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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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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

Have you ever taken your child to a trampoline park or bouncy house facility and had to sign a liability waiver, or check-in on an I-pad, to release all claims in order for them to be able jump? Have you ever asked yourself “What did I just sign… and is it enforceable?” The Kentucky Supreme Court recently answered those questions in Miller v House of Boom. The Court found that pre-injury liability waivers between a for-profit entity and a parent on behalf of a minor child are against Kentucky law and unenforceable.

In this case, a mother took her eleven year-old daughter and a friend to House of Boom, a trampoline park in Louisville, Kentucky. As a part of the registration process, she had to sign a pre-injury liability waiver for her daughter so that in the event that she was injured, House of Boom was not liable. As it turns out, the child was injured on that day and the mother sued House of Boom on the child’s behalf. House of Boom asked the Court to declare the waiver enforceable and declare that the mother waived all rights for her minor child.

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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 & Owsley, LLP

Tractor-trailer accidents are the most dangerous and destructive collisions on our country’s roads – and the problem is only getting worse. When trucks collide with a car, more often than not, people die.

That’s because big rigs usually travel at a high rate of speed on interstates, and if they crash into another vehicle, it’s going to be much smaller. Braking time for large, heavy vehicles is substantially more than that of cars, so even if a truck driver can see the potential for an accident, they can’t necessarily avoid it.

Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are high-tech solutions that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could require trucking companies to install, but so far, they have not.

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By Jessica Surber, Partner

English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP

Women seeking relief from a variety of issues, including incontinence and other problems after child birth, sometimes receive a mesh implant made by a variety of companies including Boston Scientific. The mesh often ends up causing more problems than it solves.

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By Bob Young, Managing Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley LLP

In 2012, there was a national outbreak of fungal meningitis caused by poor manufacturing conditions at New England Compounding Company (NECC). Out of the 753 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control, 234 individuals contacted fungal meningitis, while more than 300 individuals suffered from fungal infections. Sixty-four patients in nine states died.

We represented 32 patients from Kentucky and Tennessee, tracking the cases through the courts for more than five years. Even as NECC filed bankruptcy and the clinic that administered the injections in Tennessee closed down, we still gained settlements for our clients.

It was an incredibly complicated case, but for our team, it was all in a day’s (or a few year’s) work.

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

Chances are, we’ve all been stopped on a road by a person holding a brightly colored flag as roadwork commenced in front of us. It’s so common it’s unremarkable, and expected whenever there is construction on roads (which seems like most of the year in Kentucky).

In a recent case we handled in Edmondson County, a stopped truck didn’t have a spotter or flagger directing traffic around a cement truck blocking the roadway, and it nearly resulted in the death of our client. The general contractor did not have temporary traffic control devises in place and the concrete truck company did not train its drivers on what to do when the required devices are not present.

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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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