While the majority of motor vehicle accidents only involve property damage, this isn’t always the case. Accidents involving a reckless driver or between vehicles of varying sizes are more likely to result in injuries. In the most severe cases, victims could be left with catastrophic or fatal injuries. If you or someone you love has been involved in a crash, a Paducah car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can ensure the negligent party is held accountable for their actions and you have the means to compensation that helps you comfortably move forward.
Why Do Car Accidents Happen in Kentucky?
If you’ve been in a wreck that resulted from someone else’s negligent actions, you’ll want to know just what those actions were. Determining why the crash happened is also an important part of building a successful personal injury case. While wrecks happen for numerous reasons in Kentucky, there are identifiable factors that contribute to the majority of causes.
Distracted driving is the most common cause of car accidents. According to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS), there’s the potential to be distracted visually, manually, or cognitively. Visual distractions, which happen when you take your eyes off the road, are often the result of cell phone use. When a driver takes their hands off the wheel, they’re manually distracted. They may do so to reach for something or eat. Cognitive distraction is when the mind wanders while driving. This can happen if you’re tired, bored, or have been driving for a long period of time.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is another common cause. When a person gets behind the wheel drunk, their ability to focus on the road, process what’s happening around them, and make safe decisions is significantly impaired.
Reckless driving is another factor that contributes to auto accidents. Driving behaviors that are considered reckless include speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, tailgating, and committing other traffic violations. Those behaviors limit a driver’s ability to control their vehicle, especially in an emergency situation.
What to Do After a Crash in Paducah
It’s normal to freeze and panic after a car accident. You’ve just been through a traumatic event and it’s possible you’ve sustained injuries. But there are steps you can take to prioritize your health and protect your interests.
No matter what type of accident you’ve been in, it’s crucial to stop and stay at the scene. Evaluate yourself and others for injuries and call 911 to seek emergency medical attention. Once police officers arrive, you’ll be able to make an official report. During that time, you’ll also want to collect contact and insurance information from the other driver.
Even if you feel okay, it’s imperative to be looked over by a physician. Injuries aren’t always visible or noticeable right away, and it will benefit your health and future claim if you have an accurate record of the physical damage you sustained as a result of the crash.
Do what you can to document as much about the collision as you can remember. Write down where you were, what time the accident happened, and what the weather conditions were like. Taking photographs of the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles, and your injuries are also a good idea.
After you’ve spoken with the police and been looked over by a doctor, get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. To protect your rights and maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you need to pay for your losses, it’s best to file a claim as soon as you can.
Proving Auto Accident Liability
Every state has its own laws when it comes to determining fault after an auto accident. Kentucky is one of the few states that follow a no-fault system for car insurance claims. This means that the insurance company will pay for the accident-related expenses, regardless of fault. However, they’ll only do so if the injuries exceed $1,000 in medical expenses, you broke a bone, are suffering from permanent injury or disfigurement, or died.
In addition to the no-fault rule, Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that your settlement can be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you’re found to be at fault for ten percent of the crash, you’ll only be able to recover 90% of the damages.
Proving the other party was at fault for your wreck is challenging without proper legal representation. When we build your claim, we conduct a thorough investigation that shows how the other driver’s actions or inactions caused the crash. If necessary, we’ll bring in experts to back up your claim.
Seek Recovery for Your Losses
Once you’ve proven who is at fault for your car accident, the next step is to ensure the settlement offer you receive is full and fair. Your Paducah car accident lawyer can help you determine how you’ve been affected by the wreck. We’ll take your economic and noneconomic damages into consideration. The economic damages could include medical bills, future cost of care, lost wages, property damage and more. Noneconomic damages cover the pain and suffering you experienced.
We’re not afraid to negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive the total amount of compensation you’re entitled to. While rare, we will take your case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached. Regardless of how your claim proceeds, we’ll be with you every step of the way.
Filing a car accident claim can seem intimidating. When you work with our attorneys, we’ll make the process as simple as possible. To start, contact our office today. We’ll begin with a consultation where we discuss the validity of your claim.