On Friday, Vickie Carol Lynch, age 49, of Georgetown, Kentucky, was killed in a car crash that involved a church van running a red light and hitting her vehicle. Ms. Lynch died at the scene of the crash. This terrible accident was caused by a 22 year old driver not paying attention. Witnesses report that he light had been red for a while when the van failed to attempt to stop and ran through the intersection of the Georgetown Bypass and Paris Road. Reports indicate that the evidence demonstrates that the van driver never even applied the brakes as he negligently entered the intersection. The driver of the van has been criminally charged with reckless homicide. The van is owned by Bluegrass Baptist Church.
On Saturday, Phillip Lee Burgess Jr., age 28, was a passenger in a car that ran a red light at the intersection of Lemons Mill Road and struck another vehicle. Mr. Burgess was taken from the scene of the accident to Georgetown Community Hospital, where he died from his injuries. The driver of the vehicle that Mr. Burgess was in has been criminally charged with a DUI and second degree manslaughter.
These are two instances where drivers have failed to be patient and attentive to the road. Driver impairment can come from intoxication or just plan paying attention to other things rather than driving. In one case, such failure to be attentive is clearly related to illegally driving after drinking. The other is unclear as to what took the driver’s attention from the road. The results however have been the same. Two innocent people are dead due to negligent driving of others, and families are left to suffer for the loss of their loved ones. In cases like this, it is important that a message be sent to the rest of the community that this sort of negligence while operating a car can be deadly and will not be tolerated. The criminal aspect of sending that message to the perpetrators and the community has begun in these two cases. There is also a civil justice avenue available to victims who are injured and families of victims killed, due to the negligent driving of others, in that they can seek to recover the civil damages from accident. Kentucky Civil Legal Damages include things like recovery of costs of medical bills, lost incomes, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering.
When people are killed in Kentucky auto accidents, the first steps by the surviving family to seek civil recourse/justice is to establish an “Estate” through the court system that will legally have a representative of the deceased appointed and authorized to handle legal affairs for the deceased. From there, the Estate can pursue a Kentucky Wrongful Death Claim against those at fault for the accident. Wrongful death claims can be complicated, due to the loss of life, and it is important to understand all aspects of where a legal recovery can been found, what legal damages can be claimed, and what insurances are applicable. Evidence must be preserved early, including an accident re-construction report.
If driver error is the cause of an accident, it is important to look for what lead to the error on the part of the driver. In cases involving intoxication, it should be attempted to determine where the driver became impaired before driving. This is important in that one of the objectives in wrongful death claims is to act as a deterrent to others, including possibly businesses that over-serve alcohol for their own profits and then allow such intoxicated people to drive and hurt others.
In the cases of the deaths of Vickie Carol Lynch and Phillip Lee Burgess Jr., their families and Estates have legal options to consider in insuring that complete justice is obtained in these tragic accidents.
People interested in further information about the legal rights of people injured or killed in Kentucky Auto Accidents can contact the Louisville Kentucky based Ackerson Law Offices, (502) 882-5176, and speak directly with attorney Brent T. Ackerson, or more information is available through the firm’s website and blogs. (Link to Ackerson Law Offices).