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golf cart accidentsBy Bob Young
Attorney and Managing Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

In the past decade, golf carts have become popular for quick, easy and cheap transportation in neighborhoods, especially those near golf courses. Kentucky first allowed golf courses on public roads about 10 years ago. Golf carts are part of a class of vehicles called low speed vehicles. They’re quiet, inexpensive and considered by many to be easy to drive. Best of all, golf carts are usually rechargeable, so no gasoline is required.

Unfortunately, though, golf carts have become falsely believed to be safe, and even acceptable for those without a valid driver’s license to operate. Neither of those things are true. By law, golf carts are considered just like any other motor vehicle. You must have a valid driver’s license to operate a golf cart on public roads in Kentucky, and you must adhere to local and state laws that restrict the use of golf carts.

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By Jessica Surber, Attorney

English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP

dangerous products
Our firm routinely handles nursing home abuse, neglect and wrongful death cases. We see families every day who have trusted their loved ones to assisted living facilities or nursing homes but have found that the care was not up to basic standards.

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calendar appThe Kentucky appellate courts seem to have heard more uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance cases than usual lately. Perhaps the court has done this intentionally for the sake of judicial economy – the reason being that it is easier to decide cases with similar issues while all of the intricacies of a particular branch of law are still fresh in the court’s mind.

Another reason may be that there are simply more UM/UIM disputes these days than in past years. Kentucky does have mandatory automobile liability insurance requirement, but the minimum required is just $25,000 per person (or $50,000 per accident) for bodily injury claims. Given the rapidly increasing costs of medical care, this coverage is often not enough to fully compensate an accident victim for his or her medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

UM/UIM coverage bridges the gap between a defendant’s liability coverage and a plaintiff’s total amount of damages, at least up to the plaintiff’s own policy limits. It is important to note that, just as in other types of personal injury cases, timeliness is very important when it comes to asserting one’s rights under a UM/UIM policy.

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Scooter

Most personal injury lawsuits settle out of court, but some do proceed to trial. Most often, this happens because the parties disagree as to who was at fault, the amount of damages to which the plaintiff is entitled, or both.

When one party is displeased with the jury’s decision, he or she has the right to appeal the trial court’s entry of judgment on the verdict to a higher court. However, much deference is afforded to the jury’s verdict, and the burden is on the appealing party to convince the appellate court that a legally reversible error was made in the lower court.

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shiny floorWhen a lawsuit is filed for compensation for injuries in an accident allegedly caused by another party’s negligence, there are several ways that the case can be concluded. The most obvious ways are by an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict in favor of one party or the other.

There is another, less commonly known, possible resolution for negligence cases known as “summary judgment.” When a court grants summary judgment, it is usually (although not always) in favor of the defendant, and it means that, even if the court looks at all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, there is no way that the plaintiff’s case can be successful at trial.

If the plaintiff disagrees that summary judgment was an appropriate end to the case, he or she can ask the appellate court to review the matter.

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If you don’t have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you should talk to your insurance agent about purchasing this very important coverage as soon as you can. Such coverage can mean the difference between a fair recovery and financial ruin in the event of a serious accident with a driver who has no insurance or who has only the minimum policy limits.

However, should you ever need to actually use your uninsured or underinsured coverage, do not expect your insurance company to be on “your side” of the case.

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cyclist and passengerAs one might expect, a large number of motor vehicle and motorcycle accident cases focus on the issues of who was at fault and how much money it will take to fully compensate the injured person (or deceased person’s family) for the damages suffered in the collision.

Sometimes, however, the issue is not who is at fault but instead whether a particular insurance company is obligated to pay a claim arising from the accident. Such was the case in a recent declaratory judgment action that was reviewed by the Tennessee appellate court.

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By Jessica Surber, Attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

News stories about abuse and neglect in nursing homes are become more and more common – as are civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions involving nursing homes and nursing home employees.

Recently, a high-profile national news organization investigated the topic, paying particular attention to the topic of sexual assault of the frail and elderly who typically populate assisted living centers, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes.

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wet floor

Places of business owe certain duties to visitors. One of those duties is safe and secure surfaces for walking. Spills can cause hazardous conditions, and businesses owe it to their visitors to clean up spills and similar hazardous conditions as soon as possible.

When a business or property owner breaches the duty of care that it owes to a visitor, the visitor has a right to seek monetary compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the accident. This gas station fall case went to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, which sided with the injured person in the lawsuit.

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X-Ray

Our civil justice system is built on the premise that a jury of disinterested individuals is in the best position to determine matters such as the credibility of witnesses and the amount of money that a person injured by another person’s negligence should receive in compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and so on.

Unfortunately, no system is perfect. Even juries sometimes get it wrong. When that happens, it is the trial judge’s job to grant a new trial so that justice may prevail.

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