In May of 2013, the Supreme Court of Kentucky decided a case that involved a Kentucky pedestrian struck by an uninsured car. (See Samons v. Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, 2013 WL 2285087 (Ky. 2013)). The pedestrian in this case was actually riding horseback, but for legal purposes, is considered a pedestrian. At the time of the car accident, the driver was test driving the vehicle. The vehicle was uninsured. So, the plaintiff sued the driver of the vehicle for his personal injuries and sued for his no-fault benefits. The personal injury bodily injury part of the policy settled with the plaintiff paying him the policy limits of $25,0000. The circuit court also entered a final order declining coverage for the pedestrian and ordered the defendant to pay him the no fault benefits. The Court of Appeals reversed holding that Kentucky law did not allow the plaintiff to recover and that the defendant’s policy excluded the plaintiff. This court on discretionary review looked at the case to decide whether a pedestrian struck by an uninsured vehicle being driven by an insured driver can recover no-fault benefits from the driver’s insurance company. This court found that it did based on the applicable statutory and policy language being clear and that the public policy on this point is strong. Id. The Kentucky pedestrian struck by uninsured car accident lawyer had finally won his case for his client.
At the time of the Kentucky car accident the plaintiff on the horseback had no personal automobile insurance. The driver of the car had personal injury protection (PIP) of $10,000. The plaintiff sued alleging a right to basic reparation benefits (BRBs), and personal injury claim. The case at the trial level was bifurcated. The trial court ruled that the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (MVRA) policy of compulsory insurance required that the insurance company pay BRBs to the plaintiff, and that the policy did indeed cover the plaintiff because it covered the owner for the use of any motor vehicle and any pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle the defendant drove. The Court of Appeals reversed because there was no insurance on the vehicle and thus the plaintiff was not entitled to BRB’s from the insurance company but instead could seek them under the Assigned Claims Plan. But, plaintiff’s Kentucky pedestrian struck by uninsured car accident lawyer new this was wrong so he kept fighting. He appealed it to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Kentucky is a no-fault state. This allows for prompt and liberal recovery to accident victims without regard to fault. Id. Basic reparation benefits, often labeled PIP in insurance polices are “benefits providing reimbursement for net loss suffered through injury arising out of the operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle.” (cites omitted). KRS 304.39-050(1) state that the “basic reparation insurance applicable to bodily injury … is the security covering the vehicle occupied by the inured person at the time of the accident.” And if “the injured person is a pedestrian, the security covering the vehicle which struck such pedestrian” is responsible for payment of BRBs. Id.
This Kentucky pedestrian struck by an uninsured car was a unique one to this court. The car itself was uninsured but the driver at the time had insurance. The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has said that when a vehicle is not insured by its owner, the insurance overage of its operator may provide the statutorily required minimum coverage. (cites omitted).
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky Pedestrian Struck by Uninsured Car Case, please call and speak to a Kentucky pedestrian struck by uninsured car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!