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Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

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Thumbnail image for 952313_gavel.jpgA Rockcastle man who was doing construction work in Garrard County, Kentucky has filed a lawsuit after being injured while working road construction. At the time of the accident, the man was operating a blacktop paver when the paver was struck by a dump truck driver. The man was thrown from the paver over a guardrail and suffered serious injuries. The dump truck went on to hit and injury two other workers. The Kentucky State Police have cited unsafe speed, road conditions and driver unfamiliarity with the area as causes of the accident.

In cases where people are injured while working by a person not employed by the same employer or business, the injured people have both a workers compensation claim and a third party negligence claim to recover their lost wages, medical bills, and pain & suffering. Many times workers compensation does not afford a full recovery for the injured worker. In cases like the above, the worker can sue the driver of the dump truck and the business that owned the dump truck to recovery the full amount of monetary compensation and reimbursement he or she is owed. These are referred to as third party claims and they seek to make sure that the injured person is granted full justice and a full financial recovery.
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A fatal accident on I-65 near Elizabethtown, Kentucky has killed three people and sent four others to the hospital with injuries. The accident involved a FedEx semi-tractor trailer truck and a SUV. The reports indicate that the semi bumped the rear end of the SUV and sent the SUV out of control, eventually flipping over. The FedEx driver was not injured, but the other people injured and killed were all in the SUV. The three people killed were ejected from the SUV. The SUV’s driver and another adult passenger were taken to University Hospital with injuries and two children were taken to Kosair Children’s Hospital.

The SUV was traveling with a family from Chicago, who was returning from a wedding in Florida. What caused the semi to bump the rear end of the SUV is still being investigated. This is a tragedy for the family involved. This family, including the Estates of the three deceased family members, will be able to make legal claims against FedEx for the injuries and deaths that resulted from this accident. Justice will require that their medical bills be paid, lost wages be reimbursed, compensation be given for their pain & suffering, and in the cases of the deceased family members, Kentucky law will allow for their Estates to recovery the lifetime of lost earning potentials, which will be substantial.
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A Jefferson County Kentucky school bus was rear ended on I-65 northbound near the Watterson Expressway. The accident injured seven children, who were transported to Kosair Children’s Hospital, and the bus driver, who was taken to Norton Hospital Downtown. Sixteen children were on the bus at the time and the nine that were not injured were transported to school on another bus.

This appears to have been a situation of stop and go traffic on the expressway, in which the driver of the semi failed to pay attention to the traffic. This sort of negligence on the part of the semi driver, will result in his, his employer and the semi’s insurance company being responsible for the children’s medical bills and compensation for other injuries the kids suffered. Inattentiveness while driving can result in tragic accidents.
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1308588_motorway_at_twilight.jpgThe Victim, age 56, of Louisville, Kentucky died Monday night due to injuries he sustained after his car broke down on the expressway, and he was attempting to flag down help. The Victim was stuck by another vehicle on the ramp from Phillips Lane and Louisville Airport. While no charges have been pressed against the other driver, fault in this case is still undetermined. The Victim leaves behind a wife and children. Vandeveer’s family has suffered a huge lose, for which the Kentucky Courts will allow an avenue for recovery.

The Victim’s family will need to setup an Estate through Probate, which will empower them to handle wrapping up his affairs and transferring his assets to his wife and children. Additionally, the Estate will be in a position to seek recovery of medical bills, funeral bills, loss of consortium claims, and a claim for a lifetime of lost wages/earning potential from both the other driver & the other driver’s insurance company and from the Victim’s own insurance company. This type of action is known as a wrongful death claim. While the legal system cannot bring the Victim back or lessen the pain his family is experiencing, it can provide a recovery financially for the family so they can be assisted in moving their lives forward and provide the money that they have lost as a result of this tragedy and the money that the Victim would have earned for the family over his lifetime.

Fault isn’t an issue at this time, and unless a person is 100% at fault, Kentucky law allows for a recovery of damages on a percentage basis. This is known as comparative fault under Kentucky Law. For example, under comparative fault and Kentucky law, a person injured or killed could bear 80% fault for an accident and the other party only bear 20%, and the party injured or killed who bore 80% fault could seek recovery of the 20% from the other party and their insurance company. Under such a theory, if the damages were calculated at $500,000.00 from an accident where a person was injured or killed, the recovery allowed under such an 80/20 split of fault would allow the injured or killed party to recovery $100,000.00.
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1038828_u_s__supreme_court_2.jpgAt 5:00 a.m. in January 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky, police were called to the scene of a parking lot where a man was passed out asleep in his truck. The keys were in the ignition, the truck was running, the man’s foot was on the accelerator, one hand was on the steering wheel, the other hand was on the gear shift, and the man was unconscious. The police officers reported hearing the engine running loudly from more than a block away, due to the truck being in park but having the gas pedal stepped on by the unconscious man. At the scene, the police had to break out the window because the man would not wake up and respond to the officers, and officers were afraid the vehicle would either caught on fire or jump into gear and propel itself through the parking lot.

The man admitted to police that he had been drinking at 4th Street Live and the breathalyzer given at the scene showed the man was nearly 3 times the legal limit of impairment. He was dangerous and could have injured or killed someone in the state he was in and driving a car.

However, in October 2010, the Jefferson District Court Judge ruled that the man should not have been charged with DUI, because he was asleep and did not have physical control of the vehicle.

Judges in Kentucky have relied upon a 1986 Kentucky Court of Appeals Case when dealing with DUIs and facts similar to this case. In that Court ruling, the Appeals Court stated that there are four factors to consider when the intoxicated person is asleep in the vehicle, as to where a DUI has been committed. The factors to consider if the person should be charged with DUI are:
(1) Whether the suspect in the vehicle was awake or asleep;
(2) Whether the engine of the suspects vehicle was running;
(3) The vehicle’s location and all circumstances explaining how the vehicle got there; and (4) The intent of the person behind the wheel.
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It has been reported that Trista Shoemaker was killed in an car crash in Franklin County, Kentucky on Saturday January 8, 2011 at an intersection on U.S. 127. Witnesses report that 31 year old Kevin Butler, of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, ran a red light and struck the passenger side of Shoemaker’s 1999 Toyota. Trista was 17, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 15 year old passenger in her car was taken to Franklin County Regional Medical Center.

Butler, who was driving a 2002 Chevy truck, was airlifted to UK Hospital.

The accident is under investigation, and anyone with information about it should call the Frankfort State Police Post at (502) 227-2221.

If the initial reports are correct, there should be a personal injury lawsuit brought on behalf of the injured 15 year old and a wrongful death suit brought by the Estate of Ms. Shoemaker. In both suits, recovery of medical bills, pain & suffering, and lost wages should be sought. In the case of the death of Ms. Shoemaker, the Estate’s claim will be substantial because of the claim for a lifetime of lost wages and loss of consortium claim of her parents. An accident re-constructionist may be immediately needed to start gathering proof of what happened here.

Kentucky personal injury attorney Brent T. Ackerson stated: “This is a tragedy when one young life is taken and another is forever changed. We have two families that will never be the same. Our hearts and prayers go out to their families.”
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If involved in an automobile accident in Kentucky, here are a few things to consider in minor collisions. These suggestions and issues are not applicable in all situations, including major collisions involving serious injury or death.

MOVING VEHICLES
Moving your vehicle once the accident has occurred, prior to the police arriving, is not recommended, even if you are impeding the flow of traffic. The reason for such is if you desire to have a police report taken related to the accident, the road and weather conditions, and assessment of fault, the police will likely not take one if the vehicles have been moved. If the vehicles have been moved prior to the police arriving, the police will likely only issue you and the other driver a civil report to fill out. Stories may differ after an accident, and it may be beneficial later to have a police report to substantiate your version of the events. Usually, if traffic is impeded, the police will arrive, take a look at the position of the vehicles, and then instruct the drivers to move the vehicles to allow for traffic to continue as normal. This will allow the police to be in a position to thoroughly complete a report.

CALL THE POLICE TO THE SCENE
If involved in an auto accident in Kentucky, one thing to consider is whether or not to have a police report taken. Many times when people are involved in minor auto accidents, one party will suggest that the parties just exchange information (including insurance information) and go on their ways. Either suggesting that they will work with their insurance companies to resolve the damages, or suggesting that they skip reporting the matters to their insurance companies and just pay for the damages out of their own pockets. This may not be a safe way to handle the situation and protect your interests. The reason being is that the other party:
(i) may not have current and up to date coverage, and thus be uncollectable from. If the police take a report, and the other driver fails to have insurance or gives the police false information, such will be documents and be beneficial to you later when trying to resolve the matter with that driver or your own insurance company.

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(ii) may change their story about what really occurred, the extent of the injuries involved, or the extent of the damage involved. If the other party is going to lie, its better that they are forced to attempt to do it immediately and to the police (lying to a police office, who is taking an official report, can be a crime). Additionally if stories are going to vary about what occurred, its better to have a police office take a report and potentially be a witness later to substantiate what he or she witnessed at the time of arriving upon the scene of the accident.
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