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Articles Tagged with personal injury

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Kyle Roby

Attorney Kyle Roby

Attorney and partner Kyle Roby recently settled a truck accident case for $850,000 on behalf of a Kentucky client. We have posted about this case on our main firm web site, and are sharing with our audience here as well.

Here is a summary of the case. For more details, read the main post on our web site. You can read the post here.

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There is no question that some dogs are more dangerous than others, or that almost any dog is capable of an attack under the right circumstances. What responsibility should the owner of a dog with dangerous propensities – or the owner of any dog, for that matter – have toward the general public?

A Kentucky appellate court addressed this issue recently in a case in which a woman was severely injured by a pack of dogs during a hunting trip.

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Do you know how much uninsured motorist coverage you have, or whether you have such coverage at all? One man thought that he had such coverage, but, as it turns out, uninsured motorist coverage was not part of his insurance plan with Allstate.

In a case that went all the way to the state’s highest court, the parties vehemently disagreed about the issue of coverage. Ultimately, the man lost his case in an appellate court opinion issued some 10 years after the automobile accident that led to the dispute.

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A negligence case has four components:  duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Sometimes, a particular situation – such as a slip and fall injury, an act of medical malpractice, or a defective product – turns a simple negligence case into a more complex inquiry.Sometimes, however, the opposite is true. A recent case from the Kentucky Court of Appeals illustrates this point.

Facts of the Case

In Campbell v. Pro Video Audio Productions, Inc., the plaintiff was working as a professional stagehand at a concert in Louisville in 2012 when his foot became entangled in a tarp placed on the stage. He fell approximately seven feet, hurting his arm, leg, face, and hand. He sued the defendant, who was in the business of providing stage construction and sound system services, alleging that it had created an unreasonably dangerous condition by failing to place handrails around the stage.

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

The reported cases decided by the appellate courts sometimes come in batches of cases involving similar issues. Since a criminal case questioning the applicability of the death penalty, for example, involves an entirely different set of issues, research, and analysis than does a tort case arguing about liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit, there is judicial economy when the courts decide similar cases during the same time period.

Lately, it seems the courts have been faced with a number of cases involving whether or not a given situation is covered under a particular insurance policy. In the recent case of Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Holland, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Nashville was called upon to decide whether a commercial general liability insurance policy provided coverage in an accident in which a child was injured by the gate of a trailer that an insured used to transport lawn care equipment.

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same sex marriage loss of consortiumWhen a husband or wife dies or is severely injured as a result of someone’s negligence, the surviving spouse can typically seek damages for past medical expenses, future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, impairment of earning capacity and what’s called “loss of consortium.” Essentially, loss of consortium is the loss of the loved one’s love, care, services, assistance, and companionship. Loss of consortium seeks to compensate the surviving spouse for the harm endured to the marital relationship. Damages for loss of consortium can be awarded not only in wrongful death cases but also in cases in which a spouse has been severely injured and is unable to provide the love, care, services, assistance, and companionship that the couple enjoyed when both persons were healthy.

Damages for loss of consortium are only available to married couples. KRS 411.145 states that “either a wife or husband may recover damages against a third person for loss of consortium, resulting from a negligent or wrongful act of such third person.”

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

drones photos

Drones can get bird’s eye view of a roadway like nothing else can.

Telling a story about an event is one thing. But it’s so much more powerful when you can show what happened. That’s the job of accident reconstructionists, and their work is extremely important in helping juries and judges understand how, exactly, a crash occurred.

Accident re-constructionists now have a new tool available that has been a game-changer for showing what happened: drones. If you aren’t familiar with drones, these are remote-powered cameras that fly. They’re lightweight and powerful, and can take both video and still photos, and they’re becoming very popular as they’ve come down in price.

The drones can get a view of a roadway like nothing else can. Drones can show exactly how an intersection comes together from many angles, including from directly above and from all sides. With video footage and still photos from a drone, accident re-constructionists can create an animation of how vehicles crashed together on a roadway. The footage a drone shoots can also be rendered into CAD drawings that contain complete information on measurements, scale, size of vehicles and other scientific information that helps court officials properly review a case.
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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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The Kentucky Motor Vehicles Reparations Act allows a policyholder to recover damages for an auto insurer’s denial of basic reparation benefits following a Kentucky car crash. In Risner v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. , a man sued his insurance company for payment of benefits after he was apparently injured in a Lexington, Kentucky motor vehicle collision. Following the traffic accident, the man was treated by a local chiropractor. The injured man then sought reimbursement for his associated medical expenses from his auto insurer. About six months later, the insurance company notified the policyholder that it was denying coverage for certain medical bills he incurred as a result of the crash. In Kentucky, basic reparation benefits are typically used to pay the medical bills and certain other expenses of an individual who was hurt in a car accident, regardless of fault.

After the man’s auto insurer discontinued his no-fault benefits, the injured man filed a lawsuit against the company in Rowan County Circuit Court. According to the man’s complaint, the motor vehicle insurer violated the Kentucky Motor Vehicles Reparations Act and the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act. In addition, the hurt man accused his insurance company of negligence, breach of contract, fraud, and numerous other claims. As a result, the policyholder asked the court to award him both compensatory and punitive damages. In general, punitive damages are only appropriate when a court seeks to punish a party and deter similar conduct in the future.
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2012-11-04 12.59.31A 2011 accident involving a tree-trimming crew resulted in the death of one worker and injuries to another. The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently ruled on a lawsuit concerning the accident after it was appealed from Warren County Circuit Court in Bowling Green, Kentucky. You can read the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling in the case here: http://opinions.kycourts.net/coa/2013-CA-000078.pdf

The accident involved three men: James Coleman, Davison Crocker, and Dale Cherry, all of whom were employed by A&G Tree Service, Inc., which is located in Leitchfield, Kentucky. In August 2011, they were sent to a job site in Tennessee, and traveled together to the job site in a company vehicle. On the way back, an accident occurred that took the life of Cherry and injured Crocker. The employment handbook for A&G indicates that their employees are considered to be at work once they arrive at the site where their work is to occur. The workers may use company vehicles for their convenience and carpooling is permitted.

After the accident, Crocker received workers’ compensation benefits, and Cherry’s estate received workers’ compensation death benefits. Crocker sued Coleman and his personal insurance carrier, Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, arguing that Coleman’s negligent driving had caused the accident. Progressive argued that workers’ compensation should be the sole source of benefits for Coleman and Cherry’s estate, but Crocker argued that the men were not on the clock, so tort relief was also possible.

The Warren County Circuit Court did not agree. Kentucky law says that the either an employee may recover workers’ compensation benefits, if in fact their injury occurred while the employee was on the job, or the worker may recover tort damages if the employee was not on the clock at the time of the injury or damages, but the person may not recover both.

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