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Articles Tagged with wrecks

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If you follow this blog regularly, you have probably read several posts regarding situations in which a car accident lawsuit or other type of complaint was dismissed due to the plaintiff’s failure to file a claim within the statute of limitations. It is a common problem, and one of the reasons we emphasize contacting an attorney as soon as possible when you have been injured.

Filing a timely claim in a court of competent jurisdiction is only the first step in the process of filing a lawsuit. The complaint also has to be served upon the defendant according to the applicable rules of civil procedure.

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Lawsuits arising from negligent operation of a motor vehicle typically involve two drivers, each driving his or her own vehicle. Passengers in one or both vehicles may also be parties to the suit if they were injured in the collision. Sometimes, the case involves a pedestrian accident.

Regardless of whether the person seeking to recover compensation following an automobile accident is a motorist, a passenger, or a pedestrian, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant was negligent. This means that he or she failed to act in a prudent manner, causing harm to the plaintiff.

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 We live in an increasingly fast-paced society in which people take on multiple activities at once to get more things done. The level of risk that accompanies this habit varies according to the tasks at hand. For instance, if a person decides to drink coffee while reading a book, the worst thing that will probably happen is that the book will get ruined by spilled coffee. But in distracted driving cases, the level of risk goes up substantially.

When a driver attempts to do another task, such as sending a text message, changing music, or applying makeup, the risk of a serious injury or death is high.

Our firm has seen multiple accidents in which people were seriously injured or even died due to distracted drivers. In an Atlanta case that’s gotten national attention, a teenage driver was using SnapChat while driving and became involved in an accident in which a man was left with traumatic brain injuries. Part of the evidence in the case is a SnapChat screen shot that indicates the teen was driving more than 100 miles per hour. You can read about this case in an article on the TechCrunch news web site.

If you’re not familiar with it, SnapChat is a social media application for smart phones that allows users to record video or photos and add more information, drawings and writing over the photos. One of the ways to use SnapChat is to add a filter over the photo that shows more information about where the photo was taken. One option is a filter that shows speed. While that’s fine to use if you’re a passenger, and kinda fun to use if you’re traveling 400 miles per hour on an airplane, it’s a terrible idea to use this feature while driving. We feel like this should go without saying – but obviously, some need to hear it.

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

guardrailsMetal guardrails run alongside many highways, particularly those that hug a steep embankment. They’re designed to protect those in a car if it careens off the highway. In some cases, though, guardrails are making accidents much more deadly than they should be.

A recent accident here in Bowling Green could have possibly had a different outcome if a guardrail was not involved. A car veered off of Morgantown Road and hit the support wires of a utility pole and the guardrail. The guardrail penetrated the car and hit the driver. She was killed. Two others were hospitalized with serious injuries, and two more were treated locally for less severe injuries.

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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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Regardless of the merits of a party’s complaint, it will never be heard unless the courts find that it was timely filed. Failure to comply with the statute of limitations isn’t just a small “technicality.” It is a deal breaker when it comes to negligence litigation. A recent underinsured motorist claim case in Kentucky highlighted the importance of hitting deadlines.

It can also be a mistake to file suit on the eve of the running of the statute of limitations. As the plaintiff in the case set out below discovered, waiting until shortly before the expiration of the limitations period can be very costly.

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

big rig accidentsThis winter’s weather challenged everyone who was out driving in it, but especially those driving tractor-trailers. Some big rig accidents occurred during last week’s heavy snow, no doubt, as trucks weigh several tons and are hard to stop even during ideal driving conditions.

The best thing to do during bad weather is stay home, of course, but not everyone has that option. If you’re called into work on a day when it is snowing, your bosses are expecting you to report for duty. Those who work in hospitals, emergency responders and city government officials have no choice. It’s their duty to take care of the rest of us – and we’re certainly all grateful for that.

While truck drivers are limited in how far and how long they can drive in a day by rules created and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the government agency has rules and regulations as it relates to adverse driving conditions. Adverse conditions means snow, sleet, fog, other adverse weather conditions, a highway covered with snow or ice, or unusual road and traffic conditions, none of which were apparent on the basis of information known to the person dispatching the run at the time it was begun.

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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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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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file2811244091888 morguefile username wallyirBy Kyle Roby, Attorney

English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP

Tractor trailer drivers are required to keep log books. Log books record the time a truck driver has been driving or on-duty. It’s one of the first things we examine when we’re called on to help someone who has been injured in an accident that involves a truck. Few drivers, however, are as dutiful with keeping those truck log books as they should be. Log books are hand-written, and simple to read, and easy to keep up with if a driver wants to do so.

The truck log books require the following of a driver and the company he or she works for:

  • Log books must be kept as the driver goes. Every time a driver begins the day, he or she is required to note the city, state, and time.
  • The driver is to keep track of the amount of time driving – time left, time arrived, and time spent on breaks throughout the day.
  • The name of the company that owns the truck and its headquarter’s location are required at the top of each log book page.
  • The driver must sign the log book to indicate that the information in it is accurate and truthful.

If the driver is following the law, the truck log books should show that he or she abided by the time limits specified by law. Police officers, state troopers and officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are allowed to examine the log books at any time to check to see if the driver is following the law. Many times, though, drivers do not keep up with log books, or falsify the books to indicate he or she has abided by the law.

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