If you or someone you love has been injured in a car crash in the state of Kentucky, you should consider your legal options. When another person’s negligence caused your injuries and financial losses, you may have grounds to hold them accountable and seek compensation. Take legal action with the help of a Louisville car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices. We’ll work together to fight for your future.
Thousands of Kentucky residents, workers, and travelers depend on our state’s highways and streets to drive to and from work, complete daily tasks, and make essential deliveries. For the most part, our roadways are safe. But accidents between passenger cars, trucks, and other motorized vehicles still happen at a surprisingly high rate.
Consider these Kentucky car accident statistics:
- The Kentucky State Police reported 156,758 collisions in 2019. Of those collisions, 680 resulted in fatalities. A total of 733 individuals lost their lives in accidents on public roads.
- In 2020, there were 119,449 total reported collisions. Of those crashes, 708 were fatal. Kentucky State Police reported 780 deaths on public roads. This statistic is shocking. Although the total number of reported collisions decreased by over 23%, traffic accident fatalities dramatically increased. The total number of traffic fatalities increased 6.6% from 2019 to 2020.
Despite the fact that vehicle safety technology is the best it’s ever been, Louisville car accident attorneys see more drivers and passengers die in crashes every year. Most of these deaths were preventable. Increases in dangerous driving behaviors like speeding, recklessness, distracted driving, road rage, drunk driving, and lack of seatbelt use have contributed to increasing fatality rates in Kentucky.
By taking legal action against a driver who was acting negligently, irresponsibly, or recklessly behind the wheel, we can ensure that driver doesn’t make the same mistake twice. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the only way to make some drivers behave responsibly. Car accident lawsuits, like most types of personal injury claims, can be filed in addition to any criminal charges that may already be in place. These types of legal actions can help a family recover from a tragic wreck. Louisville car accident attorneys work to ensure that victims and their families achieve justice and financial security after an injury or loss of life.
Why Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
Car accident lawyers can protect the rights of an injured victim after an auto collision. When another party is responsible for your injuries, it’s important to have representation that will seek full and fair compensation on your behalf. If you are severely injured, this compensation can protect you from a future full of medical expenses.
After a Louisville car accident, your personal injury attorney will fight to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Damages that they may recover on your behalf may include your medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses associated with car accident injuries. After a car crash, injury victims may also be entitled to seek damages for emotional losses. Damages that may be recovered in a car accident lawsuit include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage and car repair costs
- Cost of vehicle replacement
- Rental car expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity and loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other costs associated with damage repair and personal injury recovery
An auto accident lawyer’s expertise will help you through the process of filing a claim with your or the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. An insurance company’s first settlement offer may not completely cover the total costs of your medical bills and other expenses. Without an experienced car accident lawyer on your side, you may accept the initial settlement offer and still run into financial troubles later. Car accident attorneys are trained to know what your car accident case is worth and how to get fair compensation.
You shouldn’t be left to cope with your injuries and recovery after a car wreck on your own. Accident victims handling car accident cases without help from a law firm might not get the compensation they need to pay for medical bills. After you seek medical treatment, seek the help of an auto accident lawyer.
After a motor vehicle accident, we do what is needed to ensure your injury claim is successful. Your car accident lawyer will hire an accident scene investigator to determine how the other driver was negligent. Your auto accident lawyer will also inquire about how you were hurt.
To make sure you receive maximum compensation, we’ll take care of all parts of the legal process for you, including:
- Calculating compensation based on the severity of your injuries and necessary medical treatment.
- Carefully considering your insurance coverage and the at-fault party’s insurance coverage.
- Negotiating with insurance companies.
- Conducting interviews with eyewitnesses and expert witnesses (like traffic accident reconstruction experts and collision analysts).
- Protecting your medical records.
- Examining the police report of the accident.
- Running background checks and checking phone records to see how the other driver’s negligence contributed to the accident.
- Securing video footage of the accident from traffic, surveillance, or dashboard cameras.
- Assessing any vehicle damage or other property damage in the value of your claim.
- Estimating future earnings you and your family may lose due to a catastrophic injury.
Your lawyer will make sure your financial compensation makes up for what you lost through a negligent driver’s carelessness or wrongdoing. To protect all drivers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists in Louisville, KY, we work to ensure negligent drivers are always held accountable for the auto accidents they cause.
Our lawyers in Louisville, KY work on a contingency fee basis, so we only win when you win. You never need to worry about legal fees up front. We offer a free consultation to any potential client seeking legal assistance after a motor vehicle crash. Speaking with a member of our legal team during an initial consultation is the first step to holding the responsible party accountable after a Louisville car accident.
What Causes Most Car Accidents?
Your auto accident lawyer will want to make sense of why your accident occurred early on in their handling of your case. Your attorney may look at a variety of factors when attempting to determine this, including how the driver was operating the vehicle, their control of the car, and if they followed the rules of the road.
It’s likely that your accident, like so many other auto wrecks, was preventable. Your legal representative will investigate how the other party acted negligently, and how a bad decision led to an accident that harmed you.
When it comes to auto accidents in Kentucky, data shows that dangerous decisions are often the reason for collisions that cause serious injuries and fatalities. Here are some facts that were obtained using data from the Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts 2020 Report:
- Alcohol-related traffic deaths significantly increased from 2019 to 2020. There were 181 individuals killed in 2020, 38% more than 2019. Every single one of these deaths could have been prevented.
- Of all vehicle occupants injured or killed, only 11% were wearing a seat belt at the time they were killed or injured. By comparison, 51.6% of injured or killed victims were not wearing a safety restraint. Safety belt use can reduce the number of total injuries and fatalities.
When the police are called to assess car wrecks, Kentucky law officers have the option of indicating up to three factors per driver that contributed to the crash in their reports. The top ten reported contributing factors for Kentucky traffic collisions in 2020 are listed below, along with the percentages for how often each factor appeared.
- Driver Inattention: 35.07%
- Vehicle Not Under Control: 14.33%
- Failure to Yield: 10.38%
- Misjudging Clearance: 7.59%
- Following Too Closely (Tailgating): 5.35%
- Distracted Driving: 4.53%
- Driving Too Fast for Conditions: 3.76%
- Alcohol Involvement: 3.47%
- Disregarding Traffic Control: 3.38%
- Overcorrecting: 2.28%
As you can see, many of these factors such as inattention, distracted driving, alcohol involvement, following too closely, and failure to yield are situations that a driver can avoid. Most of these behaviors are illegal under Kentucky law. By simply driving with caution, not getting distracted, paying attention to the road at all times, wearing seat belts, and adhering to the proper rules of traffic, many Kentucky car accidents can be prevented.
Before getting behind the wheel, remind yourself that by taking all the proper precautions, you can do your part to avoid becoming involved in a dangerous car crash.
However, even the most careful drivers can still be hurt when there’s a reckless driver on the road. When these situations happen, it’s an emotional and stressful time. That’s why Kentucky residents deserve Louisville car accident lawyers who will fight for them. Our personal injury law firm also represents victims of motorcycle accidents and accidents involving commercial trucks.
What Injuries Can a Car Wreck Cause?
The severity of injuries sustained during a car wreck will depend entirely on the nature of the accident, the angle/force of the impact, the speeds the vehicles were traveling, the condition of the road and weather, and the vehicles themselves. In major wrecks, most car accident injuries are severe. In minor crashes, injuries can range in severity from minor to more serious. How much compensation an injury victim needs after a car crash depends on the severity of their injuries.
Many accidents that cause personal injury are considered catastrophic, meaning the accident victim’s life is completely altered by the injury. Serious injuries can cause debilitating health consequences and conditions that may require expensive surgeries, rehabilitation therapies, lost wages, and lifelong medical care. Time spent off work can lead to financial hardship for a family. An individual may even lose their job due to personal injury.
Emotional and mental hardships are also common after a serious wreck. Stress, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may make it difficult for survivors of a serious crash to move forward. A skilled attorney also knows that the emotional consequences of a car wreck can be just as serious as physical pain.
Some of the more common injuries and physical health complications from car accidents include the following:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Burn injuries
- Cuts, lacerations, serious bruising, and amputations
- Internal organ damage and bleeding
- Brain damage resulting in cognitive problems caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussions
- Back or neck damage caused by whiplash
- Permanent spinal damage caused by spinal cord injuries
While the care for these injuries can be costly, it’s critical that you seek medical treatment immediately. As you’re getting medical bills, going through treatment, and looking down a long road to recovery, you can gain some peace of mind that your car accident lawyers are seeking compensation that will cover these costs. We’ll evaluate your insurance information and handle the legal matters so you can focus on healing.
Death, unfortunately, often results from an exceptionally serious car crash. If you have lost a loved one in an auto accident, you may be able to file what’s known as a wrongful death claim against the driver who caused the accident. Doing so may allow your family to recover emotionally and financially.
How Do Kentucky Car Insurance Laws Work in Wrongful Death Accidents?
Kentucky has no-fault coverage, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Having PIP insurance means that your own insurance company pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and similar “out-of-pocket” costs due to an injury occurring in an automobile accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
Some drivers choose to purchase uninsured and underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance policies. This type of insurance protects you if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance coverage (or has less than adequate insurance coverage). If you were involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver in Kentucky, it’s important to work with an attorney who has experience negotiating with insurance companies.
Insurance rules differ in cases where someone has died, however. When someone in Louisville, Kentucky is killed due to a liable party’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing, the victim’s survivors may be able to sue for monetary damages by pursuing a wrongful death claim.
Kentucky has a wrongful death statute that, in certain situations, allows relatives to bring a lawsuit for compensation when a loved one is wrongfully killed by another person or entity. If the death occurred as a result of negligence or recklessness, the ramifications for the responsible party can be severe. The person accountable for the death can be liable for legal action. Survivors of the deceased can sue for damages such as medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, lost income, and loss of companionship.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Traffic Collision?
Even when we do everything we can to prevent an accident, sometimes collisions still occur. Being involved in a car wreck with a negligent driver can be terrifying. But by following a basic crisis plan and keeping a cool head, you can make it through this difficult time and begin the process of moving forward with your life. If you’re involved in an auto accident, follow these steps:
- Get to a safe area. Pull over to the side of the road if you’re able to move your car. Make sure you aren’t blocking traffic. Turn your hazard lights on.
- Prioritize the health and safety of yourself and those around you. Is anyone injured? Call 911. If you’re unsure of how severe any injuries are or if the accident was serious, you should call 911 regardless. The responding officer can decide if a police report needs to be filed.
- Obtain contact information from the driver in the other car. Don’t speak to the other driver about who’s at fault for the accident. It’s best not to mention fault at all during this time. Anything you say now could be used against you later.
- Take pictures. Smartphones are ideal for capturing evidence. Take photos of the accident scene (including any skid marks or road debris), the damages your car sustained, the other driver’s license plate, traffic and road conditions, and any serious physical injuries.
- Obtain contact information from any witnesses. You may not end up needing the testimony of an eyewitness. But having one available is helpful. Write down an exact account of what the witness saw happen if possible. Witness contact information can be shared with your Louisville car accident attorney to help support your claim.
- Make the necessary phone calls. Contact your insurance provider as quickly as possible after the accident. Contacting a personal injury attorney at this time is also recommended. Quick timing is often essential when it comes to filing a car accident lawsuit.
- Keep records of everything. From this point forward, you will want to keep solid records of all paperwork regarding the accident. Get a copy of the police report. You should keep everything from medical records to copies of prescriptions, treatment records, referrals, doctor’s notes, a log of time spent off work, and car insurance claims.
When you’ve taken the above steps and have a car accident attorney on your side, you’re giving yourself the best chance of obtaining proper compensation. While the claims process can be confusing, your lawyer will answer any questions, explain the legal process, and tell you what you can expect.
Get Help From a Louisville Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver in a car accident in Louisville, Kentucky, you owe it to your family to find out if filing a lawsuit is an option. By doing so, you may be able to recover lost wages as well as medical and pain and suffering costs.
Filing a car accident claim also sends an important message to the driver who was at fault for the crash. It isn’t okay to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. And distracted driving and reckless driving are unacceptable behaviors that hurt others. The lives of everyone around intoxicated, distracted, and reckless drivers are at stake. Some drivers don’t learn this fact, unfortunately, until it’s too late or until legal action is taken.
We invite you to learn more about us if you are considering filing a car accident claim. Our case results demonstrate the commitment we make to each and every accident victim we serve. We welcome you to read testimonials from our clients to learn more about the qualities and values we embrace.
Don’t hesitate to contact Thomas Law Offices with any questions you may have about your potential case. Tad Thomas, Louisville, Kentucky car accident attorney, and his team of expert attorneys are patient, compassionate, and helpful individuals who truly care about their clients. We can help. Schedule a free consultation with an accident lawyer who cares.