Is Kentucky a “No Fault” State?

If you’re in a car accident, you may be able to get damages for your financial losses and medical bills. Does it matter which driver was at fault, though? The answer is: it depends on whether you’re in a “fault” or “no fault” state. Here’s how the fault system works for the purposes of auto crash claims.

Aug 25, 2023

What Is a No Fault State?

In a no fault state, drivers should have personal injury protection insurance (PIP). With PIP, it doesn't matter who caused a car crash. You file an insurance claim with your own carrier and they pay for your losses such as:

  • Diagnostic tests

  • Doctor's visits

  • Lost income

  • Medical imaging

  • Prescription costs

  • Property damage

  • Rehabilitation costs

  • Out-of-pocket expenses

Who Pays Damages in No Fault States?

Your own insurance company pays for losses in no fault states. They'll only pay out up to a certain threshold, though. The threshold for reimbursement is usually around $10,000 for basic PIP policies. However, you can pay higher premiums for more comprehensive coverage.

What happens if your losses exceed this limit? If the other driver was at fault, then you must sue them directly for the excess losses. For example, you might sue for additional compensation if you have a fracture or other serious injury.

Is Kentucky a No Fault State?

Yes. In Kentucky, no fault insurance (PIP) should be offered by every insurer. So, no matter who caused the crash, you can file a claim with your own insurance company for your losses.

Unlike some other no fault states, though, drivers can "opt out" and choose a different type of insurance policy. Meaning, you can choose an "at fault" type of insurance coverage instead. Here's how it works.

No Fault State: Kentucky Accident Laws

Kentucky is a "choice" no fault state. This means you can either have PIP insurance or you can opt out of these benefits.

  • If you take out personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, your insurer pays your costs up to a certain threshold. If your losses exceed this threshold, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.

  • If you reject PIP, you can choose an alternative insurance policy. If someone else causes a car accident, you can file a personal injury claim and pursue the negligent driver directly. The risk is that, if you're to blame for the accident, you can be sued by the other driver.

Pros and Cons of No Fault States

Every legal system has its pros and cons. Here's an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of no fault laws.

The Pros:

  • In no fault states, you file a car accident claim with your own insurer. This can speed up the claims process in many cases.

  • Depending on what happened, no fault laws can protect drivers from expensive lawsuits.

  • Even if the other driver is uninsured (or underinsured), you can still make a claim.

  • Payouts can, sometimes, be faster in no fault states due to a more efficient claims procedure.

The Cons:

  • You could face higher insurance premiums after a claim, even if the accident wasn't your fault.

  • Unless your medical expenses reach a certain threshold, you can't sue the "at fault" driver for extra costs.

  • Arguably, careless drivers face less consequences. They're not held legally accountable for their actions.

Make a Car Accident Claim Today

As with other negligence claims, the Kentucky "no fault" law can be complicated. If you need help filing a lawsuit or making a car accident claim, we can help. Our accident lawyers have the experience, knowledge, and dedication to get you the damages you deserve. Schedule a consultation with experienced car accident attorneys in KY today!