Strategies Frequently Employed By Insurance Companies In Personal Injury Cases In Kentucky [Part II]
This is the second installment in our two-part blog post on the typical defenses that may be raised in a Kentucky personal injury case. While the exact defenses that may be raised will be based on the type of injury case and specific facts, there are certain defenses that may be alleged in a wide variety of personal injury cases. We invite you to review Part I of this blog for other defenses and strategies that insurance companies employ to avoid liability or mitigate the amount they pay on injury claims brought by victims of their insured.
Kentucky Statute of Limitations: The legal system imposes severe penalties for failure to comply with timing deadlines. Personal injury and product liability claims in Kentucky are governed by a one year statute of limitations. A personal injury lawsuit must be filed within the period of the statute of limitations or the claim will be permanently barred. There is no "hardship exception" to the statute of limitations even if the other party was clearly negligent or even reckless and undeniably caused your injuries. There are certain situations where the statute of limitations is suspended temporarily (called "tolling"), such as if the injury victim is a minor. Because of this tolling process, you should consult with a Kentucky personal injury lawyer even if you believe the statute of limitations may already have run (i.e. expired).
Lack of Mitigation: A personal injury victim has an affirmative legal obligation to reduce the amount of damages one experiences because of an accident. If a patient fails to follow a doctor's orders to continue follow-up rehabilitation, which causes more severe injuries, this may impact the amount of damages you are awarded. It is important to seek prompt medical care, complete your course of treatment and follow through on all follow-up care and/or rehabilitation to avoid failure to mitigate claims.
Alternate Cause of Injury: Insurance companies will request medical records related to past accidents or injuries during the discovery process. If you have indicated that you suffered a back or neck injury involving a spinal disc but have had prior back injuries, the insurance defense attorneys may argue that the disc injury relates to the prior accident or injury rather than the current accident. When accident victims delay seeking medical attention following an automobile collision or fail to obtain recommended diagnostic screening, an injury victim may create a basis for asserting this type of defense.
Imposing Financial Pressure through Delay: Insurance companies understand that the inability of those with serious injury to work for prolonged periods can cause enormous financial hardships. An injury victim's mortgage company and other creditors will not typically wait for someone to recover from injury and get back to work. The insurance company may stall progress on a personal injury lawsuit as long as possible to increase the financial pressure on an injury victim to settle for less than the actual value of a claim. This is a tactic that is not as effective when you are represented by a knowledgeable Kentucky personal injury attorney who can file motions for sanctions or take other steps to counter frivolous tactics designed to create unreasonable delays.
If you have suffered serious injury or a loved one has died because of the negligent, reckless or intentional misconduct of another, our experienced Kentucky personal injury attorneys at Goeing and Goeing offer a free consultation so that we can evaluate your claim and identify the appropriate parties to hold financially responsible for your injuries or loss of a loved one. Weencourage you to schedule a FREE consultation and contact us or visit our website at www.kylawpractice.com. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with your legal needs!