While no-fault coverage seems like it relates to who caused the accident, that’s not the case.
No-fault coverage also is referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which is a little more explanatory. In basic PIP coverage, your insurance company pays you for medical expenses, lost wages and similar costs due to an injury occurring in an automobile accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also means that you cannot recover damages from the at-fault party unless your injuries exceed certain thresholds.
In an effort to reduce long legal battles and high insurance premiums, no-fault insurance has been adopted in thirteen states including Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah .
Kentucky enacted the Motor Vehicle Reparations Act, KRS 304.39 (referred to as the No-Fault Law) in 1975. This law has two components: personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and limitations on an individual’s right to sue and be sued.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
Kentucky requires basic PIP coverage on all motor vehicles except motorcycles. Basic PIP is to be paid by the insurer of the vehicle in which the injured person is riding at the time of an accident, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
Basic PIP provides up to $10,000 per person per accident for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs due to an injury. Higher benefits and deductibles are optional.
Limitations on an individual’s rights to sue and be sued (tort rights)
All people who register, operate, or maintain a vehicle in Kentucky are deemed to have accepted limitations on their rights to sue and be sued (tort rights). This means injured people cannot recover medical expenses, wage loss, or pain and suffering from the at-fault party unless their injuries exceed certain thresholds.
The thresholds are $1,000 in medical expenses, a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, permanent injury, or death KRS 304.39-060.
Basic PIP coverage is optional for motorcycles. According to KRS 304.39-040, unless basic PIP coverage is purchased for the motorcycle, neither the operator nor the passenger of the motorcycle is entitled to collect basic PIP benefits from any source. If a motorcycle owner doesn’t purchase PIP coverage, he/she is still considered to have accepted the limitations on rights to sue and be sued, unless a no-fault rejection form is filed. A no-fault rejection form must also be filled out in order to recover the first $10,000 of a motorcycle injury claim from the at-fault party.
Insurance coverage and claims can be confusing to someone who isn’t familiar with the subject. A personal injury attorney can guide you through the process and help you make truly informed decisions.