auto accidents have increased over time and as a result I believe there is no justification for attorneys to raise their contingency fees. The attorneys who pay thousands of dollars on advertising may justify the higher fees to cover their advertising costs, but consumers need to be aware of this fact.
When looking for an attorney carefully consider the amount of his fee and do not simply accept that what he requires is reasonable. Also, if an attorney ever tells you that his exceptional skills warrant a higher fee remind him that if this is true then he will make more money by obtaining a larger settlement or jury verdict and thereby be paid for his skill. By charging a higher fee he is simply taking more of the settlement regardless of skill. His skill is actually greed or his ego.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How long does a Kentucky auto accident victim have to file a personal injury claim against the party causing the wreck ?


If you have purchased no-fault insurance on your car or motorcycle or truck, then generally, you have 2 years from the date of your last no-fault payment, but no more than four (4) years। To be safe, you should think of the statute of limitations being 2 years from the date of the accident. If you have a significant injury, you should contact the Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney as soon as possible after your car wreck to allow for proper investigation, maximization of insurance benefits and effective presentation of your claims.


Another reason to contact the Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney soon after your accident is to make sure that some of the exceptions to the above general rule do not apply to your case. Here are some of the exceptions:

1. If you do not have Kentucky no-fault coverage on your vehicle, which is not required for motorcyclists, then your statute of limitations is one year.

2. If the person causing your accident is an employee of a state or county or otherwise protected by sovereign immunity, then you have one (1) year to file your claim and it must be filed before the Board of Claims.

3. If you are filing a claim for someone who died in the auto accident (also known as “wrongful death”), it must be filed in one (1) year.

4. If your claim is a products liability claim, then you may need to file in one (1) year.

5. If your claim is for Uninsured Motorist Benefits or Underinsured Motorist Benefits, then under certain circumstances you may have to file your claim within one (1) year.

As you can see, the answer to the question of how long you have to file a personal injury claim after an auto accident in Kentucky is not simple, which is one of the reasons you need to consult with the Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney as soon as possible after your auto accident, motorcycle accident or truck accident. He can be contacted at 502-241-8000 or

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Procedures to follow after an auto accident

Auto Accident Guide


1 Notify your auto insurance company. Even though the accident is not your fault, it is important to contact your auto insurance agent or the claims department indicated on your insurance card to notify them of your accident. You may lose valuable benefits and rights if you fail to notify your insurance company promptly.

2 Obtain Police Report. The Troutman law office can do this for you and sometimes your no-fault insurance company may do this for you.

3 Obtain rental car and arrange for repair or replacement of your automobile. The Troutman Law Office can do this for you. If you do this on your own, make sure that when you sign a release as part of the settlement on the property damage that the release is for PROPERTY DAMAGES ONLY. Most insurance companies will not try to trick you but you must always make sure.
Contact Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney. The earlier you contact the Troutman Law Office, the earlier and better your rights and insurance benefits can be protected. Here are some examples:

4 Find critical liability evidence. Evidence regarding who caused the accident or why an automobile failed to function properly is usually found close to the time of the accident when the scene is fresh and the condition of the vehicles can be protected. You may believe that the cause of the accident is obvious, but many times parties will dispute liability even after admitting liability at the scene.

5 Reserve no-fault benefits for income claim. Frequently clients contact me after the medical expenses have already exhausted their no-fault benefits, which may leave them with insufficient income to pay their bills. Under Kentucky law, you can instruct your no-fault carrier to reserve your no-fault for lost wages and allow your health carrier to pay your medical bills. This may provide the income you need to pay bills while you are injured an unable to work.

6 Try to settle claim on your own. Sometimes it is wise to settle a case on your own and other times it is foolish. Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney office will give you free advice if you would like to try and resolve case on your own to make sure you do not lose valuable rights. This may occur in the case of underinsured motorists claims. If you receive serious injuries and the insurance company for the at fault party offers you their limits, you could lose the right to claim underinsured motorist benefits by accepting the limits without going through some technical procedures required by Kentucky laws.

7 Obtain appropriate medical care. Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney does not in any way direct medical care of its clients, which is a matter that is between the client and his personal physicians.

8 Process Medical bills with health carrier instead of car insurance (no fault) if you want lost wages from your auto insurance.

9 File worker’s compensation claim if accident is work-related. If you think your employer caused your accident, then you will need to make some informed decisions before filing the worker’s compensation claim. The reason is that once you file a workers compensation claim, you waive your right to a negligence action against your employer.

There are many other considerations that need to be made after you are injured in an auto accident and the best way to make sure these considerations are made is to CONTACT the Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney. You will not be charged for calling and asking for advice and a fee is only earned if you decide to retain the Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney and a recovery is made.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Probably the most common mistake made by accident victims is that they fail to act to protect their no-fault benefits for lost wages. Most of the time, victims fail to realize that they have this right and lose it because their no-fault is quickly exhausted by medical expenses.

Perhaps you are wondering why you would want to protect your no-fault benefits for lost wages. First of all, protecting your no-fault for lost wages is only important if you are off work as a result of your injuries and replacing those wages is important to you. If you do not miss any work or your job provides adequate lost wage replacement benefits (i.e. short and/or long term disability benefits or Aflac-type benefits), then you do not need to be concerned about protecting your no-fault benefits for lost wages.

If you are like most people, you will miss some work and you will want the wage replacement benefits provided by no-fault. Kentucky law allows for you to contact your no-fault insurance company and instruct them to only pay lost wages. The reason this is important is because your medical expenses will exhaust your no-fault benefits before your need for lost wage benefits expire. By protecting your no-fault benefits, you can submit your medical expenses to your health insurance and save your no-fault for lost wages until that need expires.

The right to hold open no-fault benefits is a right that many attorneys and insurance companies fail to know or understand. Your health insurance company may say they will not pay anything until after the no-fault is exhausted. But they are wrong. It is important to have competent counsel from an attorney early in your case in order to protect your no-fault beneits for lost wages.

If you have any questions regarding your no-fault benefits, you may contact attorney Matthew Troutman at 502-241-8000 or by email at