Frequently Asked Questions

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Answers for your personal injury case.

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Law Firm Questions
Why should I hire Ward + Associates?
When you come to us, we understand you’re hurting. People don’t search for an injury attorney unless something bad has happened. Sometimes that hurt is physical, sometimes it’s emotional, and sometimes it’s financial. Often, it’s a combination of all three. And when you’re hurting, you may not think as clearly as you normally would. That’s why you need a trusted source guiding you through the maze of doctor appointments, therapists, never-ending forms, wage-replacement applications, and calls and paperwork from insurance companies. This is what our team does every single day.

We truly understand that if you’re looking for a car accident attorney, a wrongful death attorney, or medical malpractice attorneys, it’s one of the worst times of your life. We want to be your trusted source helping you recover more. Recover more hope. More compensation. And more peace of mind.
Why should I hire Ward + Associates instead of our family’s attorney?
Attorneys are like doctors. Your local, primary care doctor is like your family attorney. Your primary care doctor treats your sinus infection, and your family attorney prepares deeds and wills. We’re like the doctor that focuses only on treating your heart. We focus only on helping the families of people who’ve been injured or who’ve died. We don’t do divorce cases. We don’t do criminal cases. We focus on clients who have been injured because someone else messed up. Because we limit our practice and focus exclusively on helping injured people, their families, and the families of people who’ve died, we have more time and resources to devote to your case. Also, ask your family attorney if they use algorithms to help them understand the value of your case. Nearly every industry uses data and Artificial Intelligence to better inform decision-making, and unfortunately, most lawyers remain ignorant of ways to use data to maximize a client’s recovery. While no mathematical formula can adequately capture someone else’s pain and suffering, we believe that understanding what the other side thinks, can only improve the outcome for our clients.
How will I pay for legal services from Ward + Associates?
We don’t charge anything up front–we only get paid a percentage after we recover money for you. This is called a contingency fee. Our fee is contingent upon us successfully recovering more for you. Because our fee is based on a percentage, the more we recover for you, the more we get paid. So it is in both your interest and our interest to ensure we recover more. If we don’t recover anything, you don’t owe us anything. And here’s the thing, we don’t like not getting paid, so that makes us work that much harder for you.

Many attorneys will tell you that their fee is 33% of whatever they recover for the client. What many attorneys don’t tell you is that they nickel-and-dime you for every piece of paper copied, every long-distance phone call (supposedly, that’s still a thing), and every stamp and envelope. And magically, by the time they add-on expenses, the total amount your family ends up paying usually exceeds 40%. We believe the right thing to do is to tell the truth–upfront. For most of the cases we take, we charge a 40% contingency fee, but we don’t charge you for expenses unless we have to file a lawsuit. We can’t expect to be your trusted source if we’re not willing to be upfront with you. Even if that means we lose a few clients because they believe they’re getting a better deal from an attorney with a stated-contingency fee that starts lower, we’re okay with that. Because at the end of the day, we believe we’ve done the right thing by being honest and transparent. And we believe the old adage that–you get what you pay for–is often spot on.

We’ve also successfully handled cases that other attorneys have turned down because of the complexity. In those cases, our contingency fee is usually higher since complex cases take more resources up front and the outcome is less certain. It’s always important to read every part of your fee agreement with our firm, and we want to make sure you understand every part of it. We believe it’s better to be communicative from the start so that everyone is on the same page from the beginning of the case, so that there are no surprises at the end.
Will Ward + Associates settle my case, or take it to court?
This is one of those dreaded lawyer answers–it depends. It depends on the kind of case. Nearly all medical malpractice attorneys agree that these cases require filing a complaint in court–it’s just the nature of a medical malpractice case. However, a good car accident attorney knows that if you put your case together well, make sure all of a client’s injuries are documented by medical professionals, and then demonstrate how the injuries affect the client’s everyday life, the likelihood of settling the case out-of-court increases. Each case is different. Sometimes in a case we would normally try to settle with an insurance company before filing suit, we end up filing suit because the statute of limitations is fast approaching and we have to ensure that you don’t lose your right to recover. We will never settle a case without your authorization, whether that’s before a lawsuit is filed or after. We’re here to be communicative and advise you of the best course of action, and it’s up to you to make the final decision.
I can’t travel because of my injuries. Will you still be able to work with me?
Absolutely! Here’s our commitment: you don’t have to worry about coming to our office because we come to you, either virtually or in-person. We have invested heavily in technology to facilitate better communication with our clients precisely because we know that when you’re injured, the last thing you want to do is to hobble around trying to come see an attorney. The way we look at it, you’re the one that’s injured, not us. That’s why we do everything we can to make working with you convenient–for you. We use several ways to video conference with you from any cell phone. And you don’t even have to download an app. And if needed, we’ll come to you. It’s not uncommon for clients to ask that we visit them in the hospital. We’re here to help with the legal implications of what happened so that you can focus on what matters most–getting better.
Injury Law Questions
I’m not sure if I have a case. What should I do?
When you’re not sure if you have a case, the best thing to do is to set up a free consultation with one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Ward + Associates. We will do a thorough case review for free, and let you know if we believe we can help.

The simplest case can be incredibly complex legally. There are many things that can make it difficult to know whether you should pursue your case. Is your injury the result of someone else’s negligence, or was it “just an accident,” or maybe just a case of sometimes bad things happen? Is the person who caused the injury able to compensate you for the losses? Or, at least do they have insurance that can pay for the harm they caused you?
You are not expected to know any of these things. You also are not expected to pay a personal injury lawyer just to find out if you have a case. The injury lawyers at Ward + Associates are ready to talk to you, whether on the phone, virtually, or in person, and give you a free consultation and evaluation. It’s also important to remember that, if we believe you have a case and you agree to hire us, you don’t owe us any money unless and until we recover money for you.

If you’re not sure whether you have a case, the best thing to do is give us a call and talk to one of the injury attorneys at Ward + Associates today. Call our Lexington office at 859-309-8225 or our eastern Kentucky office at 606-634-9600. Or feel free to text us at the button in the corner of the screen and we’ll set up a time to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys–often an appointment with an attorney–not a call center agent–is immediately available. If not, we’ll find the soonest time convenient for you and arrange a call.
How long will it take to complete the case and recover damages?
This is a really important question because many people who have suffered injuries have also lost a lot of money. This includes lost income if your injuries keep you from working, and also money that you have to pay to receive medical care even if you have health insurance. Some lawyers may tell you that they can recover money for you very quickly. Sometimes that is true, but not always. Many times, in order to get money quickly, you have to accept much less than you are truly entitled to receive.

To put a specific time frame on recovery is virtually impossible. Very few cases are resolved in less than 6 months, and that’s not the kind of case you want because it usually means that there are severe injuries and very little insurance money to compensate the victim. Most cases take from 6 months to a year to recover. At Ward + Associates, we usually try to resolve cases without filing a lawsuit because that is the quickest and least expensive way to do so. But many times, the person or company who caused the injury will not agree to pay a fair amount, and we have no real choice but to file a lawsuit. In cases like that, it usually takes about a year to complete the case and recover damages.

Every case is different. The only way for us to give you specific advice about your injuries or the injuries of a loved one is for you to call and take advantage of a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will take the time to talk to you about your case, and give you solid advice about what you need to do to protect your rights and your finances. If you need help with a personal injury case, call Ward + Associates today at our Lexington office at 859-309-8225 or our eastern Kentucky office at 606-634-9600. Or feel free to text us at the button in the corner of the screen and we’ll set up a time to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys–often an appointment with an attorney–not a call center agent–is immediately available. If not, we’ll find the soonest time convenient for you and arrange a call.
Who is responsible for my medical bills?
Virtually every personal injury case involves medical bills. Those costs can be very difficult for the person injured and for their family. If you hire the experienced personal injury attorneys at Ward + Associates, it will be our job to help you make sure that your finances are protected.

Who is responsible for your medical costs depends on the specific circumstances of your case. This post will discuss a few of the factors that we consider to advise you.

First, the party ultimately responsible for paying your medical costs is the person or company who caused your injuries by acting negligently. However, it often takes a long time to make that person or company pay what they truly owe. In some cases, they just don’t have enough money or insurance to pay all of your medical costs. In that type of case, it’s important to have other ways to make sure you can protect your health.
Second, do you have health insurance? While someone else who caused your injuries may ultimately be responsible for those costs, usually your health insurance will pay your medical expenses. Your health insurance is usually entitled to get reimbursed for some or all of the costs paid for your medical expenses related to the injury, but it is still almost always a good idea to have your health insurance pay. The person or company who caused the injuries will almost never pay your medical costs as you get treatment, so it’s very important to have your health insurance pay so that the medical expenses don’t destroy you financially. Also, your health insurance usually has negotiated rates with most medical providers, so they will pay less for the same care than you pay if you paid it yourself.

Third, do you have Medicare or Medicaid? If so, the same basic principles apply for these government benefits as for health insurance. It’s not exactly the same, though, and Ward + Associates attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to walk you through the process.

Fourth, if you do not have health insurance, there are often ways that competent personal injury lawyers can help you get the medical care you need without waiting months and months before the responsible party actually pays.

The most important thing to remember is that your health is the most important thing. At Ward + Associates, we will help you understand the process and advise you about how to get the medical care you need without waiting until it’s too late. The initial consultation is free, and if we can represent you, you don’t have to pay us unless we recover compensation for you.
Can my family members seek damages for my injury?
Family members go through a lot when a loved one suffers a personal injury or dies due to someone else’s bad acts. Kentucky law recognizes this reality. As such, in addition to the damages owed to the injured or deceased family member, Kentucky law also allows certain family members to recover their own personal injury damages through the following causes of action:

1. Wrongful Death claim
2. Loss of Consortium claim
3. Negligent infliction of emotional distress claim

Unfortunately, Kentucky law is limited as to the family members allowed to directly recover under these laws. In most cases, only spouses and children are allowed to recover their own damages for a loved one’s injury or death, but it is always important to talk to a qualified Kentucky personal injury attorney to see if an exception entitles you to your own damages.


KRS 411.130 is the Kentucky statute that allows for family members to recover their own damages upon the wrongful death of a loved one. These damages include the loss of financial support, loss of parental companionship, and reimbursement for future services you would have received if your loved one was still alive. The wrongful death statute clearly sets out that all wrongful death damages are to be divided between the surviving spouse and children only. As such, parents and brothers and sisters of the family member that died are not allowed to recover their own damages under the wrongful death statute.

DO NOT FORGET: even if your loved one died as a result of the personal injuries they sustained, any lawsuit your loved one might have had personally for those injuries can move forward after their death. Your loved one’s Estate must be opened, and the personal representative of the estate can then seek damages for the pain and suffering sustained by your loved one before their death along with any hospital bills, funeral bills, and probate costs. Any money recovered under this scenario goes to the Estate. However, if your loved one did not have any children or a spouse at the time of the wrongful death, brothers or sisters or parents of the deceased family member may be able to inherit the damages owed to your loved one’s estate. That is why it is always important to talk to a qualified Kentucky wrongful death attorney following the death of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence.


KRS 411.145 allows a spouse to bring a cause of action for their own damages following a severe personal injury or death to their husband or wife due to the negligence of another person. The Kentucky loss of consortium statute specifically allows a spouse to recover damages for “the services, assistance, aid, society, companionship and conjugal relationship between spouses. An easier way to say this is you would get to recover for the loss of your relationship with your spouse, including a loss of a sexual relationship, if your spouse is severely injured or killed. So, factors like living arrangements, closeness of the marital relationship, and services your spouse provided for you will be important in determining the amount of damages you are entitled to receive.

If a child’s parent is killed by someone else’s negligence, the child has a loss of parental consortium claim against the at-fault person. Before a child turns 18, they cannot maintain a legal action in their own name, so they must have an adult bring the claim on the child’s behalf as a “next friend” or as guardian of the minor child. Losing a parent is one of the most traumatic events that happen in life, especially as a child.

If the unimaginable happens and a parent loses a child under the age of 18, KRS 411.135 specifically allows the measure of damages in the wrongful death action brought on behalf of the child to include loss of affection and companionship, in addition to the other damages set out in the more general wrongful death statute.

Kentucky law isn’t simple or straight-forward when it comes to losing a loved one as a result of another person’s negligence or bad actions. That’s why it’s extremely important to speak with one of our attorneys who have experience navigating these treacherous legal waters, so that you can focus on what matters most: your family.


A claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress is an exception where you do not have to be a spouse or child of an injured or deceased loved one to recover damages. A claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress may exist if you witness a loved one being severely injured or killed. However, to recover under this cause of action, you cannot simply claim that you have severe emotional distress. You will need to provide good evidence that your emotional distress is in fact severe. And you will need an expert witness to provide testimony supporting your claim of severe emotional distress.


Don’t worry, you don’t have to go through this alone. Our personal injury attorneys and our Client Care Team are here to help make sense of all the legal speak, and to help you on the road to Recover More: More peace of mind, More hope, and More compensation.
How involved is my family allowed to be in my case?
Severe injuries create unexpected and unplanned difficulties in a loved one’s life. Adding the burdens of a lawsuit on top of that can be too much for them to handle alone. That is why as compassionate Kentucky personal injury attorneys, we encourage other family members to be engaged in their loved one’s case. Family members are also an important source of information for us, such as past and current treating doctors, dates of treatment, and even how the accident happened.

An involved family member also can play an important role in communicating with us about the status of the case and helping your loved one understand the litigation process and how things are moving forward. This “buffer” type approach allows for the loved one to focus on healing and getting better while the case moves forward, rather than worrying about the ongoing processes of litigation.

There are some instances where the injuries are so severe, like a traumatic brain injury following a trucking accident, where a loved one needs to be appointed as a legal guardian by a Kentucky Court to formally act on the loved one’s behalf. In this case, legally, the guardian essentially stands in to protect your loved one’s rights.

There are some instances, however, where a family member cannot be involved. For example, sometimes the need to protect attorney client privilege requires us to communicate directly with the client. Also, there are rare cases where the family member may be a potential defendant who the loved one may have a claim against, so that family member cannot be involved in the loved one’s case.

Other than these rare exceptions, we strongly encourage a loved one’s family to be involved in their case. It helps your loved one, it helps us, and it can help get the case to resolution quicker and with less difficulties. And ultimately, it’s our goal for you to take care of your family, and let us take care of the rest.
I wonder if I really need a lawyer. Can you convince me that I do?
Having to hire and deal with a lawyer is not on the top of anyone’s wish list, so your reluctance is understandable. What you need to understand is that after suffering a personal injury in Kentucky, a personal injury lawyer is not a luxury but, rather, a necessity. The person that injured you will have an insurance adjuster and lawyers on their side doing all they can to make sure you get nothing or as little as possible for your injuries, no matter how severe they are. The insurance company will use every trick in the book to delay, deny, and defend against your claim with the hope that you’ll simply give up and go away. Never forget that an insurance company’s goal is to make money, and they do that by refusing to compensate injured people, including you. That’s why it is important to have an experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyer on your side who understands the games insurance company’s play and can fight fire with fire to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Another reason to hire a lawyer is so you can focus on healing and getting better. Dealing with an insurance claim simply adds unnecessary stresses and frustrations to an already difficult situation. Hiring a personal injury lawyer takes this burden off your shoulders when you’re already dealing with so much. You focus on healing, and let us deal with the insurance company.

Another reason for you to hire a Kentucky personal injury attorney is because a quality personal injury attorney adds value to your claim. Many people think that they can settle the case and keep all the money rather than paying an attorney. That is short sided. If you do not understand how to effectively handle insurance claims and deal with adjusters and lawyers, you will likely leave lots of money on the table that an experienced lawyer would be able to recover for you. In other words, an experienced personal injury lawyer increases the value of your case, which more than covers the fees you pay. In other words, we more than pay for ourselves.

Lastly, do not just hire any random personal injury attorney. Hire one that actually cares about your wellbeing. Many of the larger personal injury law firms that you see on TV or hear on the radio sign hundreds of cases a week. Your case would simply be another file in a long assembly line of files that move along the assembly line without any concern as to how the outcome actually impacts your life. At Ward + Associates, we limit the number of cases that we handle so that our attorneys get to know you and work hard to make sure your personal needs are addressed.
Car Wreck Injury Questions
Do injuries involving trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicle accidents count as automobile accident injuries?
Absolutely. “Automobile accident” is a broad term. Another common term that means the same thing is “motor vehicle accident,” or “MVA.” It’s important to remember that sometimes a person gets injured in an automobile accident when he or she is not actually in an automobile. For example, when an automobile strikes someone who is walking or on a bike, that is an automobile accident. The person who was injured may be entitled to compensation if the accident was caused by the person driving the automobile.

Automobile accidents can get complicated. That’s why, if you have questions, you should contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Ward + Associates. We have handled countless motor vehicle accidents and helped people receive compensation for their injuries. Call us now at our Lexington office at 859-309-8225 or our Eastern Kentucky office at 606-634-9600. The consultation is free. If we can help, we don’t get paid until your loved one gets paid, so there’s nothing to lose.
A car hit me as I was walking. Can a claim be filed for a pedestrian hit by a car?
Absolutely. More and more, injuries caused by vehicles are from Car vs. People collisions. We all know that when something as large and heavy as a car or truck strikes a pedestrian, the injuries to the person are often very severe. We have extensive experience handling pedestrians struck by vehicles including children, people in wheelchairs, and adults. Because these cases often involve such severe injuries, it is extremely important that you contact us immediately at our Lexington office at 859-309-8225 or our eastern Kentucky office at 606-634-9600. And make sure you tell us as soon as we answer the phone that you’re calling about a case involving a injuries to a pedestrian.
How long do I have to file a legal claim after a car accident?
Kentucky law provides a two-year statute of limitations for injuries from motor vehicle collisions with some exceptions. The best thing to do is immediately call one of our injury attorneys as soon as your loved one is injured in a car accident. Even though your family member may have two years to file suit, there are other considerations that need to be addressed as soon as you receive medical treatment, like reserving their PIP benefits in order to keep the hospital from taking all $10,000. You’re not in this alone. We’re here to help. You take care of healing. We’ll take care of the rest.
What if the police report says both drivers are at fault? Can I still recover?
Yes. Kentucky is a comparative negligence state, meaning that a jury gets to determine how much each driver is at fault. For every percentage of fault a jury places on you, your damages are decreased by that amount. For example, if a jury says your damages are $100,000 dollars but you are 20% at fault, you would be awarded $80,000 from the other driver.

Using the same example, if the jury determines that you are 75% at fault, then your damages would be reduced to $25,000.

Experienced personal injury attorneys know that sometimes the police get it wrong, so if you’ve been injured, you should give us a call, and Let’s Discuss Your Case.
Should I talk to the insurance company when they call?
No. Do not speak with anyone from the insurance company until you’ve spoken with an attorney. Doing so could jeopardize your chance of recovery. The job of an insurance company adjuster (not the local folks from whom you purchased insurance) is to pay out as little as possible on any claim and that often means talking to you like a friend to get you to say things that can be taken out-of-context. These folks, while they may be nice, are not calling to help you.
Who pays for my medical bills from a car accident?
In Kentucky, every person injured in a car accident has $10,000 of PIP, or personal injury protection as part of their own insurance policy that pays for things like medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who’s at fault. However, you want to make that money stretch as far as possible, so when you get a monetary award from the other driver’s insurance, you get to keep more of that in your pocket. When you add Ward + Associates to your Recovery Team, we make sure to reserve and direct your PIP benefits to make sure you put the most money possible in your pocket.
I went to the ER and they said I was okay, but I don’t feel okay. Is there anything I can do?
When you go to the ER after a car wreck, they’re checking you out to make sure you don’t have any life-threatening injuries and aren’t going to die in the next 24 hours. Rarely will you get a thorough exam in the ER that addresses all of the aches and pains that you’re starting to feel after a car accident. That’s why it’s important to get to your primary care physician so that you can have a thorough physical exam and can be referred to specialists, if needed. For instance, anytime an air bag deploys in a collision, it is very likely that you’ll have what’s commonly called a concussion, but is better known as a TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury. CT scans and regular MRIs are not good at identifying this injury, that’s why you’ll need to go to to a doctor and facility that has the appropriate equipment. Give us a call, and Let’s Discuss Your Case.
What are some common injuries people suffer in a car accident?
Every person and every car accident is different; however, there are some common injuries many people suffer when they’ve been in a car wreck. These include: bulging or herniated discs in your neck and back, concussion/TBI (traumatic brain injury) especially if the airbag deployed, if you hit your head, or even by stopping abruptly, muscle strains and sprains, neck trauma and reduced range of motion–and these are just the injuries that are harder to diagnose than a broken bone. And lots of times, it may be some time after the wreck before you begin to feel much pain because your body is still filled with adrenaline that was released at the time of the collision. It’s important to note that there are many other types of injuries, and each person is different, that’s why it’s important to get a thorough medical check-up, even if you were examined at the ER. Give us a call, and Let’s Discuss Your Case.
Car Insurance Questions
Do I get a rental car?
If your car requires repair after an accident, the other driver’s insurance is most often responsible for providing you a rental car. However, sometimes your own insurance policy will provide this same coverage and will get you into a car faster, and often longer.
What happens if my car is totaled?
When your vehicle is “totaled” that means that the insurance company has determined that it is cheaper to pay you the market value of your vehicle, than to pay a body shop to repair it. Sometimes this means that you may still owe more on your car than what the insurance company is willing to pay. That’s when you need to check to see if you have gap insurance coverage, that will cover the difference between what you owe on the vehicle and what the vehicle is worth.
Do any of the coverages that I pay for with my insurance company help me any?
Yes, that’s a possibility. If you purchased UIM (underinsured) or UM (uninsured) motorists coverage from your insurance company, those policies can step in if the person that caused the wreck either doesn’t have insurance (UM) or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all of the damages to you (UIM). You may also have chosen to increase the amount of PIP (Personal Injury Protection) from the state minimum of $10,000 to a higher amount. Figuring out which of the policies you paid for will actually help compensate you for damages caused by the other driver can be complicated and confusing. But you don’t have to go down that road alone. That’s why we’re here. Give us a call, and Let’s Discuss Your Case.
Medical Malpractice Injury Questions
What is medical malpractice?
A legally-recognizable medical malpractice claim exists when a doctor strays from the accepted “standard of care” resulting in harm to a patient. A bad medical outcome does not automatically equal medical malpractice.
Can a nurse, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or other healthcare provider be held responsible for medical malpractice?
Yes. Often these providers work under the direction of a doctor who may also be responsible for the actions of these providers.
Will I have to file a lawsuit in court to pursue a medical malpractice claim?
To be honest, yes, you will likely have to go to court in order to recover for the harm suffered as a result of medical malpractice. In general, a medical malpractice case is one of the most complicated type-of-cases seen in Kentucky courts. And complicated cases rarely settle prior to a lawsuit being filed.
How long can I wait before filing a medical malpractice claim?
In general, the statute of limitation for medical malpractice in Kentucky is one year. However, under certain circumstances, that time period is longer. For instance, if a child has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, you have a longer time to file depending on the age of the child. Or, in some cases, if a doctor only recently informed you that some injury you have was caused by something a doctor did years ago (like leaving a surgical sponge in your belly during a surgery) and you had no way of knowing about it until recently, you may be able to still pursue a medical malpractice claim.

Because medical malpractice claims are so complex and a proper evaluation takes time, you never want to put off getting a free consultation with our Lexington malpractice lawyers. If you think your family member may be a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to call our Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys as soon as possible. Often the worst conversations we have are with people who waited a little too long to talk to an attorney and now they cannot pursue what would have been a valid claim.
Still have questions? Call now for your free consultation with an attorney

Call 859-309-8225
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