Kentucky Personal Injury Law

Statutes of Limitations: The amount of time you have to sue whoever caused your injury or damage.

  • Personal Injury – 1 year
  • Damage to Personal Property – 2 years
  • Medical Malpractice – 1 year from when the injury was discovered, but not more than 5 years after the act that caused the injury
  • Legal Malpractice – 1 year
  • Other Professional Malpractice – 1 year

Where to Sue:

  • Personal injury claims under $1,500 - Kentucky Small Claims Division (the Small Claims Division is a division of the Kentucky District Court)
  • Personal injury claims between $1,500-$4,000 - Kentucky District Court
  • Personal injury claims over $4,000 - Kentucky Circuit Court

How to Sue:

Small Claims Court:

  • Forms: Kentucky Small Claims Complaint (Form AOC-175); Kentucky Small Claims Summons (Form AOC-180).
  • Where to file: You can file your personal injury lawsuit in the Kentucky district where the defendant has his place of residence or does business.
  • How to notify the defendant (service): A sheriff or constable can serve the defendant. Alternatively, the defendant can be served by certified or registered mail return receipt requested.
  • Proving the defendant was notified: If a sheriff or constable serves the defendant, he must sign and make a return of service to the clerk of the Small Claims Division of the Kentucky District Court. The return receipt is sufficient proof of service of process if the defendant was served by certified mail.
  • Attorneys: Kentucky Small Claims Courts permit plaintiffs to have legal representation.
  • Appealing a small claim: The plaintiff or the defendant can appeal the decision of a Kentucky Small Claims Court within 10 days to the Circuit Court for a review of the law.

Kentucky District Court: When filing your personal injury case in Kentucky District Court, you should seek help from a Kentucky personal injury attorney, as the process can be complex. You must be able to understand the rules of the Kentucky court system and ensure that mistakes are not made in the filing process that can lead to negative consequences for you.

  • Forms: Kentucky Civil Summons (Form AOC-105); Complaint.
  • How to File: File the Kentucky Civil Summons and Complaint with the clerk of the Kentucky District Court. The clerk will tell you how much to pay for the filing fee, and will stamp the Kentucky Civil Summons and Complaint before they are served on the defendant.
  • How to Notify the Defendant: A sheriff or constable can serve the defendant with the Kentucky Civil Summons and Complaint by handing the papers to him. Complete a certificate or affidavit of service and give the completed form to the clerk of the Kentucky District Court or produce the return receipt if you mailed the Kentucky Civil Summons and Complaint by certified mail.

What to Do if You Are Being Sued:

  • Time to respond to a Summons in Kentucky: 20 days.
  • Lawsuits against you can be intimidating. The good news is that they can be more easily managed with the help of an attorney. Before contacting an attorney, notify your insurance company if the plaintiff's injury resulted from an incident at your residence or business. Your insurance company may supply you a lawyer who specializes in cases such as yours.

What to Do if a Judgment Was Entered Against You: In Kentucky, if you do not reply to a summons and complaint within 20 days, the court may enter a judgment against you, and find in the plaintiff's favor. The result of such a finding is that you must pay what the plaintiff pled for in his complaint. You can move to set aside a default judgment in Kentucky, but filing such a motion can be tricky, and obtaining legal counsel is advised.

  • Time to Set Aside a Judgment in Kentucky:
    • A Kentucky District Court can set aside a judgment for newly discovered evidence, mistake, surprise, fraud, or excusable neglect within a reasonable time, but not more than a year after the judgment was taken
    • A Kentucky District Court can set aside a default judgment for clerical errors at its own initiative at any time

Ways to Collect Your Judgment:

  • If you succeed in winning your Kentucky personal injury lawsuit and the debtor refuses to pay, you must first locate the debtor's assets. Then, you must ask the court for a Writ of Execution against the debtor's personal and real property, and a Writ of Garnishment against the debtor's wages and bank accounts. Debt collection attorneys specialize in this process and contacting a Kentucky debt collection lawyer can help you to receive your money more swiftly.
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