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Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle

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Jessica Shoulders PhotoBy ELPO Law Attorney Jessica Shoulders

According to the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each year, 24 percent of weather-related crashes occur on snow, slushy, or icy roadways, and 17 percent of all vehicle crashes occur during winter conditions.  With winter approaching, it is important to know what you can do to reduce your chances of being involved in a winter weather related crash and what to do if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being involved in one.

Snow and ice reduce pavement friction and vehicle maneuverability, causing slower speeds, reduced roadway capacity, and increased crash risk. Heavy snow and sleet can also reduce visibility. Lanes and roads are obstructed by snow accumulation, which reduces capacity and increases travel time delay.  If you encounter any of these road conditions, the following tips from AAA and the NHTSA can help you avoid a crash:

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By Kyle Roby, Partner

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Kyle Roby

If you follow ELPO Law on social media (facebook.com/ELPOLaw; @ELPOLaw) or subscribe to our ELPO eNewsletter (click here to subscribe), you are familiar with articles with tips on how to protect your family with car insurance or what happens if you are involved in an accident involving an Uber driver. For most people who are involved in a car wreck, however, it is either their first accident or they have no idea on what happens next. Here are five things that you need to know after being involved in a car wreck:

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By Kyle Roby, Partner

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Kyle Roby

Most of us use the ride sharing service Uber when we need a ride because our car is in the shop or we are planning an evening out on the town. When you call for an Uber, the last thing on your mind is what happens if you are injured in an accident while riding in an Uber. However, as statistics show, accidents involving Uber drivers occur more frequently that one would imagine. Sometimes the Uber driver is at fault while other times it is the fault of another driver. But what happens to you – the passenger – if you are injured? Who will pay you medical bills, lost wages, or other damages?

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By Jessica Shoulders

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Jessica Shoulders

If you’ve driven on a public road, odds are that you have encountered a distracted driver.  In 2017, the most recent year reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,166 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers.

The NHTSA defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.  Texting or using a cell phone is one of the leading causes of distracted driving.  According to the NHTSA, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.  This makes texting not only a common cause of distracted driving, but one of the most dangerous ones, as it takes your eyes away from the road much longer than other distractions.

Unfortunately, keeping an eye out for distracted drivers has become a necessary part of staying safe while on the roadway.  While it is impossible to avoid all distracted drivers, there are signs you can look for to make it easier to spot and avoid drivers who are distracted while behind the wheel.

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By Kyle Roby, Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

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Kyle Roby

A recent Kentucky Supreme Court case addressed the issue of PIP or BRB payments, which are also called no-fault payments. This is part of a class action lawsuit against insurance giant GEICO. The company denied PIP benefits based on a doctor reviewing medical records and not examining the individual. This is known as a peer review of medical records by an out-of-state doctor.

This procedure is not found in the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (MVRA). The plaintiffs argued that this procedure should not have been used as a standard for denying benefits and the Kentucky Supreme Court agreed.  In fact, the Kentucky Supreme Court compared the arguments made by the attorneys and the trial court to coon dogs leading a hunter in the wrong direction or as the old saying goes “they were barking up the wrong tree.”

The case is Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) vs. Jordan Sanders and Anita Houchens (individually and as class representatives). The court handed down the ruling on November 1, and ordered that the ruling was to be published, which means it can be used as a standard in future cases.

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By J.A. Sowell
Attorney, English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

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J.A. Sowell

Meeting with an attorney can be an intimidating experience. We understand and we want to help prepare you for your potential meeting with an attorney following an accident, whether it is me or someone else. Keep in mind that lawyers meet with people every day who are suffering from injuries following a car wreck or truck accident, and we are accustomed to helping clients in every way that we can and making any necessary accommodations for our clients.

You may feel better about the process if you bring someone with you who is calm and can help you stay calm, too. You are welcome to bring that friend or family member with you if that is helpful to you, so long as you understand that we may be discussing personal business with you.

The initial consultation with our attorneys in accident cases is free.

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By Kyle Roby, Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

commercial vehicle accidents Kentucky

Roads throughout Kentucky, but particularly in our area, are snow-covered, ice-packed and impassable at places today. Many work places, including our own, closed today so our employees can stay home and be safe.

While we have that option, not everyone exercises that much caution when dealing with hazardous weather. It’s somewhat understandable. Some businesses, such as hospitals, don’t ever close for any reason.

There are also some people who think the rules don’t apply to them, and they don’t exercise due caution, and that is much more concerning.

Today, we are hearing news reports of a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 65 in Hart County. Police scanner traffic indicates the accident involves a Greyhound bus, two commercial vehicles and two passenger vehicles. I follow Joe Imel on Twitter (who doesn’t?) and he gave out details as he heard them, as well as posted a Kentucky State Police report on the accident.

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By Bob Young, Attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

uninsured motorist insuranceEvery car owner in Kentucky is required to carry liability insurance on their automobile. Liability insurance means that if you are involved in an accident with another vehicle, and you are at fault, your insurance will pay for the damages to the other vehicle and for their injuries.

But what happens if you’re involved in an accident, it’s the other person’s fault and the other person isn’t carrying the required insurance? Or what if your injuries or your passenger’s injuries are greater than the coverage the other person is carrying?

If the at-fault drivers has no coverage, that would mean your own uninsured motorist insurance policy would pay the bills for your treatment and cover the pain and suffering for injuries suffered by you or anyone in your vehicle. If the at-fault driver does not have sufficient coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, again, on your own policy, would cover these bills and damages, to the extent the at-fault driver does not have adequate coverage.

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By Kyle Roby
Attorney and Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

Each state has its own rules as to how to handle a case in which both the plaintiff and the defendant are alleged to have been negligent in causing an accident. In a Kentucky car wreck case, the law of pure comparative fault applies. (In some other states, the rule may be modified comparative fault or pure contributory negligence.)

Under the doctrine of pure comparative fault followed in Kentucky, the plaintiff can recover money damages from the defendant as long as he or she is not found to be 100% at fault; however, he or she is only entitled to recover the percentage of total damages attributed to the defendant’s negligence.

Such cases are often hotly contested, since each party may try to pin all or most of the blame for the crash on the other side.

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By Kurt Maier, Attorney and Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

car wreck in KentuckyAs we approach Thanksgiving, travel is on the minds of many Americans.

AAA typically releases a travel forecast for Thanksgiving, but hasn’t done so yet this year. In 2016, AAA predicted that 48.7 million people would travel for Thanksgiving, with driving being by far the most popular option for getting to that destination. This was an increase from previous years, thanks to lower gas prices and improved economic conditions.

Much of that travel is by car, with many heading out on Wednesday, November 22, this year to visit family for Thanksgiving. In the south, it seems like there is road construction year-round, and that creates a lot of stop-and-go traffic. Top that off with uncertain chilly weather that can even turn icy and you’ll find a near-perfect set up for car wrecks.

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