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 to 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 crucial 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.
Did you know that 156,758 collisions were reported in the state of Kentucky in 2019? While it’s a 0.9% decrease from 2018, the same data shows that 680 of those collisions resulted in fatalities. That’s a 1.5% increase from 2018’s fatality rate. Despite the fact that vehicle safety technology is the best it’s ever been, every year more drivers and passengers alike die in crashes that may not be their fault.
By taking legal action against a driver who was acting negligently, irresponsibly, or recklessly when 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 and may additionally help a family recover from a tragic wreck.
Why Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
An experienced lawyer will protect your rights 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.
Your lawyer will fight for you to recover for your injuries and losses. This can include your medical expenses, lost wages, and you can also seek damages for your emotional losses.
Their expertise will help you through this process, as an insurance company’s first settlement offer may not completely cover the total costs of your accident. Without someone on your side, you may accept the offer and still run into financial troubles later. Your attorney will know what your claim is worth and when you’ve been offered a unfavorable settlement.
You shouldn’t be left to handle the injuries and recovery after a car wreck on your own. Your car accident lawyer will investigate the scene of the accident and find out how the other party was negligent and how you were hurt. We’ll take the severity of your injuries and how long they’ll affect you into account when calculating your compensation. Your lawyer will protect your best interests and fight for you to get the recovery you deserve.
What Causes Most Car Accidents?
As your lawyer looks into your case, we’ll search for the reason why your accident happened. This could include a variety of factors like how the driver was operating their vehicle, their control of the vehicle, and if they followed the rules of the road.
It’s likely that your accident, like so many other auto wrecks, was preventable. They all come down to how the other party acted negligently, and how their decision led to an accident that harmed you.
When it comes to car accidents in Kentucky, data shows that dangerous decisions are usually the reason for collisions that cause serious injuries and fatalities. Here are some facts that were obtained using data from the Kentucky Traffic Collisions Facts 2019 Report:
- 4,703 collisions were the direct result of alcohol impairment. 112 of these crashes resulted in fatalities. Every single one of them could have been prevented.
- 994 of 1,403 vehicle occupants involved in fatal collisions were wearing safety belts, but that leaves a large number of people who weren’t buckled up. Safety belt use could have possibly reduced the number of total fatalities.
When the police are called out to assess a car crash, officers have the option of indicating up to three factors per driver that contributed to the crash. The top ten reported contributing factors for Kentucky traffic collisions that caused injuries and/or fatalities as well as the percentages for how often each factor appeared include:
- Inattention: 37.3%
- Failure to keep the vehicle under proper control: 12.2%
- Failure to properly yield: 11.2%
- Misjudge of clearance: 7.8%
- Following too closely: 6.7%
- Distraction: 4.4%
- Driving too fast for conditions: 3.1%
- Disregarding traffic control: 2.9%
- Alcohol involvement: 2.6.%
- Overcorrecting/oversteering: 1.9%
As you can see, many of these factors such as inattention, distraction, alcohol involvement, following too closely, and failure to properly yield are siutations that a driver can avoid. 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 could have been prevented.
The same thing can be said every year and every single day. 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 of 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 a Louisville car accident lawyer who will fight for them.
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 at, the condition of the road and/or weather at the time of the accident, and the vehicles themselves. In major wrecks, most car accident injuries are severe in nature. In minor crashes, the injuries may be minor or more moderate.
Serious injuries can cause debilitating health consequences and conditions that may require expensive surgeries, rehabilitation therapies, and lifelong care. Time spent off work can cause hardship for a family and may cause an individual to lose their job. Emotional and mental hardships and struggles are also common after a serious wreck. Stress, anxiety, depression, and even PTSD may make it difficult for survivors of a serious crash to move forward afterward due to how traumatic most accidents are.
Some of the more common injuries and implications of car accidents include the following:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Burn injuries
- Cuts, lacerations, serious bruising, and amputations
- Internal organ damage and bleeding
- Brain damage caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussions
- Back or neck damage caused by whiplash
- Spinal damage caused by spinal cord injuries
The care for these injuries can be costly. As you’re getting medical bills, going through treatment, and are possibly 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 handle the legal matters so you can work 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 a family to recover emotionally and financially.
What Is Kentucky’s Protection After a Wrongful Auto Accident Death?
Kentucky has no-fault coverage, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), meaning that your 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. However, this does not apply in cases where someone has died.
When someone is killed due to another’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 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 and are 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 regarding 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, and of any serious injuries.
- Obtain contact information from any witnesses who may be willing to speak on your behalf. You may not end up needing a witness, but having one available is helpful. Get their account of what they saw happen if possible.
- 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 record. Everything from medical records to copies of prescriptions, treatment records, referrals, doctor’s notes, records of time spent off work, and car insurance claims should also be kept. All evidence could be potentially useful in court.
When you’ve taken the above steps and have a car accident attorney on your side, you’re giving yourself the best chance of having a successful outcome. While the 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 in a car accident in Louisville or in the state of 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 medical costs, loss of wage costs, 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 or take reckless or careless actions while driving. The lives of everyone around that driver are at stake. Some drivers don’t learn this fact, unfortunately, until it’s too late or until legal action is taken.
Don’t hesitate to contact Thomas Law Offices with any questions you may have about your potential case. Tad Thomas, Louisville car accident attorney, and his team of expert attorneys are patient, compassionate, and helpful individuals who truly care about their clients. We can help.