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Articles Tagged with car wreck

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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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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 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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When a person is injured due to the negligence of another party, the injured person is entitled to pursue fair compensation for his or her injuries. In determining the amount due to a Tennessee car accident claimant, the court may consider the victim’s past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of ability to enjoy life, permanent impairment, and other factors.

If the case is tried to a jury, the jury members make this determination. If the trial court judge hears the case without a jury, he or she makes the determination.

Either way, if one party or the other is aggrieved by the amount of damages awarded by the trial court, there is the possibility of having an appellate court review the award.

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Since there are so many variables and complexities involved in a motor vehicle accident case, it is always best for those who are injured in car crashes to consult with an attorney as early in the process as possible. Issues such as the statute of limitations, notice requirements, and other matters concerning timeliness must be dealt with promptly.

The courts do not favor those who don’t exercise their rights to sue in a timely manner. Recently, a Tennessee appellate court was called upon to decide whether an insurance company (which stood in for its insured, to which it had paid damages arising from a motor vehicle accident) had forfeited its right to recover from the responsible party because it failed to file their case after the defendant appealed a verdict for the plaintiff to circuit court.

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When a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident, he or she typically expects there to be a dispute about who was at fault or how much the claim is worth. What most people do not expect, however, is that a “routine” car accident case can quickly escalate into a battle with one’s own insurance company.

A recent case decided by Kentucky’s intermediate court of appeals illustrates the difficulties that can arise when an insured’s expectations as to what is provided under a policy do not line up with the language of the actual document. The case came down to what type of insurance would be paying the claim: uninsured motorist or liability insurance coverage.

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

Car accidents, truck wrecks, and other motor vehicle crashes fall under the general law of negligence. In order to prove a negligence case, a plaintiff has to prove four separate elements:  duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Each element must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which is when the jury finds that the plaintiff’s version of the facts is more likely true than not. It does not require the injured person to prove beyond a reasonable doubt these elements, as in the criminal justice system, but rather only that it is more likely than not that there was a breach in a duty owed to the injured person that caused damages.

Once the plaintiff has presented his or her case at trial, and the judge has determined that he or she has made a prima facie case of negligence, the defendant has the right to offer evidence that contradicts the plaintiff’s version of the facts or impeaches the plaintiff’s testimony. The jury is the ultimate trier of fact, taxed with the duty of deciding which witness to believe when the testimony is conflicting.

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One of the first things that future attorneys learn in law school is that a court must have jurisdiction before it can act in a particular case. This power of the court to act is two-fold. The court must have both personal jurisdiction (power over the persons or corporations named in the suit), and it must have subject matter jurisdiction (authority of a court to hear cases of a particular type or cases relating to a specific subject matter). If either is missing, the court lacks the power to adjudicate the matter and must dismiss the case.

In the recent unpublished opinion of Taylor v. Bristol West Insurance Company, the Jefferson Circuit Court was called upon to decide whether a Kentucky trial court had jurisdiction over an insurance company that issued a motor vehicle insurance policy to an Indiana resident who was later involved in a car accident in Jefferson County, Kentucky.

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