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Articles Tagged with car accidents

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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 J.A. Sowell, Attorney

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J.A. Sowell

Reprinted from SOKY Happenings article 4.30.20

Picture this – it is Monday evening. You are driving down Campbell Lane with your two children in the backseat headed to grab a quick dinner after soccer practice. As you approach the intersection with Scottsville Road, you have the green light. Then, out of nowhere, a pick-up truck unexpectedly tries to turn left in front of your vehicle. Despite going the speed limit and paying attention to the road, there is nothing that you can do to avoid the collision. Boom! The pick-up truck rams into your vehicle, causing it to spin out and incur significant damage. You and your kids sustain neck and back injuries from the impact. The other driver is clearly at fault. No big deal, though… his insurance will surely cover the property damage, as well as the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you endured, right?

Well… maybe. According to the Insurance Research Council, there is a 13% chance that the driver who hit you does not have any insurance at all – even though Kentucky law requires every driver to maintain a certain level of insurance coverage. There is also a good chance that while the driver has car insurance, he only carries the minimally required coverage, which may not be enough to fully cover the damages you sustained from the accident he caused.

So, what can you do to make sure your family is protected in a situation like this? You can prepare for these unimaginable situations by obtaining uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile insurance policy.

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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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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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Insurance companies have certain duties not only to their insureds but also to those who file legitimate claims against those who they insure.

A company’s failure to uphold these duties can result in a finding of liability under Kentucky’s bad-faith laws, but the claimant has the burden of proving his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. This is not always an easy task, since there those involved may not agree about who is at fault or the amount of damages to which the claimant is entitled.

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Uninsured motorist insurance coverage can help pay for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in the event that an insured is involved in an accident with an uninsured (or underinsured) driver.  An uninsured driver is just what you would think it means – a driver that does not have insurance. Underinsured driver means the at fault driver has insurance, but they do not have enough insurance to cover your damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If an insurance company makes payments to its insured under a uninsured motorist policy, the insurance company has a right to file suit against the uninsured driver in order to assert its subrogation rights. In such cases, the insurance company essentially stands in the shoes of the insured and is held to the same procedural rules as the insured if he or she filed the lawsuit.

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

Many people drive a company car as part of their work. If you drive often, chances are, at some point, you’ll be involved in some kind of vehicle accident.

After you’ve made sure you’re not injured and that everyone else involved is OK, too, one of the first things that might come to mind is whether or not you’ll be liable for the damage caused by the accident. If you’re driving your employer’s vehicle with your employer’s permission, you are not liable in most circumstances for a work-related vehicle accident.

I address this very topic in a recent video I created. You can watch it here:

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When someone is injured in a car accident, there are several different types of damages that can be included in a settlement or judgment, assuming that a case of negligence can be made against the negligent driver. Depending upon the circumstances, possible damages include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity and property damages.

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, are more difficult to calculate than economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages. Often, these are the most heavily contested elements of a car wreck case, once liability has been established. Sometimes, those types of damages are even the subject of an appeal.

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accidentCar wrecks occur every day by the thousands. Sometimes they’re slight fender-benders, but other times these accidents cause injuries that can impact the quality of life of those involved.

Having a plan in place if you’re involved in a car wreck can help you if you are not severely injured. Talking through your plan with your family can prepare you and is an excellent step to take.

We’ve outlined eight steps we would tell any clients to take if they are involved in an accident.

  1. If anyone in your vehicle is injured and needs immediate medical attention, call 911 as soon as you can. It’s important to get an ambulance headed your way as soon as possible, particularly if you are in a rural area. This can take time, as can the ambulance ride to a medical center, and time is your greatest enemy when you’re injured.

If you or someone in your vehicle is severely injured, the rest of this list doesn’t matter. Nothing is more important than getting them the help they need to survive and recover.

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